It's going off out there people! Large schools of anchovies and juvenile pilchards are moving in and resulting in huge bust-ups all over the place. While these can occur anywhere, the more consistent areas tend to be reasonably close in from Narrow Neck all the way along Eastern Bays, as well as moving in and out with the tides on the Rangitoto Island side of the channel, north to Boulder Bay and beyond. Unfortunately though, just because the birds are there (mostly fluttering shearwaters accompanied by terns) and feeding, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll catch something. Sometimes just mackerel are hounding the small fish, at other times screeds of hefty, hard-fighting kahawai, perhaps accompanied by varying amounts of kingfish up to 20 kilos are there - and of course, the snapper may be present, too. The latter tend to only be up to 3 kilos, but there are a few bigger models mixed in too - especially when the work-ups occur close to reefy, weedy areas.
While the often fast-moving action suits soft-plastic fishers best, small fluttery jigs will also do the damage. We found 3-4" baitfish imitation soft-plastic patterns worked best, as well as 5" tails with some yellow in them. Casting and/or dragging soft-baits both proved effective, but due to the number of small fish around 30-40cm, the lead-head hook size should be kept to 3/0 maximum.
NZ Fishing News editor