Snapper a little more elusive
With a week to go before the Century Batteries Beach and Boat Contest kicks off next Friday, the snapper, on cue, have moved off the deeper pins and seem to have spread out over the sand.
For those with smaller vessel, the area across Bream Bay from the shoreline out to the 20 metre mark would be a good place to start looking. The Patches of foul off the golf course, Uretiti Beach and the Waipu rivermouth produced some of the better fishing over Waitangi weekend – numbers wise, but nothing of any note.
We fished the deeper pins Saturday and Sunday and landed fish (snapper) to just under seven kilos, but the big ones and the hot bites of previous weeks eluded us.
Once again we were plagued by small (65-85cm) ‘rat’ kingfish which seem to delight in smashing our jigs and soft-baits on the drop.
The only place I have heard that is producing consistently good fish is the coastline north of Ocean Beach. It is a bit of a haul, but I would put my money on a decent strayline session fishing big baits – bullet tuna, piper, flying fish and fresh jack mackerel.
Put some effort in prior to the contest and stock up on jack macs and net a few piper – fresh is best! Find a nice, prominent bit of headline that has current and perhaps white water and float big baits back into it. If you see someone fishing off the rocks, they will have a good berley trail going as well so be courteous, give them a bit of space and find somewhere else.
I have a love-hate relationship with contests. I enjoy the camaraderie and reaping any rewards that go with making a good effort, but don’t enjoy having other people ‘in my face’. Having established a good berley trail, only to have some ‘Johnny come lately’ do a couple of passes around the boat does my head in – and no doubt yours when it happens to you!
If targeting kingfish, I would head out wide. Coppermine Reef is holding plenty of fish at the moment, although these don’t appear to be of tournament winning size. The Mokohinaus would be my pick.
One lucky angler last week hooked and landed a marlin when livebaiting for kingfish at the Chicks, so be prepared! Similarly, a couple of years ago a black and a striped marlin were caught on consecutive days from the same boat by the same angler, Ian Biddick, while fishing Maori Rock, during the Beach and Boat event.
Grant Dixon NZ Fishing News