SPECIES ID AND FISHING RULES
Learn more about how to identify kahawai, where to find them, and their feeding preferences here: SPECIES ID - KAHAWAI
Limit your catch, don't catch your limit. Please check the latest rules and catch limits in your area on the MPI website: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/fishing-aquaculture/recreational-fishing/fishing-rules/
Although they do tend to be everywhere, open water to reef structures are the better places to hunt kahawai. Whilst they are not often speared as a target fish, they are generally a good sign of bigger fish, like kingfish or trevally, to come. If you see schooling kahawai, it is important to watch and wait as the school passes.
When shooting fast-moving fish, the trick is to “lead” them rather than “track” them. Fire ahead of where you think a fish is going rather than trying to swing your gun after it.
They have very soft flesh and will tear off very easily so once shot it is a good practice to get them in quickly. Beware of your line as they move fast and could cause your line to tangle. Kahawai respond really well to burley and flashers and if you can keep a school around it’s likely to bring in other, bigger fish. If you want to keep a school of kahawai from swimming away, slap the surface with your hand as this will keep them interested. They appear to be sensitive to the noises a diver makes because they will come from hundreds of metres away to investigate.
The diagram below shows how kahawai drive their prey to the surface in a continuous motion. When the fish at the rear discover that there is no food left for them, they dive underneath, to surface before the ones in front. In doing so, they also drive the shrimps to the surface in a rolling, continuous motion.