Winter fishing from the shallows and Wharfs

Winter Rock Fishing

Just back from the local fishing tackle shop, stocked up on Sabikis for mackerel and wharf fishing, re-tipping a broken rod, re-spooling reels for the next time, new chilly bin etc at least it’s almost fishing, good when it’s gusting 45kts outside, and the boat is gassed up and ready to rock!!!

A classic winter this one. Yes every year the cold bite of the early morning air, the extended darkness and general hibernation of most species, fish, human and many others almost comes as a shock. We are certainly in the middle of the winter fishing season with 20-40kt winds and squally showers forecast for a week.

Extra early starts are proven more successful right now, so that you are on the water ready and waiting just before the sun comes up not an hr afterwards, as the shallow water fish will have had their early morning hunt, and you missed it by sleeping in for just 5 more minutes a few times. Strong cold winds will continue however this coincides with the better snapper fishing going on inshore in just 1m-15m. How about mixing it up and head to different areas (for you) on a mini-discovery adventure, wherever the land provides calmer water havens, ideal for land-based or smaller boats, kayaks, ski’s etc to simply glide quietly along (or anchor and burley) picking up good fish looking for an opportunist feed on the change of light. The more stealth, generally the bigger snapper didn’t get big just by luck alone. Picture a little darting micro jig or soft bait just out from some foul ground habitat, try both as you never know which will trigger the strike of a solid snapper on such a crisp clear morning as the sun rises to warm the face.
After an uber-early start you could be home for morning smoko, with fish in the bin. Or similarly an early knock-off from work, an evening fishing session in the shallows tucked out of the wind can be very enjoyable, and productive.

Spark up, make a fishin mission plan with your best fishing mate(s), then go out and have a great time hunting down your fish.

It’s the perfect time of year to visit either old winter haunts or try new areas, around the edges of most islands with their rocky shorelines will hold snapper, slowly swimming in these habitats, somewhat hibernating but they can be tempted into striking a well presented, small snack.

Sizeable gurnard and solid kahawai are on the menu and being caught in good numbers out the western harbours, both Manukau and Kaipara.

Baracouta have started to come in for their winter spawning duties, ready to instantly diminish our terminal tackle to a shredded tell-tale. Eliminating tag lines on the mono to braid knot, not using swivels or at least not shiny ones can help to reduce the sudden limp line. They are a schooling fish, you may just have to move.

Wharf fishing hey why not take the young and future anglers for a wharf fish which can be done in almost any weather, make an adventure of it, take some saikis, a bit of burley and enjoy a few hours away from the online world.

Winter it’s what you make of it.


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