Bream Bay Fishing Report - 17/11/22

A time of change

Regular fishers contacted for this report are all saying the fishing in Bream Bay and beyond is undergoing a period of change from spring to summer as water temperatures rise.

There is no shortage of snapper in Bream Bay, although the workups are becoming less intense and lasting for shorter periods.

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Mangawhai-based charter skipper Mike Leese says there is little bait on the surface, and the action has generally slowed down. Earlier this week, Mike had clients aboard Fishmeister fishing the middle of the bay with steady but not spectacular results on the drift. The SE wind got up, so he headed to the lee of the Hen, where they enjoyed a hot bait and berley session, with some great trevally action added to the mix.

Mike’s go-to depth currently has been the 40-45 metre contour line, with the Bream Tail end of the bay has been producing the goods. Everything has slowed down before start getting those aggressive bites over spawning.

Offshore Adventures operator Tony Orton has had Stella out at the  Mokohinaus with the Shimano crew aboard for product testing and filming.

A happy chappy – a Fishmeister client with a 7.2kg (17lb) snapper caught recently in Bream Bay.

His comments were similar to Mike’s, saying the fish had spread out over the wider area. He reports good surface activity around the kahawai and trevally schools. His one that got away story involved a kingfish estimated at around 25kgs which took a liking to his stickbait. They had the fish alongside the boat and were debating how to safely bring it on board for the obligatory hero short and measuring before release, when the trace wore through and the fish swam strongly off into the depths – bugger!

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Tony says some of the deeper pins around the islands are starting to hold good numbers of smaller kingfish and if this runs true to form, the bigger ones will follow. Travelling back and forth to the islands, Tony passed through a lot of ground holding snapper. He reports that starting at 55 metres he ran over approximately two nautical miles of intense snapper sign with dolphins and gannets in the mix.

Closer to home, the pins that hold the bait in that stretch from Bream tail right through to Waipu Cove are also holding some good snapper for the soft-baiters. A mate fishing out of Waipu Cove from his kayak has continued to enjoy some great success in less than 12 metres of water adjacent to the camp. Surfcasting off Bream Bay beach has been good with some solid snapper among the kahawai. Dusk and dawn change of light periods on an incoming tide seems to be working best. Kontiki and drone fishers have also been doing well.

At the other end of the bay, the bait seems to be holding with a few more work-ups happening in close. With the strong winds predicted for this weekend – 17 knots gusting 23 NW on average with a NE swell of a metre or more, dropping off Sunday afternoon - it might be time to do some exploration of the Mangawhai and Whangarei Harbours. Look for the kahawai birds and work the area with smaller and more naturally coloured soft-bait tails. Grub tail soft-baits have always worked well for us in the harbour.

For more information about bite times at your favourite spot, go to

Take care out there….

Grant Dixon


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