Manukau Harbour & West Coast report 230817

Manukau Harbour & West Coast report 230817

23 August 2017

There are only two things getting in the way of some great snapper action out west and that is the weather and the sharks. We can’t do anything about the weather apart from watching our favourite forecasting sites and be prepared to go as soon as the conditions allow. Where I live I can hear the surf when it’s going hard and that’s what I heard on Monday. By Wednesday the coast had calmed down enough for a few boats to sneak out. They did ok too and surprisingly for this time of year they found snapper in relatively close at 30m. I still prefer to head out deeper to avoid sharks but there’s no denying that 30 to 40m is holding some great fish. Just go prepared in case you start losing gear to the toothy critters. You can expect the odd big barracouta out there too.

The harbour should continue to produce gurnard and kahawai with trevally traditionally starting to turn it on for spring. September 1 is also the start of the scallop season. Please play by the rules, get onto the right spot and they are easy to get so there’s no need to be greedy. Most people use dredges on the harbour as diving can be risky with poor visibility.

Here are a few tips for using a dredge:

  • The cheap ones work fine. Use about 5m of 6 to 8mm chain and 20m of rope for 5m of water
  • Tow from a bridle or it will make it difficult to hold a straight line
  • Lower the dredge slowly & feed out the ropeOnce the dredge hits the bottom you will feel it bouncing along, if it just has a straight heavy pull stop the boat straight away, you will be in the mud. You don’t want that 
  • Only do short drags, give it 3 or 4 mins initially lengthen that if you’re confident. I wouldn’t drag for as long as 10 minutes but some do.

Here’s a link to some hints I posted on the fishing.net forums:

http://www.fishing.net.nz/forum/best-rope- for-towing- scallop-dredge_topic125021_page1.html

One thing I won’t tell you is where to find them, I’d be hunted down if I gave up that stuff!

Whitebait season also started on August 15, so far only modest catches have been reported but they could swim into your net anytime soon.

Take care, Smudge

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