Well, the Houhora One Base is over for yet another year. Both fishing and weather was underwhelming with a lot of effort put into the competition for relatively little compared to years past. The West Coast yielded far better weather in the prevailing easterlies but fishing on that side was far from hot.
Doubtless Bay – Cape Karikari – Great Exhibition Bay
From a gamefishing perspective, this expansive but of coastline is much of a muchness. A sprinkling of stripees are scattered throughout with some finding little hotspots getting two or three shots while most see nothing for their efforts. Skippies are also spread thin – if you find some and you strike them don’t be in a hurry to leave the area. Snapper are providing generally good sport throughout with many fine catches reported.
Garden Patch – “505”
Decidedly better water here, both colour and temp. if there’s such a thing as a blue marlin remaining along the coast this could be the place. Despite this improved water quality few have ventured forth to sample it, mainly beat back by the easterlies. Albacore are showing as the only bycatch. Bluenose anglers are set to descend upon the “pins” to reap the annual spawning rewards but there is a problem. Apparently over the past month $40,000 worth of commercial gear has been lost there to add to the considerable amount on the bottom already – not a nice prospect which could easily render some spots unfishable. Great! At least perhaps for the fish it will be.
North Cape– Surville Cliffs
Lots of potential here, particularly around Keri Point way in 120-130 metres of water. One of the better spots to pluck a stripee just now with a lot of bait showing, perhaps only superseded by ……………
Over the past week those few boats getting to this area 15 miles to the norwest of North Cape have at least seen, if not landed, marlin. Mackerel meatballs have been seen on the sounder anywhere from 15-50 metres down at about the 200 metre mark. Lots of potential here as well with very little pressure currently. Warm water here but deteriorates as one approaches …………….
Compass Rose – The Fingers
While water colour isn’t so bad, temperature is – falling off badly. Those few boats who have passed through this area of late felt they wasted their time in doing so.
Three Kings – Great Island
Anchorageat NW Bay, due to the incessant easterlies, has been pretty good. That’s the good news. On the downside the mossies have been particularly vicious some nights while the early morning bait fishing for koheru fickle. Anglers have to take full advantage of the short flurries of bait as once they are over, that’s it! Some nice sized kingis also in the bay if you’ve got the bait.
After having no visits for a fortnight, visiting boats recently received pleasant surprises for their efforts. Water was patchy but very warm (over 21 degrees) and purple on certain tides with hungry marlin in it. Unlike King Bank, these fish were aggressive and finding lures to their liking as well as bait. While not red hot, a far better proportion than it’s counterpart to the east. Bottomfishing also a touch better here.
Reasonable water here with ok colour and temps. A decided lack of bait means marlin are few and sporadic, taking bait in preference to lures. Could hardly call them plentiful or aggressive! Kingi fishing remains pretty good but bottomfishing inexplicably poor. Typically king terakihi carpet the bottom but bass and hapuka much more difficult to come by. Overall there’s plenty of room for improvement here!
The current blow (yet another one – seems like a weekly event this season) could have huge repercussions for the remainder of the game season. At least it’s from the right direction and should push some nice water back onto eastern facing shoreline. The remainder of this season could well be defined by this event.
Another observation is the currents/tidal movements. They are very strong, yet at a time of the month (half moon) when they should be the least. Heaven help us when we arrive at the full extensions of upcoming moon phases! The fabulous 103 kilo Pacific bluefin tuna taken in 70 metres of water off Ahipara asks more questions about this species, making it the third “out of season” capture! Seeing what Huey has delivered us at the end of the week should be interesting to say the least!