The Bream bay fishing this holiday period has not been as productive as last year was, producing some good action but not consistently.
The first week in January was punctuated by the mega-tides accompanied by the weather bomb which saw the fish with their heads down.
The fish that are normally aggregated at the likes of the ‘war zone’, a bunch of pins nor’west of the Chicks, are not there this season with the location being more miss than hit. An indication of the snapper build-up is the presence of mako sharks, which are few and far between so far this summer.
After the blow the water temperatures dropped over two degrees Celcius inshore and this heralded the return to some pins of the razor gang and their attack on anything shiny or moving in the water ie any soft-bait or jig that was dropped down.
Over the sand in 40-50 metres there are some great gurnard catches being made, both in size and numbers. One trip we caught a dozen good-sized carrots which were later turned into delicious fishbites. Inchiku jigs, kabura sliders and flasher rigs, fished out of the rod holder, was doing the damage. There are some good trevally turning up among the snapper and gurnard.
Look for concentrations of sooty shearwaters and terns sitting on the water. Even if they are not actively feeding, they are a good indicator of fish in the area.
There were some tarakihi starting to appear over the pins immediately off Bream Head with top and the bottom of the tide being good times to target these delicious eaters. Nothing special needed here – small recurve hooks tied in a ledger rig and baited with small slivers of squid or shellfish, or pre-tied Black Magic Tarakihi Terrors, well be the go.
A good friend, who is still very much addicted to bait and berley has been getting out pre-dawn and heading in close around the Hen and Chicken Islands’ points and headlands where there is good tidal flow, has been doing well pre-dawn on the snapper. He has been consistently catching fish in the 5-6kg range with the odd one hitting 8kgs. He is on his way more when many holidaymakers are just launching, so there is a lessen there.
Surfcasting off the beach has been tough and the kontiki and kite fishers are pulling in a few snapper and kahawai, once again at dawn and dusk.
Boat fishers soft-baiting in shallow off Ruakaka and the golf course have been doing well in 7-16 metres of water. One friend, who did not have much luck out wide one day, heading inshore the next and pulled a limit of snapper with fish to 4kgs in seven metres in front of the refinery the next morning and was home by 8.00am. New Penny and Pink Shine were the two go-to soft-bait colours and 60g orange sliders.