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Library of published articles about Primetime, and information on marlin and swordfish fisheries.
Article: Nightime is primetime [Blue Water Magazine, Sept/Oct 2001].
Article: Gone fishin' lately? [NZ Marine Scene Magazine, Sept/Oct 2001].
Article: Primetime for broadbill [NZ Fishing News Magazine, Aug 2001].
Article: Boat Feature - Primetime  [NZ Marine Scene Magazine, Xmas 2000].
Information: The New Zealand Marlin Fishery.
Information: The New Zealand Broadbill Swordfish Fishery.

The NZ Marlin Fishery.


Big game fishing in New Zealand enjoyed it's legendary heyday in the 1920s after the visiting expeditions of Zane Grey on his 190 ft. schooner 'The Fisherman'.

Zane Grey and his contemporaries fished New Zealand for marlin, broadbill swordfish, shark and  kingfish,  and the North Island's mighty Tongariro river for huge trout the like of which will never be seen again. His exploits recorded by cine-camera were to be shown throughout the world. His subsequent writings on gamefishing in New Zealand, including his book "Tales of the Angler's Eldorado", laid the foundations of gamefishing in New Zealand.

In the modern era, the New Zealand marlin fishery, and in particular the striped marlin fishery, flourishes due to the moratorium on commercial fishing for marlin in New Zealand waters. In effect since October 1987, no marlin can be commercially harvested inside the New Zealand 200 mile exclusive economic zone, one of the biggest exclusive economic zones on the face of the globe. Commercially caught marlin cannot be landed in a New Zealand port, even if taken outside the EEZ.

Marlin in New Zealand are therefore the preserve of the recreational angler.

The warm ocean currents bring marlin close in along the New Zealand coast during the summer months, the season running from December to May. The far-north and Three Kings areas hold fish through to the end of June.

Striped marlin are the most numerous species encountered and occur from 90 Kg (198 lb.) to 200 Kg (440 lb.). The New Zealand and world record stands at  224 Kg (493 lb.) in 1986.

Blue marlin, while less numerous than striped marlin, are well represented and have shown increasing numbers in subsequent seasons. Typically sizes range from 150 Kg (330 lb.) to 300 Kg (660 lb.). The New Zealand record stands at 461 Kg (1014 lb.) on 60 kg line weight, and 457 Kg (1005 lb) on 37 Kg line weight. Large blue marlin (granders) are often sited, particularly in offshore waters, but are not often boated. Recently captured was a 420 Kg (924 lb.) fish off Te Kaha from a 6 meter boat. The trend over recent years is a significant increase in large blue marlin hooked but unable to be landed.

Black marlin are the least often encountered marlin species in New Zealand and remain an enigma. Rarer than striped and blue marlin, nonetheless a few monsters are caught every year. Most recently are  last seasons 406 Kg (867 lb.) and  303 Kg (667 lb) from a 5 meter trailer boat, both at Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands. The New Zealand record stands at 444 Kg (977 lb.) on 60 Kg line weight, and 430 Kg (946 lb) on 37 Kg line weight.


Conifer Lane, R.D.1, Kerikeri, New Zealand
Phone/Fax ++64 9 407 1299, Mobile ++64 27 487 0344
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