It’s big fish time!
Yes the time is now to target those bigger fish – especially Kingfish. No matter what your preference in style of fishing is, catching a Kingi is always a thrill and a half and right now is the time to target them, there are plenty around. It’s your choice whether to use top water lures, jigs, or livebait, or a combination as they can be picky at times as to their preference, so it pays to have options at hand if possible. Landbased or boat based (any size of boat will do), you just need to be in the zone – submerged rocks and reefs or headlands, right in close especially when there are bait schools like mackerel around.
Snapper fishing has been a yeah-nah affair lately, one day it’s all on under a workup out in 46m, the next it’s a ghost town, perhaps because of the higher water temperatures and breeding.
A number of marlin have arrived, and they get closer to our shorelines every day. The skipjack tuna are noticeable by their absence in the Hauraki Gulf just at the moment, hopefully that changes very soon – these are great fun on light gear in themselves, and a favourite food of marlin.
Thanks for all the great feedback and pictures of your fishing adventures, keep them coming!
WTF Where’s The Fish September 6, 2016
How close? Shoreline close, in less than a metre!
Yes some beautiful eye candy sure is happening around the inner Hauraki gulf areas right now, typically winter workup style. Masses of hungry gannets are plummeting into near zero depth of water right at the shoreline and along rocky edges, some are very fast moving, this is action-stations style of fishing with nature on the upswing into Spring with fast and furious feeding. Wonderful scenes of gannets simply piling in, it’s all on then gone in a blink, or they’re hovering and smashing the water surface into foam for hours on end as the baitfish do their best to avoid the gannets from above and predatory fish from below by swimming into ever shallower water, it’s absolute mayhem in amongst them.
Those stunning small to midsize kahawai can be prolific along with their much bigger brothers, there have also been a few kingfish caught in amongst the furore. A few snapper can be found in the areas of these workups, but kahawai are the mostly the name of the game. Smoked, fresh sashimi style or however you prefer, winter kahawai are such a great fish. You can catch them readily even when the wind is howling overhead, so many inshore workups at present have been quite sheltered from the strong sou-west winds we’re experiencing, along the eastern shoreline of Kawau, south of Whangaparaoa peninsula, along the North Shore, and close in to the Noises, in the lee of the land. Great visual fishing, and a real a thrill to see.
The barrage of winter weather continues, keeping most of us either wistfully looking at the boat/kayak/ski/rods while swiping cobwebs off in disgust. Not to mention checking the weather forecast for the umpteenth time, to no avail.
However fish don’t seem to mind the wind and rain! Our fishing eyes-in-the-sky, the gannets, are doing the hard yards lately battling headlong into 30kt winds with gusts over 40kts, in search of the workups. For those people close to shorelines around the Hauraki Gulf there has been some amazing spectacles to see recently, best through a set of binoculars.
Some of the best workups have been coming south of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, dolphins have been herding up baitfish with gannets, terns and shearwaters all joining in for an aerial display to warm any anglers heart. Mackerel, however, aren’t so enthralled and the chase has been all on! These are fast moving work-ups, usually only lasting an hour or two. The bigger fish haven’t been to obliged to get in on it, but there are the odd kingfish and kahawai in the mix.
The urge is strong in many anglers to head out wide in search of prime winter fish like Hapuka (such a great fish) one that instantly increases your number of mates when caught! Only the wind strength is keeping these fishing missions in check, but it can’t be too long until there’s a reliable forecast of a weather window that’s open long enough.
If you’re a land-based fisho or enjoy using a nice small boat or kayak you’re in luck. Hug the shorelines in the lee of the wind on flat seas, throw down small soft baits, micro jigs and use stealth as the sun rises or falls, alternatively burley big time to get those wintry hibernating fish in a frenzy at your feet. Around the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and North Shore Bays has been the best for Snapper and Kahawai lately.
So while the forecast is for yet more wind and rain, now’s a great time to prepare for those next fishin’ missions, boat in for servicing, tackle repaired with some new additions, trailer WOF, out of date flares renewed.
Be primed and ready.
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.