Despite the weather going from bad to worse to bloody awful for the last few weeks there have been a few days when one could sneak out early even it was only for a few hours for a cheeky wee fish.
From the good news department the snapper are in spawn mode and making their way into the inner gulf. Out on the worm beds the snapper have now moved to both the south and east of Tiri, it's just a matter of heading out looking for the birds for the sign of a work up. These work ups are pretty small and don’t last long so idle across the tide at between 5-7 knots keeps a close eye on the bottom, where you see bait fish mid water often there are small schools of snapper close by but mainly the snapper are spread out grazing on crabs and worms. Soft baits and jigs are working but when there is little current you will find anchoring and stray lining to be far more productive. At anchor drop a heavily weighted Sabiki rig directly off the stern of the boat so not to get in the way of the other lines. Once on the bottom wind it back up at least a metre or even leave set in mid water so there is less chance of catching baby snapper. The advantage of big slabs of fresh bait is that there are a lot of 25-30 cm snapper that will destroy normal bait where as being larger and tough it gives the bigger fish a greater chance of getting it. It never hurts to put a live bait just off the bottom as there are now a few more decent size King Fish and John Dory lurking about.
Out at the Noises more snapper almost daily are making their way into the inner gulf down the channel between the Noises and the Rakino channel, here I find as they are on the move jigs and soft bait is the way to go. In area 5 spots 14 and 15 not only are there snapper but also have some good size King Fish lurking close in on the rocks. Spot 6 Zeno Rock just slightly to the south note the shape of the contour line, it shelves off quite quickly here and the snapper can be more on the actual drop off feeding in the current than further out on the sand.
Feel like a family day out? Shoot on down the outside of Waiheke to Garden Cove, drop the family on the beach then head back out to the foul just in front of the bay as this spot hold good Snapper and King Fish year-round. If you are any good you will have caught a few fish and had a wee cold one by the time the team have your lunch ready. Spot 21 out on the sand at Onetangi Bay is a good spot for a late afternoon/early dusk fish with a lot of 32-36 cm fish but also some in the 42-45 range.
Closer to town in area 3 spot 14 is producing Snapper as well as John Dory. If the wind is up from the east sneak down to spots 12 and 13. To most these spots don’t look very exciting but let me assure you the are plenty of fish either on the edge of the kelp or on the drop off between 8-13 meters.
Area 2 on Spot 3 – you may have to move about depending on the strength of the tide but this is a large area of foul which is holding plenty of fish as well as the odd King Fish at the moment. Get the wind and tide right its hard to go wrong at Spot 14 and again have a live bait or a popper on stand by for a King Fish.
For a quick fish for those short on time you only need to shoot across to Rangitoto with a bit of burly and ground bait and anchor up at either Spot 9 or 10. The best fishing at the moment is on the incoming tide especially at dawn or dusk.
Now for all you Haines Hunter fishermen I see at the ramp up at Omaha…come say 'Hi'. The fishing in 12-14 metres out from the Surf Club where you see there is a squiggle on the contour line has really been firing. Snapper up to 4-6 kg, big Trevally but sadly the Gurnard have moved out to 20 plus metres. The rocks on the southern end of the beach are fishing well particularly close in where the big hose is set back on the hill. Anchor out and cast towards the shore. Don’t use sinkers as it is shallow and be prepared to lose a few hooks as it is very foul bottom. Funnily enough I always cover my bases by tossing a line way out toward the main beach so the current takes it across the sand towards the rocks and every time this is the bait that gets the biggest fish.
Well that’s it for me this year, may you all and the team at Haines Hunter HQ have a safe happy xmas out on the water.