Wow - get out there!
Good news for everyone who enjoys fishing north of Gulf Harbour: we have been finding snapper sign carpeting the area north of Whangaparaoa Peninsula towards Kawau island for many kilometres. Scattered gannet activity is happening over the many baitfish aggregations, along with the occasional, more intense work-up, which quickly attracts plenty of attention from the numerous boats currently taking advantage of the bonanza. We have also been hooking plenty of mid-size kahawai along with the odd kingfish and john dory.
Our first stop near Saddle Island found the snapper balling up for many metres off the bottom, and probably suggests they are currently spawning. We fished soft-plastics in 20-25 metres, and the action was steady rather than spectacular, with fish hooked every 5-10 minutes or so. However, some were real beauties. I snapped off one in the midst of a big run, and fought another I suspect was over 9kg for several minutes before it simply fell off. Still got a couple around 13-14lb (6.5-7kg), which we released - they're full of grunt at the moment!
With the fish sometimes feeding well off the bottom right now, especially just before or after change of tide, it can really pay to keep in contact your lure throughout its descent; those who don't, won't even be aware of all the (often big) fish they're missing. In a similar vein, we also enjoyed some success using the smaller stick-baits, although nothing of photo-worthy note this time!
Editor of NZ Fishing News