Seabirds - from the flybridge

Image: Grant Blair

Leading charter operator and angler Rick Pollock shares his thoughts on natures greatest fish finders.....


Rick Pollock, renowned sports fishing angler and charter operator has spent years getting to know the patterns and behaviours of seabirds.  He shared his thoughts with us for an article in the October 2015 NZ Fishing News

Pick up your copy of the magazine or read the article here.

This time of year thousands of our migrating seabirds, like black petrels and flesh-footed shearwaters, are making their annual long-haul flight back to NZ to breed.  When they arrive they are ravenous and will be hunting for food. 

One of the best actions you can take when out fishing is keeping your boat or fishing area (like the jetty) clean of all scraps of bait, fish, blood and guts. Put them in a bucket with a lid until you've finished fishing.  Seabirds use sight and smell to find food, so keeping your area clean means you are less likely to attract them.

Another good fishing practice to avoid catching seabirds is to sink your bait below their feeding depth quickly.  Except for a few diving experts like gannets, most seabirds feed within the top 10 metres of water - so getting your bait below 10 metres fast means it gets to the fish rather than the birds. 

Check out more tips in Ricks article here.

If you do catch a seabird - treat it with care.  Just like an undersized fish, the survival of the bird depends on the way you handle it. See our safe seabird release guidelines here.

Thanks Grant and the crew at NZ Fishing News for publishing this great article.




Check out Rick's article in the latest NZ Fishing News