In spite of all the innuendo and uncertainty surrounding the “Rena” situation, many anglers have capitalized on the nice weather we’ve experienced this past week and to good effect. Good to see the former exclusion zone reduced with no more oil coming our way off the ship. Water is clean but still on the cool side, only incremental increase in temps so far.
Rising a couple notches, the fishing has gone from pretty good to very good. Most everyone is expounding on their stories and all are favourable. With most everything is biting well, it’s snapper that is attracting most of the attention. Many limits in relatively short period of time in many depths and bottom terrain for most anglers. Read that as a lot of snapper in all inshore posies! While there are some very nice fish over seven kilos to be had, it’s the average size that’s most remarkable. With sub and barely legal fish nearly non existent, most fish are a pleasing one to two kilos with many larger. Recent good weather and competitions has seen a lot of people on the water – very pleasing. If for any reason you didn’t or don’t want to catch snapper then there are other species to pick on. Terakihi, gurnard, kahawai, trevally and rat kingis abound to round out a more than satisfactory inshore scene. Water slowly warming but very green – snapper green!
More good news, where do we start? Water colour here is very good, surprisingly clear with an absence of normal spring micro organisms. As a consequence there are still some decent albacore about with multiple strikes of the eight to 10 kilo fish on the cards for trollers. Out at White the kingis are improving with their consistency if not necessarily average size. Most fish are the less than expected size of 11-13 kilos. Perhaps the smaller bait size is not helping the situation with the mackerel half the length of normal. Bucking the odds and standing up against the trend was first time kingi angler Jeremy Frewen. Not only did he land a season’s largest kingi on Saturday at 36 ½ kilos but followed it up with a 34 ½ sling weighed released specimen on Sunday – just to prove it was no fluke!! Fellow Auckland angler James Scott nailed (and released) the third place kingi at a credible (but distant) 26 kilos. Some fish are now showing on the surface as water incrementally warms, now at 16 degrees C. Shallow waters around the smokey isle are full of light tackle fun on trevally, terakihi, porae, red snapper, pink mao mao etc. Out deeper some decent catches were recorded with “Gambler” landing a nice mixed catch of hapuka, bass and largish gemfish in 300 metres of water over the weekend. All in all it’s a joy being at the island now with one exception and that’s the island itself! It’s quite active now and has been for over a month. Staying on the led means a) stinging eyes, b) pitted, discoloured tackle and c) bright shiny stainless dulling out before your eyes. Staying overnight to reap the following day’s rewards has definite consequences just now!
Another success story. If the bottomfishing isn’t red hot (not far off) then the kingis are! Recent visits have seen some spectacular results with no shortage of action down there. All the artificial enticements have proven effective, in the hands of amateur and expert alike. Jigs, poppers and stickbaits are producing the goods with the latter two very good up in the shallows. Indeed, “Yeeha” tackle shop manager John Pellow nailed (and released after sling weighing) a very special fish over the weekend. At 41 kilos the kingi would be one of the largest kingis ever taken on a stickbait. The hole it left after the explosion on strike was apparently very impressive. The largest on a jig was just on 38 kilos, another horse of a fish. Numerous others in the 20’s were also landed, and released, on all methods. While bottomfishing has been pretty decent most days on a mixture of hapuka, bass and trumpeter the size is nothing to get too excited about. While all are great eating, the largest just lately has been around the 25 kilo mark. With water just starting to warm up its anybodies guess where this season will take the fishing down here.
Nice to have the fishing (and weather) take our minds of the “Rena” disaster. While night travel is still very dicey and isn’t recommended, only a few remnants are floating about and no oil – we’ve been spared thus far. If you haven’t been out yet then you are missing some great fishing, regardless of where you choose to do your thing. Till next week ……………