The annual rising of local sea temps is bringing in the game fish, and the air temps are unusually high for us both hot topics around the evening BBQs. It's back into the swing of it for most now - the 2019 year is well underway with schools, and work returning to the norm (although luckily we have a few short weeks coming up!).
Marlin of the three main colours (black, blue and striped) have all been caught, as well as some rather nice tuna, however, perhaps a little slow with the numbers of boats that have been out there targeting these top predatory fish. In saying that, it is only January. Nonetheless, a marlin caught on a stick bait, and plenty of marlin sighted in the Hauraki Gulf all point towards a rewarding season ahead.
Kingfish have been sizeable, some good specimens caught at Flat Rock on topwater tackle this week. Lately, we've found that using smaller jigs has been effective when targeting kingfish. They seem to have been working better than the traditional big speed jigs – 100 - 150gms has been the go. There have been plenty of kings hanging around the marker buoys, making them easy to target on a small popper or stick bait, even a soft-bait – the visual hookup is so addictive. Early morning or late evening is the go – make the first cast a good one, as they can shy quickly.
Summer tactics – how's this for a plan: get up early and fish the close in shallows, marker buoys, the inner channels with some soft-baits. Then, head out to chase down a workup and target a few snapper for the family and friends, and while you're at it target a kingfish and test your nerves, your knots, your line and reel drag.
On that note, if your drag doesn't let line out smoothly and jerks haltingly, service it; otherwise it will inevitably end in tears when the big one does get away by snapping your line with a solid headshake!
Back on land, the seminars on the 'Secrets of Lure Fishing' have started, and there are more to come... Espresso