Who do you think might be involved with the first tag-and-release marlin of the new New Zealand Sport Fishing Council Inc’s fishing season? You guessed it – Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers Club's Kyle Ridling!
Kyle had been involved with catching the first marlin of the season for the last four years, last year doing it solo on July 3 off the back of the Poor Knights.
“I wasn’t going to go out this year, but was encouraged by fishing mate, Chris Riley,” Kyle says.
The weather for the first few days in July (the NZSFC ‘season’ runs from July 1-June 30) wasn’t that great, other than a one-day window around July 5, but no one took it.
So Kyle and Chris headed out on Saturday, July 8, in Kyle’s 4.85m Surtees Boats - Yonkers. After picking up a couple of live baits, the pair towed them around until they were dealt to by a seal then a shark.
“We put the lures back in the water to try and pick up some more skippies when the marlin came in and took the pink and UV blue (Nomad skirts) Bonze Angel lure the long ‘rigger.
Forty minutes later they released an estimated 100kg striped marlin and Chris has his name in the record books for the 2017-2018 season’s first tagged marlin, making it four in a row for Yonkers.
Kyle says there was plenty of bait around and that the water temperature was 16.8 degrees C.
For the record, Kyle tagged the first marlin in the 2014-2015 season off Cape Brett on December 6, again fishing from Yonkers. Next came Kyle’s July 3 effort in 2015, and then a solo effort on July 1 last year, backed up by Chris’s fish on July 8 - last Saturday.
Kyle thought there would have been more boats out, so was surprised to see only one other in the area, and that was bottom fishing. His consistent efforts over the last three years prove the fish are still around at this time of the year, it is just a matter of putting aside preconceptions and making the effort.
As for the big run of southern bluefin tuna off Waihau, Kyle suggests striped marlin ‘most probably’ would have been there as well, just that the tuna would have been quicker to the lure.
13 July 2017