Much to our joy the winter workups continue to hold strong in the Firth of Thames. Consistent gannet action has been found a couple of miles NE of Anita Bay over the last few days. Although some of the activity has attracted kahawai in plague proportions, the snapper bite has been good early in the morning for anglers working the bottom few meters of the water column. As a rule of thumb the further south and shallower the workup the greater the chance of a kahawai tango.
The hot lure colour for snapper at the moment is blue and pink – outperforming the usually reliable orange by 2:1! We have been finding it hard to get the Firth snapper to bite anywhere near slack tide so make sure to plan your trip accordingly. If you do happen to be soaking a line between the ebb and flood, sometimes it pays to downsize your lures - making it as easy as possible for those lazy slack-tide lock-jawed snapper. A welcome bonus with the smaller lures has been a fair few gurnard gracing our decks with their comical grunts too!
But it's not all about the Firth – the deeper areas of the Gulf around Anchorite Rock are holding good snapper, making a very convenient 'morning tea' break recently for one lucky skipper heading out to pick up Great Barrier water taxi clients with Hauraki Express! Long drifts are the play out here and all you need are a handful of gannets lurking around and/or some sign on the sounder to start your drift.
Of interesting note for the inshore contingent was the huge workup we stumbled across on our way back to the city on Tuesday in only 18m of water off Oneroa Beach. Even though we'd already had a great day, it was a case of 'it would be rude not to' and the boys managed to pluck some impressive snapper on 80gm Catch Kaburas amongst the kahawai to put the icing on the cake. A good lesson that you don't always need to travel miles and miles to have a good slow-jig session!
With good fishing right now and spring just around the corner why not book that trip with colleagues, friends or family?
Captain Nick Jones & Captain George Bourke