There is only good news in this report. Everyone I have spoken to has been getting among the fish, even when the Moon/Tide calendars say ‘stay home and mow the lawns’.
Last weekend was a prime example. It was a few days after the full moon, and the tides were not particularly conducive to a hot bite, yet people were still catching fish.
We went out early, and while the action was not hot, a bit of effort moving around until we found fish saw some nice snapper to 64cm grace the bin, along with a good 50cm plus john dory, some gurnard and a trevally – all in 45 metres of water in the middle of Bream Bay.
Charter skipper Tony Orton took a busman’s holiday and went for a fish with a couple of mates in the Andersons Cove area, soft-baiting the shallows where he was rewarded with a 72cm snapper. They moved down to Langs Beach, where in 20m plus, they set up a long drift over the sand just out from the foul and caught some good pannies on both soft-baits and lures. The bite was short but sharp, being all over by 10.00am.
We found lures were working better for us – sliders and inchiku in rod/gold or orange doing the business on all species.
Ben Francis went straight out from the Mangawhai bar into 40-50 metres using ledger rigs and bait and had a steady if not spectacular session on the snapper and gurnard.
Friends kayaking off the beach at Waipu Cove fished the inshore foul and came up trumps on some great snapper soft-baiting over or adjacent to the weed beds. There were similar reports for those who headed down towards the Waipu river mouth and off Uretiti beach fishing the lumps of foul in 12-14 metres of water. It just goes to show that despite all the predictions of a poor bite, there is no such thing as a bad day to go fishing – you won’t catch them if you don’t try!
Fishing the shallow foul around Bream Tail produced this nice snapper for Tony Orton, who released it.
Talking with Dave Gurr at the Mangawhai Top Catch store, he mentioned again that anglers in the know were getting tarakihi, fishing quite close in. Several ‘pet rocks’ and areas of low foul scattered throughout the bay are holding tarakihi. While these tasty specimens will occasionally take a lure or a micro jig, natural shellfish baits such as pipi and tuatua presented on a ledger rig and smaller 3/0 recurve hooks are almost a dead cert if ‘turkeys’ are about.
The work-ups had slowed a little over this moon phase, but I expect them to fire up again over the next few days. This augers well for the annual Waipu v Mangawhai interclub competition, this year hosted by Mangawhai. For the first time, the event is being run on a measure-only basis, giving anglers the option to return good fish while still basking in the glory of their capture.