Super-warm ocean temperatures have brought big fish close our shores and the game-fishing season has started with a real bang, with records broken as early as January 3.

The last comparable season was 11 years ago, and one of the exciting benefits for anglers is the number of blue marlin showing up.

Skipper John Batterton was taking the vessel Hookin Bull from the Bay of Islands north to Houhora with his 10-year-old son, Brad, when he was ambushed by a pack of blue marlin, hooking up on a lure just off Stephensons Island. The game chair was not even set up on the boat so Brad battled the fish on 15kg tackle while standing and managed to bring the 226.8kg fish to the boat - an exceptional feat on such light line.

The catch has been lodged as a New Zealand junior record. They tagged and released a striped marlin the next day, and when owner Guy Jacobsen arrived to start fishing a couple of days later he hooked a blue marlin on a live skipjack tuna on his first day out.

With wife Eryn, Guy specialises in catching large game fish on ultra-light tackle, and this 215.3kg catch, which took two hours on 8kg tackle, is a pending world record - to add to the many world records the couple hold.

The blue water is up to 23C and with northerly and easterly winds has been pushed in close to shore, bringing the blues closer than usual.

A lot of striped and blue marlin have been tagged in Northland waters and good numbers are reported off the west coast north of the Kaipara Harbour, so they should move down towards Taranaki.

All indications point to a good game-fishing season on both sides of the North Island this year. Often the warm East Auckland current, which splits when it hits the top of the North Island, delivers more water to one coast or the other depending on wind and other factors. The game fish follow the warm currents, and it is usual for one coast to fish much better than the other.

The first marlin have also been recorded in Bay of Plenty waters from Whitianga to Whakatane, as have other warm-water species such as spearfish, mahi-mahi and manta rays. Yellowfin tuna are still scarce.

Around Auckland water temperatures range from 20.5C to 21.5C, and snapper fishing is typical holiday fishing - running hot or cold. Soft plastics are working equally with bait, and the channels are fishing best in the evenings. One lure working well is a small lizard imitation and some anglers cut off the head and feed the body on to the hook so it emerges further down the body, giving a better hook up rate. The wiggly arms and legs on the lure seem to attract snapper, even it doesn't represent any natural food.

But snapper are so close that some charter boats are not leaving the Waitemata Harbour, instead catching their quota while anchored just outside the breakwater at Westhaven.

The worm beds at 30m are fishing well in patches all the way from Rakino Island to Kawau Island.

Further out the fishing is patchy, with places such as Flat Rock, the Moko Hinau Islands and Little Barrier Island proving hard at times. But a freediver reportedly speared a 14kg snapper at the Mokes last week.

Leigh charter skipper Aaron Covavich said a lot of snapper were still spawning and the bulk of the fish were still in close.

"The best bite is on the outgoing tide on the med about half a mile south of Kawau, and if it's hard during the day there is always a bite at dawn and dusk. After they have spawned a lot of fish will move out and Little Barrier will pick up."

The Manukau Harbour is also warm, with water up to 23C, making for some sporadic fishing, particularly during the heat of the day.

But one fish which relishes the warmth is the flounder, and they are reported to be all over the harbour as they move in to bask on sun-warmed flats on the rising tide.

Both spearing at night or dragging a net will produce flounder, but nets should be no longer than 40m if dragging and 60m if set.

Colin Warrander has weighed the first striped marlin for the Counties-Manukau Sport Fishing Club, at 137kg, and that fishing should only get better.

More fishing action can be found on Outdoors with Geoff, 5pm today on TV3, and on the new internet television channel FishnHunt.Tv.