"One year, snapper will come into the gulf to spawn first off more towards the Coromandel side, then the next year on the western side down past Kawau, Tiri and then onto the worm beds. Once spawned, they would run up the Rangitoto Channel into the upper harbour. Now, far more fish are coming up the Rakino Channel then right up into the shallower water towards the Tamaki Straits."
"The snapper are lethargic in their bite a lot of the time now – so take their hint and slow your lures, jigs and soft-bait action right down. Make your offerings easier to stalk and eat for those less-aggressive fish."
Smaller soft-baits and micro jigs have been fishing well inshore following the recent rain run-off.
"A Whangarei crew went to the Mokes during the last break in the easterly conditions and were targeting kingfish off one of the deeper pins to the NE of the islands – check your bathymetric chart for the marks – when they got into some respectable (15-18kg) hapuku. They took home one each and left them still on the chew."
Shannon Neho got amongst the last of the workups, producing some nice snapper on the 10” Livie soft-baits.
"I had a charter out last Saturday in breezy conditions with a south-westerly up to 15 knots and, being 12 miles out, it was a bit of a balancing act and even more of a challenge trying to get the anchor in just the right spot. After a couple of attempts, we did get a nice feed of the good old tarakihi and two blue cod, with one at 44cm long which is a good fish for up here."
The rules for deep-water species have changed. Anglers can only take two hāpuku or bass per day or a total bag of three for a multi-day trip. Photo: Grant Blair
"North and northwest areas produced for us in the past few weeks on various marks ranging from 20-40 metres. Once found on the bite, the healthy west coast pan-size snapper will eat most baits with squid keeping the bite going should it slow during a change of tide, wind or rain."
The kingfish have moved in over most of the structure now; you just have to get them in quickly ahead of the sharks!
"The consensus seems to be that the snapper are either in shallow or out deep. If I get a chance, I’ll be heading out to the 50m area again to try my luck, although if you stay in close to shore, you just might do better!"
Hena Eagle with a cracker 5kg fish she battled heroically on a Bender rod!
"I shot off to one of my favourite west coast beaches for an evening fish, aiming for a kingfish on a slidebait rig. While I could deploy my livebait, the day was slow, with just one fish showing the slightest interest in my offering."
Time for a Plan B. When the conditions changed, Peter gave up on the kingfish to target an alternative species.
"Kahawai have been absolutely going off at the river mouths! The numbers of these fish are nothing short of phenomenal at the moment. Anglers at the Hurunui, Waimakariri, and Rakaia river mouths have enjoyed an abundance of kahawai. It has been great to see how many families have been getting out there, having heaps of fun and also putting some food on the table."
Reef Ward added plenty of fun into his holiday courtesy of some great Rakaia river mouth kahawai action.
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