I am pleased to report that all is looking good with snapper turning up out on the worm beds closer in around the 12-14 meter mark on the northern side of Rangitoto.
What is strange is that there have been few fish in the Rangitoto or Motuihe channels but at times there have been good schools of snapper out on the open sand on the inside of Rangitoto. These schools are generally outside of the line you would be taking if heading through to the Noises, best line to take is from North Head to Emu Rock.
It is well worth having a play with soft baits and I would suggest that the darker 3 inch jerk shads is the way to go.
A lot more snapper have moved into the 25 -30 meter mark to the north of the Noises as well as close in around rocks such as Zeno. What I have found happening lately is once hooked up on a reasonable fish they run back towards the boat, same thing happened around five years ago.
I've seen a lot of large breeding fish being taken lately - this time of the year is just prior to them getting the chance to spawn, surely with cell phone cameras you can take a photo even if it is your personal best rather than kill it. What most people don't seem to realise is that a vast number of the smaller fish that are caught in depths of over 20 meters and released die within a few days despite the fact they appear to swim off strongly. The larger fish are not only more prolific spawners are stronger and more likely to survive being released, however the deeper the water, the more likely the fish is to have suffered from barotrauma and the less likely it is to survive.
Now is the perfect time of the year to fine tune and try out new methods on species not normally targeted such as john dory, sure, take a couple or three snapper for a feed then make it a mission to catch live baits and focus on something else other than snapper. John dory are on top of my list of eating fish but mostly caught as a by catch by anglers. Not being the brightest of the fish species they are easily targeted with a live bait on the foul and soft baits on the sand.
It's a good time to target new areas and go to new places that you have never tried before in order to gain a greater knowledge of the area such as current directions etc. Nice to get back home with a couple or three snapper and a few john dory maybe a few scallop but best of all, more knowledge about your surroundings to call on at some time in the future is what life's all about.