Midway through last season a group of us joined forces with the objective of tagging kingfish caught on fly, in particular the ones found in the skinny water here in New Zealand.
What started as a curiosity about these creatures habits and desire to protect them and their habitat has now gained the attention of Bluewater Marine Research, New Zealand Sportfishing Council and Legasea. Having the backing and support of these guys gives us a solid platform to work from and collate data as it comes to hand.
A recapture rate of around 7% gives us insight into the Kingfish movements and growth, already we have had 2 reports back. The most recent having travelled 190km in 160 days with a growth of 4cm over this time.
We encourage you to get out there and catch these fish but bear in mind they are a valuable resource for data collection. Please measure nose to fork of tail and release with care. Also record the tag number and send all info to the site provided on each tag – a close up pic of the tag is a good way of getting that info quickly for later transferal. And if you don’t have a tape just lay your rod beside it take a mark and measure later.
Some points on fish handling:
Use barbless hooks – it’s far easier to release them and less harm
Net the fish preferably or cradle in the shallows
Keep time out of water to minimum
Lay on a wet towel on boat decks, use an edge to cover eyes if needed
Keep fight times as quick as possible