Cook Islands Fishing Report - 23/03/23

Big blue wins contest

In sharp contrast to the last couple of months, the weather conditions for anglers and tourists alike have been perfect. Many hot ,sunny days and very little wind. 

The highlight of the month was a big blue caught by Pauro Arnold, which saw him win the local Gordon Murray Memorial Trophy.

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A good number of boats turned out for the competition, held the last Saturday in February. The day was perfect, and some great fish were caught. Pauro decided to go offshore looking for the big one, and about 16 kilometres out from Avana on the eastern side of  Rarotonga, it paid off for him. He was fishing from his local-style boat  Haura when the big one struck.

About 20 minutes into the fight his rod broke, and he spent the next 40 minutes or so using all his energy to finally bring the marlin to the boat. Back at the fishing club, the marlin weighed in at 274.5kg. Three other marlin were caught on that day, but none measured up to Pauro’s winning effort.

Charter operators are hoping to be much busier in the next few months, with yellowfin being on their target list. Photo : Martin Cleave

Teariki Buckley Jnr won the tuna section, taking out the quinella with yellowfin of 29.2 and a 26.2. Greg Gustafson took out third with a 25.1kg tuna.

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With tourist numbers still low, the charter boats have not been busy. But this should be about to change with Hawaiian Air commencing flights into Rarotonga in May after a long absence. This will bring tourists from North America, especially the west coast areas of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and Alaska – many of whom are avid fishermen. Good news for the charter boat operators!

We have been keeping a close eye on the cyclones in the western Pacific. Fortunately, nothing has happened over our way yet. I don’t want to speak too soon as the cyclone ‘season’ doesn’t end until after April.

- Wayne Barclay


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