We can feel the spring in the air, though the cold winds that are coming and going are quick to remind us that it’s still winter for a week longer.
The water is still wintery, and the fishing is too. Typically we end up with a good variety species from the reefs like blue cod, pink maomao, gurnard, grandaddy hapuka, kahawai, snapper and more. You never know what will bite, which brings some extra excitement on board! And as always you need to keep the line tight, the winter fish easily spits the hook, so keep alert!
The crystal clear water we have at the moment is perfect for diving, spearfishing, picking oysters, kinas, and whatever other delicacies the sea can offer. The clear water goes all the way into the wharf in Russell and not even the squid can hide. They are getting bigger and bigger and some octopus are coming along as well. Funny animals having a small brain in each limb and are pretty challenging to handle when you land them, but are yum after cooking them for quite a while in wine, garlic herbs… A big part of our squid community is on holiday which gives more opportunities for the rest of us to get some lovely squid for dinner!
September means the best time for hapuka! They’re not too far out at the moment – at the 200-400m reefs is where they are commonly caught at this time of year. It has been hard getting out there with some nasty windy systems around, but when you crack it with a stunning winter’s day, it is hard to think about anything better than a lovely day out on the deep blue targeting one of the tastiest fish there is!
SpotX Fishing Charters, Bay of Islands