Stop Press: Nationals prospects looking good!

Stop Press: Nationals prospects looking good!

Just before the February issue was put to bed there was a flurry of good billfish captures, which augers well for
the forthcoming NZSFC Nationals.In reports elsewhere in this addition the clubs alluded to a slow start to the season on the billfish front, but that has changed.

A spell of decent weather has seen the tallies rise as boats could get out and start chasing billfish seriously.

Each year around 1600 anglers take to their favourite waters to fish the Sport Fishing Council’s Nationals, this season set down for the week of February 22-29. In the past week there have been some good captures. Tairua weighed in a 294.8kg blue for angler Kelly Lawson fishing off Valhalla. Just up the road at Whitianga Izzy Salele nailed a 260kg blue aboard Whitiangler while Tony Tucker, fishing aboard Pearl Miner, kept the Mercury Bay club’s recorder busy with a 265.2kg swordfish.

Some good yellowfin continue to grace the scales, the latest being small-fry angler Harry Steel’s 66.8kg pending tuna record, caught out of Tutukaka on Off Site.

The Nationals are not just about the ‘glamour’ species. The beauty of the event is anglers can fish anywhere in our 200- mile economic zone, targeting a wide range of fish from snapper and kahawai up to the mighty swordfish.

There are no club boundaries with anglers choosing to fish either locally or travel to where they think they might have a better chance of getting the big one.

Fly fishers, light line specialists, kayakers, land-based anglers, the trailerboat and launch brigades are all catered for. There is a measure section for some species, meaning anglers can put the tape over a fish and release it, not having to bring it to the weigh station.

As an example, a crew heading to the Three Kings to primarily target billfish might chose to spent time chasing kingfish which can be measured and released, without the worry of having to keep them in good condition to present to a weighmaster. The Nationals are open to any member of a council affiliated club.

For more details check out the advert on page 129 of our February or go to the website www.nzsportfishing.co.nz


25 January 2020

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