I’ve never known gamefishing to be as good as it is right now. There are some spectacular stories doing the rounds, from multiple hook-ups to more unusual catches. Here are a few of the stories that I can confirm as true.
First, a marlin was caught on a PWC. Two marlin were also caught from a triple hook up by a solo angler in a 4.3m tinny off the river bar. A blue marlin (unusual for the west coast) was dropped at the boat. A lure caught 144kg black marlin (also unusual) was landed by a first time gamefisher and a 151kg striped marlin shot by a free diver. These are just some of the stories from the wild west over the last two weeks.
Most gamefish are found between 100 and 125m at the moment but we hooked one at 67m. Unfortunately, we lost it after a decent battle. Skipjack and albacore tuna will be coming in closer every day and hopefully so will marlin, but tuna at least can be found in decent numbers from 60m.
Snapper fishing in the open water is still going well, especially in close with good bycatches of gurnard, kahawai and even trevally at times.
The harbour is starting to ramp up, with snapper being in great condition and a few big ones starting to show. Weed can be an issue so it’s best to move if it’s causing you problems. Shallow water straylining – try 2m – on the start of the incoming or outgoing is a lot of fun and very productive especially in low light conditions. Gurnard are still hanging in there but I’d be tempted to wait until May before getting too serious about targeting them. There are plenty of trevally in the harbour hanging around shellfish beds and they are loads of fun to catch. There’s also been plenty of kingfish action for those who target them.
Sharks are really making the headlines lately but they have always been around, especially at this time of the year. There are a dedicated few who target big bronze whaler sharks off the Manukau Harbour beaches but they almost always practice catch and release. There is no point in harming these magnificent fish. Also featuring a lot in social media is inappropriate disposal of fish frames and rubbish. Dumping fish frames in shallow water will almost always see them returned to the beach. It’s not a good image for recreational anglers. There are often people keen to take fish frames and it’s worth chucking up a post on your local Facebook page if you have some clean frames to give away.
As for rubbish, take it home with you. I’m sure most fishermen that would be reading reports such as this are aware of their community responsibilities but unfortunately there are plenty of casual fishermen who are just too lazy, too stupid or just don’t care enough to tidy up after themselves.
Anyway, the fishing is good! Get out there and catch a few!