I thought that it might be exciting for our readers to provide an angler’s perspective on the fishing and tag deployment experience off Greymouth, New Zealand. I received the following email from angler, Tom Thomson, who is featured within my birthday bluefin blog in this series, regarding our trip on August 27 - 28, 2008. - George Shillinger
After two intensive weeks of fishing, the 2008 bluefin tuna satellite tagging program had made good strides towards the goal of deploying 25 pop-up satellite tags. Although New Zealand’s winter weather hasn’t been great this season, we’ve managed to tag 21 bluefin by the end of August.
George Shillinger reports on a birthday outing with the Cerveza 2:
Following four back-to back runs on three different vessels, I was craving some rest but anxious to finish the tagging work with our team in Greymouth. I had already extended my trip and could not afford to stay any longer.
Pete Saul reports on his back to back trip on Cova Rose. It was a quick turn-around with only a few hours ashore. The charter was three enthusiastic south Australians who wanted to land a fish only if it was a potential world record.
Although it was difficult to leave my colleagues and the crew behind on the Cova Rose, it was exciting to board the Cerveza 2 again and to rejoin Captain Larry Johnston, his crew, and the Greymouth Guzzlers (4Gs).
Hopes were high for a successful conclusion of the pop-up satellite tagging in the second week. To maximize our tag deployment efforts, George Shillinger (see his blogs #3 and 5) transferred to the Cerveza 2, leaving Pete, Tim, and John to continue with working with the Cova Rose. As both teams prepared to depart, the weather had cleared again allowing the boats to leave the port of Greymouth on schedule.
The 2008 New Zealand Pacific bluefin satellite tagging effort is underway. I reunited with Pete Saul and colleagues, John Holdsworth (Bluewater Marine Research) and Tim Sippel (Auckland University) in Greymouth on August 16, 2008 for another shot at tagging the giant tuna off the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
Jane Stevens in Monterey Bay. This just in, from a quick phone call from George Shillinger, who's on his way back from New Zealand. In the last posting he sent, he was getting ready to jump on a small sport fishing boat and head out 70 nautical miles from Greymouth to shadow the hoki trawlers for bluefin. The short story is that he tagged a dozen giant bluefin tuna, including a thousand-pound fish, the largest that the skipper, a veteran of 20 years' fishing in those waters, had ever seen.
George Shillinger, from New Zealand. Great news --- We are heading out tonight!
George Shillinger, from New Zealand. Well, it's sunny today -- a miracle in very grey Greymouth!