Bream Bay continues to amaze me. We are in the height of the 'silly season' with boats and anglers everywhere, but the region continues to produce.
Any it is not just one of two spots, but over the whole of the bay and out to the Hen and Chicks that is fishing well.
Starting with snapper, I have experienced and had reported to me some great action still in close. One boat with a very experienced skipper commented he was fishing lures and soft-baits in 10 metres of water just off Ruakaka on a hot and still day, and caught all the fish and his crew needed – and they were a good size.
The popular areas off Uretiti and the Waipu Rivermouth have been a little more patchy throughout the day and even early morning, with there being a good evening bite right on dusk these last few days. One crew fishing the rivermouth foul using good old bait and berley did well, their best fish being a 7.1kg specimen which they released as thy had plenty of smaller fish for the table.
The area known as The Fingers in 30 metres off Bream Tail has come back into its own with snapper, gurnard, trevally and john dory being caught in numbers. My last trip there I was experimenting with some smaller Gulp! soft-baits and even managed to catch a tarakihi.
We have been drift fishing with soft-baits and lures mainly, but on the odd occasion have picked up some livebaits on the way out and run them on a single hook ledger rig which has produced some good action, including john dory and snapper.
The deeper pins off Bream head are starting to fire. As I was writing this (Thursday afternoon) some friends rang to tell me how well these pins were fishing – you can see the main rocks on the bathymetric charts and they are a good place to start. To find the pins, take a line roughly from Bream head to the northern side of the Hen. A proliferation of boats will tell you where they are!
Plenty of smaller kingfish to 80-90cm with the odd better fish thrown in can be found in good numbers. To the lure-fishing snapper angler they can be fun for the first one or two, but after than become a pain.
The Hen and Chicks continues to fish well, especially over the deeper foul. The location known as the War Zone has been great when the fish are on the chew. A mate was fishing there earlier in the week and an hour after the bottom of the tide the fish came on the chew and snapper to 8.5kgs graced his bin.
These pins are in 40-50 metres of water and you have to be prepared to take any legal fish you catch as they will be suffering from baratrauma and are likely to be damaged internally.
The bait schools, especially trevally, can be found around the areas of current around the Hen and Chicks. The freedivers report some good kingfish around the Coppermine Reef and along the nearby shoreline.