After what had been another exception month for me fishing out of Bream Bay, along came Easter with its full moon and relatively big tides – and the wheels fell off.
Unfortunately a family bereavement curtailed our Easter effort and we managed to get out in Fishing News on just the Friday and then the Saturday for the annual Camp Waipu Cove ladies contest.
Fishing in 15 knot SE on the Friday, the bay was pretty lumpy and we struggled for a feed and what we did get – several snapper and kahawai, and a nice gurnard – were not particularly big.
We fished in 10-20 metres all the way from off the power station through to the southern end of the golf course. Snapper sign, like the birds, were scattered and the former where not on the bite. Even our 'never fail' spot – Ronnie's Rock – did not produce at any stage of the tide. Somewhat dejected at having not found the fish for the next day's contest, we headed home to re-think our strategy.
The weather was better on Saturday, but not the fishing. The contest rules restrict angler to a line inside Bream Head to Bream Tail. We pushed the limits of those boundaries, including a stint at both five and three Mile Reefs.
We were not the only ones who struggled. The bulk of the contestants returned to the weigh station at the camp with only pannies. A bunch of 10 ladies chartered Steve Martinovich and his comfortable boat Sumo and he fished close to the coast, producing some good numbers fishing baits as well as the second best snapper at 4.2kgs.
The winning fish went over six-kilos and was caught by Lindsey O'Neill (pictured) soft-baiting in close over the foul in the early morning. Husband Chris is naturally claiming all the credit as skipper and will no doubt help spend the $500 first prize money!
Reports from others fishing out wider at the Hen and Chicks reported similar slow action but there was the odd short but sharp bite time that produced some good results. At other times they were plagued by 'pickers'. If you are fishing deep, 30 metres plus, remember that releasing these fish is probably a death sentence, so the best thing is to just move away from them or start using bigger hooks and bigger baits.
Anglers targeting tarakihi at the pins off Bream Head put some nice table fish in the bin at both the top and bottom of the tide using shellfish for bait on Tarakihi Terror rigs.
One relatively new spearo enjoyed some good sport off Saul Rock, landing his first 20kg plus kingfish on Sunday.