Bream Bay continues to fish well
While the work-ups are less intense, there is still some good action under the birds the length of Bream Bay.
I was on the water for three days around the weekend both diving and fishing with some good results.
While I didn’t fish in close, talking to local sources and they tell be some good fish are still being caught by both the bait and the lure brigades. Looking from Waipu Cove up and down the bay, work-ups are still in evidence and these have been a bonus to the kayak fishers in particular as they are with a short paddling distance of the shore.
To the north off Ruakaka, one boat fisher reported a ‘bin full’ of good snapper on Friday morning in seven metres of water. They anchored up, got a berley trail going and within two hours all three on board had caught seven nice snapper each. Unweighted pilchards and salmon berley did the trick and they were fishing at daybreak.
Further south the area off Uretiti where the bulk of the work-up action has been is still holding good fish. There are kingfish and john dory, as well as snapper, underneath the bait balls. The beach longliners are having a ball with some good results reported, especially where a change of light co-incides with a change of tide.
I don’t think I can remember the fishing being so good as it is in the bay, especially around the bait schools.
One theory I have heard is the local operator that normally commercially seine fishes these schools has his boat out of action, so the bait concentrations have not been broken up. This makes them a better target for both the fish and the fishers alike and that they hold in an area better rather than being scattered throughout the bay. Works for me.
Spent a bit of time prospecting some deeper pins which are due to come in to their own the last few trips with generally good results.
On Friday we caught some nice snapper in 55 metres over some low foul just this side of the Chicks on soft-baits and sliders. There were a few kingfish in the 85-90cm range on the chew, ‘interrupting’ the snapper fishing. Interestingly, the kingfish were chasing bait above the pins and would periodically burst into a hive of surface activity that lasted seconds rather than minutes.
We kept one for the Bradley (smoker) and spent a bit of time experimenting with the glazes and rubs, thanks to some good advice from Mangawhai local Kerren Packer who is a bit of a specialist in these matters.
Sweet chilli sauce; a mixture of crushed garlic soya sauce and brown sugar; along with maple syrup mixed with brown sugar and salt were the three ‘finishes’ were worked with and I am happy to report all three worked out well. Kerren recommended a four-hour smoke…the first at 50 degrees C with vent wide open; followed by 30 minutes at 120 degrees C with the vent closed to ‘finish off’ the process. We cut the kingfish into quite small pieces and this helped get the flavours through the flesh, rather than leave them as full fillets.
Sneaking out early on Sunday morning – 5.00am – e headed to the same location. There was solid, scattered sign showing in the water column and that could have been either good or bad – snapper or ‘coutta.
First cast produced a six-kilo snapper and I was relieved, but not for long. The razor gang made a full-on appearance and drove us off the pin having donated the appropriate amount of tackle ‘tax’.
Nearby we saw some gannets and mutton ducks on the water with odd bird taking flight and making what appeared to be a half-hearted dive. We did a long drift through the location and caught all the fish we needed, including a nice kingfish for a Waikato visitor Kevin Leech.
The relatively new soft-bait tail – the Fusilier – worked well for us as did the proven Coconut Ice colour, fished in 50 metres using a 3/0 one-ounce jighead. My personal favourite – Bruised Banana – couldn’t buy a bite!
With the silly season almost upon us, we will be making a few more early morning forays and then back to the ramp before many holiday makers even make it out of the scratcher. – Grant Dixon