Game season fever is well and truly on us, and the sensational, and very much welcome, yellowfin tuna run this year, has got trailer boat fishermen across the country dusting off the big gear to get into the action. When it comes to game fishing, you can either go the whole nine yards, with a mega launch equipped with riggers dripping with bling, or you can tow one lure behind your tinnie. As long as you can reach the fishing zone, and do around 7 knots all day, you are well in with a chance at anything this year. We’ve seen massive blue and even black marlin, bigeye tuna, tons of albacore, stripeys, mahi mahi, and in good numbers up both northern NZ coastlines. Incredibly, we spotted no less than nine marlin in two days north east of Barrier early January. Just amazing that these fish are out there in good numbers.
This year game fishing out of Auckland is even a reality, with plenty of really nice yellowfin tuna within reach if you can get to the east side of Great Barrier or the Mokes.
In order to get into the game, the order of the day is really down to two main factors.
Firstly, where are the fish? Tow whatever gear you like all over the ocean, it’s really about getting into the right place.
Secondly, what lures in what colours do you tow?
Well, there are plenty of great options, and all the big names will have a lure that will work on the day.
The best way to find out what works is to get out there, mix it up and see for yourself, but it is hard to argue with a proven, consistent performer, and sometimes for whatever reason, one lure can often out perform all others.
Watching social media, and reading the likes of this very article, is already arming you with what has been working for others, which is a great place to start.
Tasman Tackle Cobra Lures
Our two recent trips out to the back of Great Barrier in search of yellowfin tuna, were both very successful, with some significant thanks to a new bag of lures we trialed from online distributor Tasman Tackle.
In three days, we hooked four nice yellowfin, keeping two for the table. As either luck or coincidence goes, they were all on the same lure.
Wait no longer, the magic bullet seemed to be the Cobra Venom, in Razor colour skirt.
Highly commended also goes to the purple-pink Slammer, that got hit but didn’t hook up, and the lime green ‘Kiwi’ that didn’t connect out on the shotgun for us but looked great and has accounted for a lot of fish this year.
Having confidence in your lures, and a positive attitude throughout the day makes a big difference to the game fishing experience
Cobra lures come pre-rigged on a 250lb leader, and feature a very nice VMC Dynacut hook. These hooks are super sharp and strong, and the leader weight works well for towing an 8.5 inch lure.
Just make sure you remove the plastic tube from the hook point before you set it out! We didn’t but still managed to land a fish with it on Sometimes the brain goes a bit mushy when yellowfin are jumping around the boat.
If you are interested in more about these lures, CLICK HERE
You can customise colours, and select individual skirts to suit the weight and shape of your heads.
A flat fronted ‘cupped’ head like the Sniper, and the Kiwi, will chug and throw a bit of water around which can be good on a flat day, and the angled heads of the other patterns cause the lures to move around a bit, darting about and nicely breaking the surface.
We know these lures work, we’ve seen them in action, and will certainly be including one in particular as a first-in-the-water 20 metres off the short corner.
Best options are to have a selection on hand and find out for yourself what the secret recipe for the day is.