This time of year is not known for marlin, but during the second week it was a bit of a bonanza, with most boats getting plenty of strikes and a good number were landed.
First up, Wahoo had a double strike of blue marlin and landed both. Also, Akura caught a blue on a morning trip and then repeated the feat in the afternoon, while Seafari landed a nice stripy. Most were in the 70-90kg range, and all were caught on the same day.
Although there have not been many yellowfin tuna around, there have been some notable catches. Marlin Queen caught a record 85.2kg fish, while Pupuke Robati landed a 55kg yellowfin the next day.
Wahoo have been a little slow, but a couple of 45kg-plus specimens succumbed to rigged flying-fish baits. The FAD off the Rarotongan Hotel has been working well for mahimahi, but generally smaller ones.
Fishing in Aitutaki has been average, with a few small mahimahi and wahoo around the FADs. Wahoo have been a little slow too, although a local fisherman picked up a nice 41kg fish. Foxy Lady landed a good 51kg yellowfin.
Some local boats have been going across to Manuae Island, 60km east of Aitutaki, and have enjoyed some very good wahoo fishing.
On a personal note, I have just sold my charter boat Reel Time after 25 years charter fishing around Rarotonga. The new owner is Rex Collier, a very experienced fisherman from Nelson.
Cook Islands by Wayne Barclay
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