Continuing westerly winds have resulted in very low water temperatures around the Bay of Islands, and fishing has slowed as a result.
Snapper have begun to roe up, but are still holding to the bottom, with big fish difficult to find but plenty of throw backs. Best of the snapper fishing has been in close around Roberton Island with straylines, but the bite time is short, and the feeding tentative so catching the big one may take some patience.
The best fishing action is from terakihi, either along the 40M contour off Howe point. or out at 70M off the Nine Pin. Small 1/0 circle with skipjack as bait has given us best results, but the usual plague of undersize snappers can become a nuisance at times.
Kingfishing has been difficult with the cold water bringing in a more barracoutta than we have seen for the last 7 or 8 years. If kingfish are the target, the best option is probably Waiwiri Rock which has been fishing well all winter. There are still plenty of koheru at Pig Gully, and the larger baits will avoid some of the worst barracoutta problem.
Little action has been reported from the hapuka grounds, but fishing has been reasonable over winter. Pups will start to settle close in over the next couple of months, and will present the usual bonus to snapper fishermen around Whale Rock, and bigger fish will be on their post spawning feeding prowl, and will move in to some of the closer grounds at 71M Reef and Bird Trench. If going wide for a hapuka, a few small lures will result in the occasional skipjack, which have been with us all winter, and perhaps an early albacore which should be arriving over the next month.
As always send me an email at MAJOR.TOM@xtra.co.nz if you have any queries.