After a brief lull in action last week, the fishing has quickly kicked back into gear. Great gannet workups have been encountered right across the Firth of Thames, with some even happening between the ropes inside the Coromandel mussel farms. Not surprisingly these have been well documented on various social media posts!
Although we did some recent reconnaissance east of Kawau and there are certainly snapper to be found throughout the Gulf, the best mammal and bird activity is in the Firth of Thames - generally south of the line between Gannet Rock and the Happy Jacks creating plenty of slow-jig options for small boats. If you can't find a workup don't fret – just stop over some snapper sign on the sounder and commence a long drift with kaburas, micro-jigs, inchikus, or softbaits. This should see the bin full up quickly with pannie snapper and a sprinkling of gurnard. However, if you are targeting the bigger snapper it pays to find some sustained workup action.
Of interest to the kingfish aficionados are good fish showing up around the Tiritiri and Kawau reefs, so put in the effort to grab a few livebaits if you're in the market for an arm wrestle. Look for a few terns or gannets sitting over sandy areas 10-20m deep between the inner islands to find the livies.
With good tidal flow and the warmth of spring starting to show, the next week should offer some great fishing - the trick will be finding a weather window to get out there with persistent westerlies forecast! We are very much looking forward to our Hauraki Gulf snapper fishery getting a full head of steam up this spring.
Captain Nick Jones & Captain George Bourke