Record Yellowtail Catch ----- and Release
kingfish are out there off the Northland coast with a
vengeance. Winter has always been time to get the big
yellowtails, and this year has proved more than true to
The Bay of
Island’s Swordfish Club holds an annual yellowtail
competition, and the tag and release section says a lot
about sensible conservation in our waters.
The recent four-day event proved a winner for Shane
Shepherd, skippering Splash, a 36-footer operating out
of Paihia for Eddie Brooks’ Blue Seas Charters
operation, and his charter party from across the ditch,
who make an annual pilgrimage to the event.
The yellowtails pretty much run from the Bay of Plenty
northwards at this time of the year and are in prime
condition in the colder winter seas.
“ It has been very good up in the Bay of Islands for
kingfish and if any proof is needed, Shane really
smashed last year’s tag and release competition record,”
Eddie told Northern Farming Lifestyles.
“Splash recorded a tally of 64 kingfish and they
generally ranged in weights from eight to 14 kilos. This
is compared to the 58 fish that were caught in last
“ Splash had a team of four keen fishermen from
Australia on board for the four days, fishing on 8kg
lines, and they went home pretty happy chaps.”
Apart from the kingfish, there have been good hapuka
catches when the weather has been considerate enough —
10 to 12 knots is good — to allow the boats out to the
good grounds beyond the Hole in the Rock.
”There has been much discussion about the best way to
boat a big kingfish and the consensus seems to be that
live baits will generally attract the biggest.
Jigging has proved itself time and again but an early
start to get live bait in the tank is always good
Just about all the international records for kingfish
are held in New Zealand, and most of these have been