It’s so great to see yellowfin tuna in good numbers to kick off the season with a real bang.
There have been quite a few good fish from 40 to 50 kgs landed in the last few days, which is an awesome size for both sport and supplying the table with fresh tuna steaks.
It bodes really well for the Suzuki Top Ten Tuna comp that runs from 31st December through to 7th of January 2023. There’s a $10,000 cash prize pool and 5 Suzuki outboards up for grabs, but just getting out and landing yellowfin is usually reward enough!
If you need a reminder on how to target Yellowfin check out THIS
If you are keen to participate in this tournament, enter your team HERE
Marlin are also turning up now, with a few good catch and release blues and stripeys on record.
Tropical species including short billed spearfish and mahi-mahi are also being caught on the tuna gear, so it’s well and truly up to temp and firing at the moment.
Location wise, it’s all happening in the Churchys Charters, and Kubota sponsors grid at the moment, putting the fish clearly on the contour lines illustrated on our map here.
Up in the Bay of Islands a rather massive 464kgs black (that’s a grander at 1024 lb) was weighed in after a ten hour fight, so the billfishing is firing up for those that love to plough the field all day.
For those that are targeting smaller species, it’s peak snapper time at the moment, and it’s really more about what current and bite time is running rather than where you are fishing.
Snapper are on the chew in shallow off the beaches, off all the popular reef systems and atre even hitting kingfish jigs out wider down to almost 100 metres, and some good sized specimens to boot.
Dropping slow pitch jigs, sliders, and inchiku jigs out deeper, and throwing soft baits in the shallows is pretty deadly around most of the east coast and off the Mercs. For those that like the bait fishing, straylining will usually score the big ones, so try using recurve hooks to make for easy release.
Using a recurve is easy, as you don’t have to strike (and hope), as the fish is running simply engage the reel and wait for the line to load up, the hook will set itself, usually right in the corner of the mouth, and then you can just start leaning into the fish and you are away.
Kingfish action is all go from pretty much all of the pins on jigs and livies, but as per usual sharks are commonly an issue for getting a whole fish on board, and if they appear move spots as there’s plenty of kingfish action around the reef systems.
If you’re heading out wide, always check your weather and double check fuel levels!