Top of the South Fishing Report - 22/02/24

Striped marlin hooked in Tasman Bay!

There is a buzz around most of the country over gamefish at the moment, particularly with the Nationals fishing competition on. We are seeing many striped and blue marlin being caught in northern waters, along with the odd mahimahi and even a wahoo, while in the south southern bluefin tuna are still showing up. This shows what a great country we live in, and we are all very lucky to have such a great fishery spread around most of the coastline.

Two weeks ago, there was even a striped marlin hooked in Tasman Bay!  Apparently, a boat was trolling for tuna, when a marlin came in and hit the lure, and after a fight extending beyond a couple of hours on light gear, with the fish jumping multiple times, the hook straightened out. It’s great to hear of marlin in Tasman Bay, and hopefully more boats will get out looking for them now as a result.

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I have been travelling with work since the marlin was hooked so have not been able to get out for a look myself, but I am watching the weather closely for any opportunities ahead. It is also very pleasing to hear that a number of striped marlin are now being caught off Taranaki, because that means it is not too far for these pelagic fish to swim before they are in our waters at the top of the south.

The good snapper fishing has continued; however, over the last week or two it appears they have moved out into deeper waters. This is not normal for this time of year, but it could be a result of the warm water temperatures we are currently experiencing in the shallows. They will move back in, but the big new moon that went through certainly doesn't appear to have helped the snapper fishing either. With that behind us, I am sure it will pick up.

Aim to target water depths between 30 and 50 metres with the water temperatures up in the shallows.

If you are heading out any time soon, I would aim to target water depths between 30 and 50 metres, and a combination of both baits and slow jigs appear to be working well. My favourite rig for catching snapper in the deeper water is the Daiwa Kohga Mega 6 Octopus skirt and if you want to make it the ultimate snapper rig, put a Daiwa kohga jighead in front of the octopus. It may seem extravagant having effectively two rigs on at one time, so if that is all a bit much the octopus skirts also work very well with just a ball sinker in front, too.

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Albacore tuna are still around for those boats that are chasing them out wider, and I would expect they will still be around for a while longer. Kingfish are being caught along the boulder bank for those putting the effort in, although a number are still being caught out in the middle of Tasman Bay as well.

I am hoping to get out over the next week once work eases a bit, so hopefully I will have more to report next time.


Dan Govier 

[email protected]  

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