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Gamefishing Hanging in There!

Carl Muir
May 21, 2008
Coromandel - Saltwater Fishing Report

After getting dealt with some pretty average sea conditions over the last month, the skies were blue and seas were glassy last weekend. Typical! Justin Pilkington from Cathedral Cove Macadamias, Rob Fort from Coromandel Kayak Adventures and I were stuck inside at the New Zealand Boat Show talking to the many thousands of attendees, and getting texts like "Just dropped 2 Marlin off the Hook, seas flat, you should be here!"

I've been mentioning in this column that the marlin will still be around and it just took a few calm days for the boats to get out and have a crack at them. Aquila accounted for a striped marlin on 94.5kg, caught north of Cuvier, and it sounds like there were plenty of marlin seen and hooked at ‘The Hook' our from Red Mercury.

The Firth and Hauraki Gulf has produced one of the best snapper seasons in recent years, and with ideal conditions there were no shortage of boats out there last weekend. The most productive places to fish are out wide under the big schools of bait and birds. Those boats taking the time to find the birds and workups of kahawai and kingis hammering the pilchard schools are finding big schools of snapper with them feeding on the leftovers. Softbaits work perfectly in this situation as they imitate a wounded baitfish.

The kingis are still biting hard out on the jigs out wide on the East Coast, and we've been having some great sessions with nearly every drop producing kingfish. 80 - 100 kingfish in a day is possible with good conditions and a boat of keen jiggers!!

We're only taking one kingi for the boat, maybe two at maximum, and releasing the rest of the fish in good condition. At the moment is has to rate as one of the best kingi fisheries in New Zealand, and a good tag and release programme will keep it that way.

We're coming up to one of my favourite times of the year when the bigger snapper start moving in over the shallow grounds in numbers. Already a few boats are reporting good catches over 4-7kg fish in around the inner points like Pauanui and Paku in the evening.

With yet another weekend of swell predicted for the East Coast, don't discount prospecting the harbours. There have been lots of reports of kingis been hooked in most of the harbours along the East Coast lately, they are all stocked with a big supply of bait like piper, sprats and flounder making them a haven for kingfish. Carl Edwards was the latest to tussle with a big kingi in the Tairua harbour. A big kingi estimated at 25kg hit a pilchard sitting in the current and after being towed around the harbour for 40 minutes the battle ended in tears, if it hadn't have been hooked on 6kg it might have been another story.

Tight lines!
Carl Muir, Epic Adventures 07 8648193.

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