Well we didn’t exactly finish our season off the way we hoped, with strong and persistant Nor-Easterly storms putting an end to any hopes of us rapping things up in style. I don’t think I can recall a May with such heavy rainfall and persistant gales in the north for some time, generally we expect both weather and fishing to last through too late May.
Although we didn’t end up fishing as long as hoped in our inaugural season onboard ‘Arenui’, we still managed put some enjoyable trips together for friends and guests. The game fishing was a little tough at times but if groups were prepared to put in the time and effort some good catches and fun fishing were there. Generally our most consistent fishing came from the top end of the ever reliable King Bank, however our best day of 4 Striped Marlin came from our old favourite… the Middlesex Bank.
I guess a best of just 4 in a day was an indication of how hard the fishing was at times throughout the season. Despite the numbers being down a little this season, the fish that were here were of really big size. We managed to release a couple of stripes that we estimated in excess of the 150kg mark, with some other well known charter boats also catching monster late season stripes up too and over 200kg!
Big congratulations to the first time marlin anglers on board with us this year; Marcus Foot, Darrell Cottle, Ross John, Murray Skelton, David Buys, Chris Lee and Alan Mouat.
As mentioned in previous reports, many of our guests choose to use our Stella 20000 spin reel to catch their marlin. Pitching baits to marlin on spin gear is a whole lot of fun for the guests and crew. Catching marlin on gel-spun line is whole different ball game and something new that many of our guests really enjoyed. Back in March, Darrell Cottle not only managed to catch his first marlin this way, but he also followed it up the next day with a stripie on 8kg… well done Darrell.
Most trips we also put quite a bit of attention into jigging and bottom fishing on the banks and the Garden Patch. Big kings were like plaque proportions on the Middlesex Bank during Feb and early March with numerous catches up too and over the 30kg mark. We’ll be up grading our jigging gear though our relationship with Shimano this winter, so we look forward to having a brand new set on board for the coming spring and summer.
The boat will be coming back to Auckland in the coming few days to start our winter maintenance program. We’ve been extremely happy with the way the boat has performed this summer and many of our guests have too. This winter we plan to outfit her with a wide angle cockpit camera and hard drive recorder so guests can take home footage of all the action during their trip… we also look forward to upgrading our website so we can show highlights from the season on line.
Big thanks to the crewmen that helped out this season, James Brown, Chris Ash, Andrew Hughes, Shaun Thomsen, Brodey Newton and Bevan Beauchamp. We had a bit of ‘musical crewmen’ going on at stages this year but everyone on board did a fantastic job that was well received by guests and friends. Bevan Beauchamp will be joining us for next season. Bevan has a wealth of experience both internationally and New Zealand so he’ll be a welcome addition to the team at New Zealand Game Fishing… I certainly look forward to fishing together again next season.
We’ll be in Auckland from now through to the New Year, concentrating on our winter maintenance program and trips to the outer Hauraki Gulf, with trips to the Barrier and Mokehinau Islands a specialty. We’ve already started putting our calendar together for the coming season due to a large amount of positive enquiry following the boats arrival in NZ… feel free to drop me a line regarding our ‘Early Bird’ specials for the coming spring and summer periods.
All the best and talk soon!