Welcome to Waihau Bay - NZ's Tuna Capital
Tucked away on the far East Cape of New Zealand is the tiny little town of Waihau Bay. The town may be tiny, but the fish are anything but. Each year around June and July Southern Blue fin tuna make their way north and countless numbers of keen fisho's head out to get a part of the action.
So what makes Waihau Bay so special when it comes to tuna? Launching from Waihau Bay - you can be in over 1000m of water in about 20 minutes. This depth of water is ideal for tuna fishing. The deep stretch of water just off the east cape of New Zealand acts like a funnel for tuna on their migration. The Waihau Bay Sports Fishing club is the major club in the area and they see a massive influx of anglers during the tuna run. Given how close such deep water is, anglers think nothing of the 7 hour drive from Auckland to get amongst it. The cost savings missed out on during the drive down are quickly offset by the cost savings when trolling for tuna - if you have a Honda outboard on your boat that is.
And why are so many people keen to hook one? Well, they sure do taste great - but they are such a rare sportfish in our waters that most people are in it for the fight. More and more people tagging and releasing these days and it's a great help for research about the species too.