When it comes to warm blue water and plenty of pelagic fish around, it is hard to beat March as THE month to go in search of gamefish.
A new competition organised by the North End Spearos club is running right throughout March. Teams can dive anywhere in the top half of the North Island, for 4 days of the month. There are points allocated based on merit for marlin, tuna, kingfish, mahimahi, swordfish and wahoo.
Spence and I have been wanting to chase a marlin on spear on Provider for a while, and this sounded like the perfect excuse to set some time aside to do it. We roped in keen spearo Tim Simons from local dive and spearfishing shop Dutchy’s, and keen female spearo Catherine McDade. Team Provider was ready for action!
We set out the first morning, headed for an area wide of Castle in 80-100m where quite a few bait balls and marlin had been spotted that week. On the way we heard someone had seen a marlin rounding up bait at Danger Rock - so we were off there! Cat, Spence and Dutchy jumped in among acres of koheru and kahawai, and it wasn’t long before some nice kingfish swum in and Dutchy popped one off.
A big bronzie came in and took the next kingfish that Spence shot, so we made a shift over to Whale Rock. Spence came up trumps with a real nice snapper and solid kingfish!
It was time to chase down a marlin on spear! We headed for the 100m line wide of Castle Island and on arriving I spotted some gannets working. I yelled for the guys to get ready as I put the hammer down to get under the workup. The guys scrambled to get ready and just as they gave me the yep we are ready, a stripey popped up beside my drivers window and eyeballed me “MARLIN!!!!!!!” the boat got chopped into neutral and Spence and Dutchy jumped over with spearguns in hand. And what the boys saw straight away was actually three striped marlin, around a bait ball straight under the boat. Yeewww! Unfortunately the guys couldn’t get close enough for a shot, but what an awesome sight - the guys were stoked!
Eventually we got separated from the bait ball and so we were off in search of another one, Cat and Dutchy were locked and loaded,ready to pop in at any time!
We finished the day off by making the most of the epic blue water in at Castle - 30m+ vis
The team popped a few more kingfish off for eating, and nabbed a few crays as well. All in all a very eventful day in epic blue water!
The next week we were back out for our chosen Day 2 of the comp. We headed to a reef south of the Aldies in search of some skippies. The plan was to bridle up some skipjack tuna and have them hookless as teasers to tease some marlin up. That plan changed when we came across some big schools of surface feeding koheru in deep purple water inside the Aldies. It just screamed the sort of place the guys could dive and maybe have a marlin swim up to them. Sure enough, Dutchy and Cat went in, and 30 minutes in to the dive Cat was screaming through her snorkel to Dutchy, a marlin had come to check her out. Not quite close enough for a shot, but very very cool nonetheless! It came back for a second look at the guys a bit later on and a bit deeper.
We headed to Lens Reef and I jumped in with the guys as well. What an epic sight! This pin comes up to 8m from about 60m deep, and the top of the reef was covered in schooling kahawai, koheru and pink maomao. You could stay on top for hours just chilling out watching the fish move in the current. Epic!
It wasn’t long before a solid kingfish came in to check out the burley and flasher and Dutchy popped it off! A real nice solid 20kg fish!
What an epic first two days of this spearfishing comp, can’t wait to have another crack soon!