A Te Puke woman who recently broke a New Zealand record says she has become hooked on the thrill of game fishing.
Amy Horscroft was overwhelmed with emotion when she hauled up a record-breaking 135.6kg bluefin tuna measuring 1.89m, in Waihau Bay in July.
And now the catch is a pending New Zealand women’s 37kg line class record.
The 20-year-old didn’t expect to bring in such an impressive fish when she headed out onto the water that day.
She was at the 1200m mark of Cape Runaway near Waihau Bay.
“It’s the biggest fish I have caught and it was my first tuna as well. We didn’t know what to think when we first saw it.”
It had only been 10 minutes when the bluefin tuna took Amy’s lure, when the 30-minute fight began.
“It was a half an hour fight and we had it on the boat by 8am that morning. The fish wasn’t too stubborn, which was good.
“We weighed it soon as we got in on the boat because we knew it was a good one.
“It’s definitely a once in a lifetime catch.”
The bluefin tuna has since been cut up, vacuumed packed and given to friends and family.
“It’s a lot of fish to go through, but they say it’s the best you will ever eat.”
Amy has been fishing her entire life but says she has only become a game fishing fanatic over the past four years.
She has only caught two fish whilst game fishing over the years – the first was a 17kg short bill spearfish.
“You just want to go bigger and better each time. I want my next catch to be a marlin, they are an amazing species.
“Game fishing and normal fishing are so different. Game fishing isn’t always exciting - you can go out so many times when you’re game fishing and have no luck.”
Amy says persistence is the key to success when heading out to game fish.
“You have to be pretty persistent to try and get something, that’s for sure.
“Also it is just luck of the draw, and it depends on what kind of gear you have got.”
Amy, who first started fishing as a kid with her family, now owns a 6.5m boat with her fiancé.
They tend to head out on the water at Waihau Bay and in Whakatane.
“You travel miles towing lures to be able to game fish. You go out so far you can’t see land.”
If the pair are heading out for a day of game fishing they will leave before sunrise and return when it’s dark.
She and her partner are equally as interested in the sport.
“When the conditions are right we are both out there ready to go, we are just as keen as each other.
“‘It’s going to be a busy summer in between building a house, getting married in February as well as trying to get fishing in.”
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