The weather has continued its fickle ways. It would appear winter has finally arrived. After over six months of La Nina easterly flow, we’ve finally turned around to a steadily diet of westerly and southerly winds. Predictably temps, both at sea and on land, have plummeted. My, what a difference a week can make! While weather has done its best to throw curve balls at us, the fishing has remained remarkably resilient throughout on most fronts.
While there are snapper in shallower water, forty metres is certainly a popular depth at this point. While few lunkers are coming in, the average fish is very pleasing with few needing to be released. Tarakihi are ready and willing to contribute their share but with decent snapper fishing still an option, they aren’t getting the call much yet. Rest assured, it will happen! While they are just starting to move into the shallows (25-60m), snapper are passing them going the other way. Meanwhile seems to be no shortage of gurnard and kahawai, generally speaking. How long can the decent snapper fishing last? Smart money says another three weeks – we’ll see.
Much of a muchness as last week. Anglers targeting terakihi in deeper (140-180m) water are making frequent contact with kingis that fancy a silver sided morsel! Some of these fish, when landed, are well conditioned 25 kilos. Otherwise its business as usual with deepwater ooglies biting pretty well at times, becoming aloof at others. While water remain a decent colour, temp has dropped considerably.
What a difference a week makes! Last week hapuka couldn’t be kept off hooks with almost zero bycatch; the week fishing was full of all the variety the Bank is known for but very difficult to cobble together a catch. Water temps dropped nearly a degree and a half to less than 15 ½ although this would hardly have an effect on bottomfishing. As mentioned bass, trumpeter and kingfish all joined in to keep the sudden lack of hapuka tenable.
Still no large females (hapuka) on the scene yet but males full of reasonably ripe milt. Some decent snapper along the East Cape with some large fish among them. Waikato farmer Stu Corson managed a lovely 22 pounder to show the quality available. Further south huge numbers of ravenous southern bluefin tuna, averaging 80 kilos, have quickly filled the holds of surface longliners. With quota nearly caught, the real chance for recreational anglers is only exacerbated.
Anyone wanted to time the weather right, burn some fuel and take a chance could strike pay dirt with a deck load of prime sashimi predicted by a sore back!
With fickle, yo yo weather there continues to be windows of opportunity – if you’re good at reading the weather maps and/or get lucky. Will be interesting to see where next week leads us.