Been an interesting week in a number of ways. A shame the westerly winds that plagued us much of this timeframe put off a lot of would be anglers. Those that did brave the winds had some to a lot of success however, good on em’. Regardless of the area fished, anglers generally found what they were after.
Happy faces and smiles still prevail here. Most who venture forth are striking pay dirt. Snapper remain the focal point with most fishers relishing visiting their respective favourite spots. After weeks of reporting many nice sized fish but none over 20 pounds we finally have three to announce! While they each just made the mark, the magical figure always captures anglers attention. Two were landed close to shore (but out of a trip) near Bryants Beach, the eastern entrance to Ohiwa Harbour.
A third was taken at the Opotiki mussel farm, by far the largest landed there that usually boats only pan sized fish. Elsewhere, make that everywhere else, snapper are biting well in a wide range of depths and bottom terrain. Sandy environs are not only full of snapper (which need to be berleyed up) but fat, succulent gurnard as well. Small trevally, kingis, terakihi and kahawai complete the vibrant near shore scene. Keep the westerlies away and we’ll see a lot more fishers on the water to take advantage of this pleasing situation. Water a clean green and warming.
Pretty good and getting better! Primary spring target species, kingfish, have stepped up a notch with far more consistent fishing now. While there is a wide variety of sizes from rats through to huge, some very nice (30 kilos plus) fish are being hooked and landed on a daily basis. Although average size is still on the small side (normally 15-17k’s, currently 12-14) there are some horses that throw this out of kilter. Britomart restaurateur Johnny de Monchy easily took out the “Whopper of the Week” award with his 34 kilo beaut (released); fellow Auckland angler Andrew Johnson was a distant, but credible, second place at six kilos back.
Jigs working well but attracting smaller fish overall with bait still the way to go. Deepwater fishing has produced well with a smattering of fish in the 280-340 metre range led by a couple decent bass knocking on the 30 kilo mark. The shallows around White Island are producing well on a real conglomeration of reef fish led by terakihi as well as some nice trevally and porae. Speaking of the island, it is incredibly active now, showing more geothermal signs than it has in a decade or more. While not enticing much ash, the gaseous content are hard on lungs, eyes, tackle and boat bright work alike. If you value your boats stainless it’s suggested you give the smokey isle a miss just now. Some solid albacore (to 11kgs) are biting just on dusk near the trench but nowhere else at any other time of the day. Some very pretty, if not cool, water near White.
Despite little pressure and nearly continual westerly winds, this remote hotspot is pumping out the goods. Only two boats made the long trek this past week with the journey well worth while. Jigs have really gain traction here with some spectacular results. Jigging master Tony Liu boated and released a splendid 39 kilo kingfish but was left in the dust by a fellow Asian angler's fabulous 48 kilo monster, also released after being sling weighed and photographed copiously.
Many kingis in the 20’s and several in the 30’s complimented these great fish. Bottomfishing has also been good with bass coming on strong equally, if not displacing, the stronghold hapuka had on this fishery. Many nice fish in the 30 kilo bracket are coming up with a couple in the 40’s topped by a 51 kilo specimen, also on a jig.
Bait is working as well but the larger specimens seem to prefer the heavy metal. Some nice trumpeter and king terakihi fill out an impressive list of fish available there at present. Best start ever to a Ranfurly season? If not its right up there with many prime months to follow. If ever there was a time to visit this fabulous spot it is now – just take your motion sickness remedies, ensure physical fitness and harden up!
What a vibrant report! If there are any obvious chinks in the armour they are hiding well! So many happy and successful anglers out there at present it’s nicely offsetting all the bad news we’ve had to endure over the past months. Hopefully we can maintain these heady heights as we charge through to summer – officially only three weeks away!