Bream Bay Fishing Report - 04/04/24

Whangarei Harbour fishing well

Like the weather, the fishing has been patchy throughout Bream Bay over the last week or so.

There was a good bite leading up to the full moon but it has been tough for many since then.

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The one consistent performer has been the Whangarei Harbour where the channels around Limestone Island and Parua Bay have been fishing well. The change of light seems to be the secret here with bait and berley doing the business in just a few metres of water with an incoming tide.

The harbour entrance has also been fishing well. A regular fishing buddy from Waipu Cove, Ivan Penno, has been trailing his boat to Marsden ramp and then fishing the shipping channel edges opposite Smugglers Cove. This was the area where the winning fish for the Waipu Cove camp ladies contest came from. Lisa Mullins landed a 2.96kg snapper to take out the top money fishing aboard Kelly’s Eye skippered by husband Danny. Daughter Kaysie Bryson won the other species section with a trevally, so it was a great day for the crew.

The Mangawhai club’s Easter tournament was postponed due to a shocking forecast, only to have the fronts pass through faster than anticipated to produce fishable days. Who would be a tournament organiser? Good on the club for making the early call, done with the safety of the anglers in mind.

While on contests, the Mangawhai Fish and Dives’ junior tournament is on these coming school holidays to be fished April 17-19, with the prizegiving to be held at the Mangawhai Tavern on April 20.

The main prize is a family trip to Fiji, valued a $5,000, sponsored by Limitless Scaffolding. Tickets are $20 and available at the Mangawhai Fish and Dive store on Wood Street, Mangawhai. The entrance money will be donated to the Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ).

The popular 2023 Mangawhai Fish and Dive hosted junior tournament will be repeated these coming school holidays with a family trip to Fiji the main prize. 

This contest is confined to the estuary and skippers are reminded not to fish in the channel near the Head Rock area. The last thing a skipper working the bar needs to be faced with is having to avoid another vessel fishing right in the middle of what has become a very shallow passageway.

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Leading up to Easter the snapper had been in relatively close (20-metre depths or less), with the activity centred around the southern end of Bream Bay. This has changed a little with charter skipper Steve Martinovich saying the likes of the Hen and Chicks producing consistently for the crews aboard Sumo. Steve has also been fishing the harbour when the weather has precluded heading out into the bay and he says it has been producing “incredibly well.” Reading the reports on the Bream Bay Fishing Facebook page confirms this.

Mangawhai-based charter boat RnR skippered by Wayne Radford has also been finding the fishing around the islands quite good. He has been deploying bait and berley in relatively shallow waters, producing fish to just over 20lb which because of the relatively shallow depth can be safely released.

Brian Drake with a nice brace of snapper caught at the Hen and Chicks aboard RnR.

Wayne says he has found the same out at the Mokohinau Islands where Māori and Simpsons Rocks have been good locations. There are some good kingfish around for those crews putting in the effort.

Mangawhai-based Fishmeister, skippered by Mike Leese, reports much the same as Steve. The Hen and Chicks have been producing with bait and berley the best technique. Mike likes to fish that 25-30m depth where kahawai and trevally have been a given on any one day, with good snapper and the occasional kingfish turning up in the mix.

Landbased fishing has been steady rather than spectacular reports Kadin Williams of The Reel Clinic. He says the snapper fishing has slowed a little with after dark being the best time to target these species. During the day there have been plenty of kahawai about and there have been reports of a few gurnard turning up. Kadin says anglers could consider dropping down a hook size of two and fish longer traces over the next few months if gurnard are on their hit list.

This is the time of year when Kadin will turn his attention to rock fishing, targeting the bigger snapper. He says the next big cold snap should see these fish in range of the rock fishers’ baits. It is also a good time for the softbait enthusiasts to work the shallows and wash areas for this bigger snapper.


April 2024 - Grant Dixon
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
Copyright: NZ Fishing Media Ltd.
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited

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