RECORD: 10.10kg, D. Mullins, Hen & Chicks Islands
One of the most prized spearing fish, the giant boarfish is virtually unknown to line fisherman. Boaries resemble john dories in colour, flesh texture and quality. Like JDs they are very compressed and have long pectoral spines. Their long snout is their most distinguishing feature and gives them their name. They grow up to 80cm but are most commonly taken around 50cm. The 2005-2006 summer has seen a huge increase in fish numbers probably because of a ban on commercial fishing.
Bag limit: Part of 20 finfish limit
FEEDING HABITS & HABITAT:
The biggest boary populations are from Whangarei to the Bay of Plenty but may be found as far south as the Hawkes Bay. Boarfish live entirely on worms which they dig out from the sand the same way a pig uses its snout grubs up roots. They are found on plain, sandy areas or near weedlines usually below 10m.
Boarfish are usually not a flighty species and can be approached relatively easily. The hardest part is being able to dive deep enough to find them. When targeting boarfish, the best areas are broken weed edges rather than very clear weedlines and you should put in some time when you find these sections. Also look for round holes in the sand where they have been feeding. Diving down onto them is relatively easy if you stay above them in their blindspot and you should drop down on the sand side of them as when spooked they will often only bolt as far as the nearest piece of weed. Divers with good breath-holds can often coax them in off the sand by scratching around and throwing sand over their shoulders. You should avoid approaching them at their eye level. If possible you can get down into the stalks and sneak-up from below them or you should dive straight up and try to swim over them to sink back down from above.