Fishing over the Easter break, especially prior to the full moon, was exceptional fish wise, but not that great when it came to size, especially for snapper.
Bream Bay was full of snapper in the 30-40cm size range, with the odd exception. Camp Waipu Cove hosted its annual Ladies competition which resulted in a win for first time competitor Natasha Wade with a six kilo snapper.
There were 30 anglers and the fishing area was confined to a line inside Bream Head to McGregor's Rock at Bream Tail. It was interesting to note the average of the nearly 100 snapper weighed was only 1.02kgs. It was a great little contest with over $1000 raised for breast cancer research.
Anglers fishing out a little wider at the Hen and Chicks reported much better catches, especially size wise. A couple of crews straylining down berley trails at the top of the Chicks produced some exceptional fish, one of which topped 9.1kgs. Both boats were primarily fishing jack mackerel baits – both as livies and butterflied cut baits – and these were more effective than other options.
The big jack mackerel schools have dispersed although there are still good pockets of them from Bream tail down to Langs Beach, mostly in close and over foul. Dropping a lure among the schools has been producing some good john dory.
Out a little wider at the Mokohinaus Tony Orton on Offshore Adventures reports some good kingfish action on both lures and livebaits. A crew of Kiwi anglers stayed with him and Bea and fished four days, with a couple of personal best kingfish being landed. There have been some nice snapper taken casting softbaits tight into the wash.
For those still on the lookout for a billfish the 100-120 metre mark off Ocean Beach is still holding fish with plenty of dolphins and birds indicating the baitfish. Anglers are seeing marlin among the meatballs but they have been hard to tempt, even on livebaits.