I can certainly feel summer is approaching with the days now starting to draw out and daylight savings not too far away. With this will come longer days and the start of snapper moving back into Tasman Bay as the water temperature starts to increase.
Last week felt a long way from summer though as we had to wait for the road to clear of snow before we could head down to Greymouth to go and chase some tuna. The wait was well worth it as, however, we were greeted with a calm Grey River bar and glassy seas. An early morning start saw us out on the Hokitika Trench fishing around the big factory trawlers working outside the 25NM line offshore.
These boats were essentially creating a big burley trail, the bluefin were all concentrated in this area and the fishing that we had was unbelievable. Big fat bluefin tuna were in the area and we were lucky enough to get into them as well. I have tried a few times for bluefin unsuccessfully, so I was extremely happy to get my first bluefin to the boat – it was a barrel too. The fish was looked after very well and chilled straight away. The eating quality of these fish was amazing, with the flesh in prime condition.
With weather conditions so good, a number of other boats from all around the South Island were also out chasing tuna and this was a great sight, especially combined with the snow-covered southern alps as the backdrop.
It has been great to see so many bluefin all around the NZ Coast over the last year, with Waihau Bay also having good numbers of fish being caught as well, we are certainly lucky to have this winter game fishery starting to develop. The more people learn about these fish as well, I am sure other areas will open up over the winter months.
My boat is still not finished yet, so I unfortunately missed the last of the run of tuna off the coast, but once she is on the water I will certainly be back down there next year, trying to further understand these magnificent fish.
Check out the Bite Times for your favourite fishing location here.
Top of the South
Dan Govier (Nelson)