Bay of Plenty - "PURSUIT
Eastern Bay of Plenty
This has been incredibly late in arriving, partially because I’ve been at sea every day but, more importantly, there hasn’t been much in the way of good news. Things haven’t changed, in fact, they’ve gotten worse!
New Zealand’s self-proclaimed tuna capital has been anything but of late. After good fishing in mid December and still plenty of promise at Christmas, things have deteriorated markedly this year. To exemplify things check these statistics. No tuna came into Whakatane for 7 days prior to the Tuna Tournament. 27 were landed during the 4-day contest by 174 boats. Since the conclusion of said tourney a mere 4 YFT have been landed. Dire straits in the Tuna stakes and far from what we expect at this time of year. Things can only get better, it’s just a matter of when!
Whakatane’s first marlin came during the TT, an average sized stripey. A week later two beauty blues sparked interest in what had been lots of fruitless trolling. A 195-kilo fish from the White Island area was well received but the same afternoon held mind boggling news. A magnificent 420.6kg blue came into Te Kaha. Skipper Al Gilby guided angler Jim Moncur to his meritorious catch off Waihou Bay. Since then a few stripeys have been seen off Opotiki with one taken.
Yellowtail kingfish have occupied most attention at the volcanic wonderland. While they have bit reasonably well, few intact fish have come to their respective captors. Bronze whalers have been incredibly numerous and aggressive, their antics apparent by all the abbreviated fish coming up. On the positive side there have been some beauties to 36 kilos landed recently. While they have all spawned and are on the shabby side, this hardly keeps them from performing well at the end of the line as per usual.
Snapper have become patchy with some good catches but many more outings resulting in poor numbers or “barely a feed”. Unquestionably the most reliable region has been between Opape Point and Te Kaha. The 30-metre mark continues to be the magic depth with some real beauts landed lately. One group supposedly had 11 snapper totalling 180 pounds of Te Kaha last week.
Little has been done in this regard lately. No glowing reports are coming through now although we aren’t far from bluenose spawning period.
This bank and associated locale continue to receive a lot of pressure. Quite a lot of attention has shifted from hapuka/bass fishing to kingfish in the shallows. A few bass in the 50-kilo class have been landed as well as numerous smaller specimens. A 43-kilo kingi has topped that species list although quite a few over 30 and many in the mid 20’s are present as well.
That’s all for now, sorry for the delay but things have been less than exciting. Now that I’ve written this it doesn’t sound half as bad as I perceived. Late season?? You bet!!
Report type: Saltwater
Report date: 09 February 01