Originally posted by: davesett2000 on 8/31/2005 1:36:23 PM
Fishing: Giant tuna loses battle of the deep
By Peter Jessup
The big tuna catches continue off Greymouth. Nelson businessman Michael Hayes landed a 268kg bluefin which Koru II skipper Richard Orchid believes is a Pacific rather than a northern tuna.
If so, it may be a world record. A sample of the fish is being DNA tested by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Wellington.
Hayes joined two South Australians who had come across to target the bluefin in the deep trenches off Greymouth where a hoki fleet was operating.
Six trawlers were working up and down the trench night and day, Hayes said. The Koru II followed, and his possible record fish went for a squid lure trolled within 10m of a trawler.
The fish stayed on the surface and was boated within two hours. Three others were caught, over much longer periods, as they sounded.
It appears that when these big tuna go deep - the trenches run to 100m and deeper - they usually win the fight. If the battle goes on beyond a few hours, the anglers get more tired and the fish gets stronger and eventually busts off.
Hayes had caught blue and black marlin before, but rated the South Island tuna as the strongest fish he'd fought.
"Once they get their heads down they're very hard to move. We had one of the other fish within 30m of the boat for about three hours before we got the leader."
The fish were caught 56km off Greymouth, and on the two-day charter the four fish they landed weighed in at a total 1000kg - a lot of smoked tuna.
THE east coast from the Far North to Whakatane remains patchy, with the bite-time short. But big fish are in close. Strips of fresh bait such as kahawai and mullet work best or use multiple piper wrapped together with three hooks.
From Doubtless Bay, Doug McColl of Coopers Beach Sports says hapuku have been on the reefs out from Berghan Pt and tarakihi on the close-in reefs. Good numbers of mid-range snapper are being taken off Tokerau Beach at change of light. The points, including Taipa, are producing snapper and kahawai.
In the Bay of Islands, Geoff Stone from charter boat Major Tom II says fishing is patchy although there are good catches of big fish in close. The Capstan Rocks are also working well at times. Bite-time is short.
The top half of the outgoing tide is working best. Tarakihi are on the reefs but so are barracouta, so livebait fishing is out.
The hapuku are still in deeper water to 24m but are expected to move into shallows soon to feed before spawning.
Eugyn de Bruyn on Sea Genie had a weekend away on the Tutukaka coast and reported good-sized snapper being taken off the rocks from there down to Whangarei Heads. Flounder were running too.
Around Auckland the fishing has been patchy, he says. Flat Rock at Kawau and other outer pinnacles including the Noises are producing well at some times, and little or nothing at others. The same is true of the Motuihe Channel - the bigger fish are in close, if anywhere, and feeding.
One lucky angler took two big kings at Gannet Rock, but that's unusual for mid-winter and the kings have been few and far between. It's been the same south of Auckland.
Kevin Mccracken at the Whakatane Sports Fishing Club says some big snapper are being taken, including a 12.7kg fish caught off the rocks just south of Whakatane. Whitebait runs have been slow.
Kite fisherman Paul Barnes has enjoyed some good days at Muriwai, including one last week with a Japanese film crew.
He set a line with 24 hooks about 1km north of Rimmers Rd and pulled in five snapper in the 1.5-2.5kg range, five nice gurnard and two kahawai.
No other vehicle passed them during their time on the beach, good tourist publicity given the show is to be repeated 12 times on Japanese TV.
The Manukau Harbour continues to produce. The gurnard are fat, in the 1-1.8kg range. Trevally are feeding over the worm beds and garden worms are a good bait, otherwise use fresh local shellfish.