Why tag fish

Why do I tag fish.

My earliest memories are fishing from the Greenhite wharf catching spotties with my younger brother moaning that he wanted to go home, from there I graduated to riding my bike to the local marina to catch fish from the jetties.
It wasnt until I joined the Powerboard and went surfcasting that my addiction really kicked in, joining the North Shore Surfcasting Club and fishing with local legends like Stu Hunt and others. Hours were spent chasing those elusive snapper with the ultimate goal being the 20lb snapper landbased. Over the years and hundred of hoursĀ  of rock fishing I managed quite a few 20lbers along with several 30lb monsters, the picture to the right shows (rhs) 25lb snapper caught at Fletchers Bay, Coromandel, (centre) 30lb snapper caught at Oakura, Northland and the (lhs) another 30lb snapper caught during the Oakura fishing comp a few years after the first 30lber, this comp had a $50k prize for a snapper caught over 30lb.
When caught this was a $50k fish but the 2 hour walk back to the car and hour drive back to the weigh station dried it out by several hundred grams resulting in first prize but just shy of the 30lb mark for the $50k, this was the last year they ran that special prize, I guess me coming so close made them more that a little nervous.
Im still claiming it as a 30lber as our scales on the rocks at the time clearly showed this.

From being a true blue landabsed fisherman I progressed to boat fishing and started out all finger and thumbs, the ultimate goal set was to land a Marlin solo, and to also involve our young family in fishing adventures, there are lots of videos on our YouTube channel showcasing all aspects of fishing from teaching the young fella to handle boats, call coastguard, flare demonstrations to name a few.
However, as stated, the goal was to land a Marlin Solo, by this time I had managed to land one previously with crew and made the decision that I would’nt take any more, and if possible that I would release any further captures with a tag.
This video is of a Marlin being landed solo (well wait to the end), be warned, it contains course language, if you have sensitive ears or kids around then suggest you watch something else on our channel.

Without sounding big headed fishing our local harbour (Kaipara) is like fishing in an aquarium once youve fished it for as many years as I have and had become something like – launch boat, catch a feed, retreive boat and be back home within an hour or two.
Fishing was begining to loose it’s mojo..

About this time two things happened, I started saltwater flyfishing and Tindale Marine Research started by Sue and Scott Tindale started a community based fish tagging programme, to say I was hooked is an understatment, you can find out more about the tagging programme by visiting their webpage Tindale Marine Research

Why do I tag fish?

  • I feel as though I’m giving back to a recreation that has given and taught me so much
  • I want to find out more about our fisheries
  • Now, Im not just going out to catch a fed but also to tag and release fish
  • I’m more selective about the fish I keep
  • As a person that loves numbers I like the data that I can find from the fish that I tag
  • I want to support sustainability and not seek and destroy with our fish stocks


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