With a lot of dodgy fronts ripping across the Tasman and up from the south even planning a trip out for a fish is a bit of a major but there is an upside in that there is generally a calm spot even if it may only be for a few hours, mostly this will happen on the turn of the tide just as the wind is about to go round. In planning a fish I simply monitor the isobar maps watching the speed and direction things are going so and being ready to fly out the door when I see it falling into place, don’t say I am lucky, we all have 24 hours in our day and it is up to you to what you do with them.
All be it with the weather changing so quickly I tend not to go as far and do things I would want to do at least I get out into the fresh air get a fishing fix and believe me the world is a way better place for that as I get as grumpy as a bear with a sore head if I don’t get out on the water. The inner gulf has any amount of islands and land masses that enable you to get out of the wind and slop if the wind is opposing the tide and generally these are my target spots when out for a quick few hours fish as I know there will always be a few fish hiding in the kelp.
Most of the people of have been speaking with in the last week or so have been high tailing it up as far as Kawau and even Little Barrier to find the work ups and on average I guess thirty percent are coming back with a feed so to me I would rather invest my time fishing in the calm and saving a heap of diesel. If the wind is in the south west and there is an outgoing tide you will find that the northern side of Rangitoto will be quite shelter and the pleasing thing is this winter there have been a lot more sign showing up in the 8-12 meter area (look at your chart for the dumping ground) as well as close in on the shoreline. further to the east there is a large reef structure that runs out from Gardner’s Gap (northern side -western end) of Motutapu, don’t even think about going between the islands at the end and the shore as at low tide most of it is exposed. This is a vast area to target as you can find fish all along the reef from three meters to seventeen meters. The bottom end of Waiheke has been fishing well as it allows you to cover your bases from fishing in 30 meters to 3 meters without having to go a long way.
What is critical to get the fish on the bite especially when you may have only a few hours to do it and that is heaps of burley and ground bait. Knowing that there is a better than even chance I will be able to sneak out for a quick cheek fish I take out of the freezer a burly bomb and wrap it tightly in a section of newspaper the night before, by the time I get out on the water the outer inch is defrosted so the moment it hits the water its producing a strong burly trail, worst case scenario is the weather turns to custard and you don’t go out just chuck it back in the freezer.
I have said this a lot but take a range of baits and set a pattern of baits at deferent angles and distances from the boat and keep a close eye on the rod tips for any sign of movement, still my bait of choice is Top Catch bonito belly flaps and to get the best results lay them flesh side up run the knife down the middle but not right through the skin as this allows you to fold it back on itself exposing the oily flesh. A lot of fish will just pick up and suck on a bait so don’t think tiny taps are all small fish it is only when the burly has dragged a number of fish in will they get competitive and compete for the bait.