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HQ Fishing Report with Captain Swish | November 2023

HQ Fishing Report with Captain Swish | November 2023 | Haines Hunter HQ

There has been some very mixed weather in the last two weeks indicating that the equinox is not yet over so you can expect more of the same for a while yet.

I am constantly asked, “When is the best time to go fishing”? the answer is simple “whenever “the weather and work will allow. By that, I mean even if it's only for a couple of hours on the worst moon phase of the year. It is by time spent on water that you learn, by doing this over time you build up a database of where to head depending on the time of year wind direction etc etc.

Sixty years ago growing up at an age and stage of five day a week trading as a family we only had a 12-foot open ply dinghy powered by a 1 ½ hp seagull outboard, every time the weather allowed we would push off St Heliers beach to fish on the sand or local reef. No GPS sounders or even a chart bait was what we caught in a net, it's with the bare basics of life that we learnt.

Over the last sixty years I have built up a huge knowledge of the Hauraki Gulf, now with the pressure of daily life seven days a week trading few people have the time to get out on the water as much as I do to learn for themselves hence I spent four years putting together Hauraki Gulf Fishing Hot Spots.

With 150 spots from the harbour bridge down to the bottom end of Waiheke including the Noises and surrounding islands each with a photo of the area GPS coordinates as well as a screenshot of the bottom and chart. Each spot I explain what wind /tide direction is needed and how to fish it. This book is probably going to be sold out by Christmas so if it's the knowledge you seek to know where and when to fish see the team at Haines HQ for your copy.

In the last few weeks, the weather has been a bit dodgy at times but I have managed to seek out a checky fish to gather intel purely in the interest of my fellow man.

In the outer gulf, you will find more workups on the Coromandel side and up into the Firth of Thames, if the birds aren’t working just sit on the water move up current, zig-zag your coarse and look for blue dots or red clumps hard on the bottom.

A lot of snapper have been busy spawning often then being lethargic and just gazing as they feel like it, within the month this will change as they then get aggressive feeding up large to regain condition and body fat.
With the sewage issue over the last month I have not fished inside of Rangitoto lighthouse but further out and around the back of Rangitoto and Motutapu it should be fine to fish by now.

If it’s a bit windy as we found to fish open water try targeting shallow water around the rocks and kelp beds on the shoreline of Rakino and the Noises, all it takes is a bit of ground bait and burly to get them on the bite. The bottom end of Waiheke (area 6 spot 12) has been firing not only with snapper but several decent size king fish are also lurking about closer in on the rocks.

Fishing out of Omaha I have seen a few Haines Hunters lurking around close by, never feel you can’t come alongside for a chat as I am happy to put you on the spot and give you the latest intel on what’s going on. Running the full length of the bay saying in around 12-14 meters there is a massive amount of sign. Often huge schools are about to spawn but once this is over they will then disperse out into deeper water. Further out towards Little Barrier, the pilchard schools are getting hammered by the birds and the snapper are coming well up off the bottom to feed on the scraps.

What I am finding when fishing on a sandy bottom is that smaller half-cut baits of pilchard jack mackerel of kahawai get a way higher hookup rate than using bigger baits reason being they are not competing for food, simply feeding on shellfish crunching it up then leaving the hard shell. Smaller baits tend to get crunched but as they then move and you strike the hook is in their mouths.