The weather has been the dominant factor regarding any fishing out of Bream Bay.
The snapper aggregations have now well and truly moved off the pins and spread over the sand.
Their dispersal from around the Chicks has been ‘aided’ by the local commercial gillnetter who has had his nets strung over the War Zone and any other patch of foul he can find.
This boat is legally quite entitled to be there, but the problem is you have no idea which way the nets have been set so it is not difficult to hook them up when drift fishing, resulting in lost gear. Having spent some time on a gillnet boat, I am firmly convinced they should not be allowed to set over reef where they clean up anything of size living there. It is the most destructive form of fishing and nets should not be allowed over our reefs – and that goes for recreational nets as well.
Don’t be tempted to interfere with their gear – cutting off the buoys at either end of their set will only produce ‘ghost’ nets which will go on fishing for if the gear remains intact. At least the gill netter will move on – eventually, but an abandoned net will continue to fish indefinitely.
Last week we did better on the snapper in close (20 metres or less) as well as working the foul ground around the hen and chicken shoreline with soft-baits. We recently had the Shimano NZ team on board putting some upgraded spin reels through their paces. On what was a tough day, Coppermine Reef was our saving grace, along with its kingfish population. A 90-100cm kingie gives a soft-bait or slow jig outfit a good run for its money.
We had some success around the reef drop-offs fishing the Shimano Sliding Kabura lures, which gave the IceyTek some respectability with a few snapper and a nice john dory. Check out the April edition of NZ Fishing News for the results.
I have been fishing smaller tails these last couple of weeks with better results. The old favourite – Nuclear Chicken – is making a resurgence in my ‘favourite tails’ stakes.
While I haven’t fished them myself, the areas of foul and papa reef found most of the way along Bream Bay close to the shoreline are holding a few good snapper. A couple of nice kingfish in the 25kg range have been caught by boats targeting john dory with livebaits.
Normally around April these bigger fish populate the reef areas and provide some great sport for those ready to take them on! The Marsden Cove Fishing club will be hosting its ‘Chicks at the Chicks’ competition, starting with briefing on Thursday night, April 6 followed by two days of fishing. This is proving a popular event and one that is keenly contested by the ladies.
Managing Editor of NZ Fishing News