Bream Bay Fishing Report - 01/12/22

Don’t forget the harbours

With the less-than-ideal sea conditions over the last fortnight, it has not always been possible to fish in open water.

Last report, I touched on fishing the more sheltered Mangawhai and Whangārei harbours when going wide was not an option. It resulted in several people telling me of their success doing just that. One gentleman, fishing from a small tinny, nailed five nice snapper to two kilos from the Mangawhai harbour. He did get up at 5:00 am to fish bait and berley on the outgoing tide. Make an effort, and reap the rewards!

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There are reports of tern work-ups in the likes of Macleods Bay, in Whangārei’s harbour, that are holding snapper and the inevitable kahawai under them. I am told they are chasing whitebait, so any small micro-lure fished vertically, or a small grub tail softbait in natural colours should do the trick. Having said that, last summer, the smallest Z-Man Atomic Sunrise bright orange grub tail did the business for us.

One of the Marsden Cove locals says he has extracted a couple of kingfish from around the channel markers on both topwater lures and jigs. Always worth a flick!

Out wide, the action has been great. Guide Nik Key was out in 90 metres of water north-west of the Chicks last week and got among some frantic work-up action. Nik says it was full-on with gannets, dolphins, and whales in attendance.

Steve Martinovich, aboard Bream Bay Charters’ Sumo, has been busy and reports snapper still on the chew at the Hen. Steve tends to fish bait and berley, and likes anywhere there is a bit of current.

I see the long-liners have been hugging the 30-metre mark across the sand in Bream Bay. I last fished in the middle of the bay a week ago, finding fish in 45 metres after striking out closer in. We were drifting sliders, inchikus, and micro jigs – anything in yellow/brown and red/gold was doing the business. At this depth, we are fishing lures in the 160-200g weight. There is not always surface activity or solid sign on the bottom, just the odd patch of fish. A long drift generally sees us running through the snapper at some stage. There have been a few trevally out deep as well – fresh sashimi, yum!

Tony Orton, aboard Offshore Adventures’ charter boat Stella, had a blinder at the Mokohinaus earlier last week. He had the Shimano NZ crew aboard testing some of next year’s new season product and reported the snapper were of a good size and in an aggressive feeding mode, coming up out of 30-40 metres of water to attack the topwater lures meant for the kingfish. Tony says the fishery is in a bit of a transition phase out there, with the kingfish moving out from where they had been concentrating closer to the islands to populate the deeper pins.

The kayakers launching out of Langs and Waipu Cove have been enjoying some good snapper close in over the kelpy reefs in 10-12 metres of water. As well as snapper, they have been enjoying some john dory action, especially on softbaits such as the new Catch Black Label options, which offer plenty of tail action. Tom Tom is a good colour to kick off with.

Try towing a small Rapala or other bibbed minnow as you paddle from spot to spot – you might be pleasantly surprised at what jumps on.

Tight lines,

Grant Dixon

Mangawhai

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