Fishing Reports

Charter Connection Report - July


Those travel deals offering white sandy beaches and palm trees are starting to look really good! The constant onslaught from low pressure systems in the Tasman sea and the odd one that has tried to sneak out of the sub-tropics, has meant reduced fishing days and less time on the water. This is not a good thing and my land sickness only grows worse when stuck ashore.

However amongst all the doom and gloom there have been a few really good victories and a few not so good, like spending ½ a day at Anchorite for only a few small Trevally and Snapper, no over 5lb! Can’t say I rate that as much of a day despite the plan being solid.

We have been spending a bit of time over at Great Barrier and enjoying good fishing. I have noticed however that with the cooler water around the place the usual cold water species have turned up over there. Barracouta and Squid are around in numbers and there have been a few Frostfish turning up as well. A real sign of cold water.

All this cold water is not so hot for the local fishing around Auckland but it offers a different range of species out at Great Barrier. Hapuka have been around but not in any real size. Schooling Hapuka, around 3-10kg, which are excellent table fare, have been found around The Needles, Miners Rock and on some of the deep water foul that abounds around the island.

Snapper are still around of course, but take a little more effort and patience to catch the larger specimens. Fresh bait and excellent quality frozen baits are the go provided you can get the wind and tide carrying the berley back into the desired location. Berley is very important during the colder months because the fish’s metabolism slows down and they don’t have to feed every day. Quite often they will suck on baits or bite very, very softly. So softly in fact that you can’t even feel them. The berley, adding its scent to the environ can encourage the fish to open their mouths.

Little Barrier offers a few less options than its big brother but on the right day with everything going according to plan can produce some spectacular fishing. There are lots of pockets of small foul all around the island, quite often holding good numbers of fish, especially Snapper and Terahiki. Horn Rock and Jimmy’s Foul are also near by and in calm conditions can also offer some pretty good fishing. The heaviest Snapper in the Smoke House Bay Pro Am (a Fishing.Net event) in late June was around 6kg and came from Jimmy’s Foul. There were numerous other Snapper caught during the event along with Hapuka, Porae, Frost Fish and John Dory. A great weekend away was had by all and you should keep an eye out for the next one.

Tiri is holding quite a bit of fish at the moment but you have to wade your way through the small ones when targeting the larger Snapper. Whangaparaoa Bay is still holding fish but they are mostly small too. The deeper foul behind Tiri and some of the foul in the channel can typically be quite productive around this time of year. But again the weather is a determining factor. What is it with the southerly wind shutting the place down???

Kawau Island and the islands to the south (Motuora, Motuketekete and Moturekareka) are holding fish but again the weather and how much patience you have will determine the result. Have had a couple of good days down the back of the island with good numbers of fish and some quite good size Snapper amongst it (5 –7kg). But every silver lining has a cloud, which hung over us this last week in that area.

Gurnard are a species not really targeted in the Hauraki Gulf or in the harbours. We are finding that we are catching a lot more Gurnard over the sand and mud in the Gulf. This could be due to the decreasing amount of commercial activity in the Gulf, ie, there are not as many long liners working out of Leigh as there used to be. That has got to be all good. We are finding Gurnard are taking small cubes of Pilchard, Squid and Skipjack on ledger rigs and flasher rigs. We had four large Gurnard off a 25 hook set line in Whangaparaoa Bay just the other day. From memory it was quite a good day in the area. Well done to Jason and his crew.

Rakino, The Noises, David Rocks, The Ahaahas and around Maria Island are well worth the effort of a good berley trail and some fresh baits. The bottom end of Waiheke around Hooks Bay, Pakatoa Island and some of the foul around Tarahiki Island are also well worth a look as they seem to fish fairly consistently around this time of year. I shall be leaving this area alone as we prefer to fish in areas where the chances of bigger fish are increased.

On a political note, information will be revealed in an announcement by DOC around the middle of this month regarding the Great Barrier Reserve being put into place. Gutted! Still no word on the Tiri Reserve at this stage but keep in mind it is the Governments mandate to have 10% of our coast line in marine reserves. 10% doesn’t sound like a lot but when reserves are put in inshore areas it will be a lot. Don’t fall asleep on this one people! The fight is far from over.

Upcoming Events:

July 17th Kawau Landbased Kaos - 20 Hard Core landbased fisherman from Fishing.Net are going to be put ashore by us for a day of landbased action around Kawau Island.

We have upcoming Barrier Trips for groups of up to 6. These are a lot of fun and the fishing can be really good. Trips are of course weather dependent and can be mid week or weekends, with a three day trip for your group, costing less than $2000.

Our local day trips have been increased and we now offer 2 different sorts of day trips. Firstly, MATANGI is still canvassing the waters of the Hauraki Gulf at $50pp and secondly SIAN (faster) is offering the big day out with a 6am start at $90pp.

We take a max of 6 on SIAN so we can offer quality stray lining from a sports fishing vessel rather than a party type fishing boat. SIAN is new to the fleet and I’m sure you’ll see a lot more of her.


The deep foul of the Gulf, or in close and berleying up around the weedlines.


I’m going to say it again, fresh is best and it is real hard to go past a butterflied Mackeral. Fresh NZ Pillies are going good too.


Try a strayline rig with the sinker (only enough weight to get you on the bottom) right on top of the hooks. Suitable trace length around about 1-1.5m and sharp hooks. We use VMC ‘cos fish stick to them. Flasher rigs over some of the deeper foul can be pretty darn good too, the best being Black Magic Snapper Snatcher in 5/0 or try a Macs Flasher. Check out the forums on this site to find out more about these.

Call us on 09 4240607 or the boats on 021 244 6346. Email us at for more info.

Damian – THE CHARTER CONNECTION – where fishing is catching

Report type: Saltwater
Report date: 09 July 04

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