There is not a great deal I can offer that differs much from the last report – snapper continue to be wide-spread throughout the Bream Bay-Mangawhai area.
It doesn’t seem to matter what depth you are fishing or where, you will get onto fish. I spoke with several visitors fishing the first couple days of Easter weekend. They had limited knowledge of the area but managed to get a bin full two days in a row by simply heading into the wider Beam Bay over the sand and fishing a little bit of sign. They did one long drift ranging from 25-30 metres in depth, caught all the fish in the 35-50cm range they needed and headed home. They asked the question, “Is Bream Bay fishing always like this?” – simple answer: “Yes, it can be!”
Further south out from Mangawhai the fishing has being going off in shallow. Locals have been fishing in 10-15 metres of water off the ‘big sand dunes’ just south of the harbour entrance. Sliders have been producing equally as well as soft-baits and those setting up a berley trail and straylining down it have tended to get the better fish. One experienced local told me that one short evening session produced “the best snapper fishing he had ever known” in close. Some beaut trevally and the odd good gurnard have been in the mix.
Several anglers have been pleasantly surprised to add tasty john dory to their bins from off the sand and not too deep either.
Others fishing over Easter ventured out to the 50-60 metre mark adjacent to Sail Rock and also hauled them in. The bigger the soft-bait tail, the bigger the fish was one crew’s observation. They caught the bulk of their fish on variations of the Gulp! Nuclear Chicken.
At this time of the year there is often a good run of marlin off Ocean Beach. Tony Orton spent some family time there over Easter aboard Stella looking for a late billfish. He says that while there were patches of bait with its attendant gannets, his livebaits went untouched – ‘dead’ was how he described it.
If you are wondering what to do with the kids over the second week of the school holidays, Dave Gurr from Mangawhai Top Catch is hosting a three-day junior fishing comp on April 26-28.
Fishing is confined to the Mangawhai harbour and can be done boat or land-based.
There is a daily weigh-in during shop hours at the Mangawhai Top Catch at 8 Wood street, Mangawhai Heads. Weighing cuts off at 2.00pm on Thursday, followed by a prizegiving, MC’ed by Nicky Wilson, at the Mangawhai Fishing and Boating Club’s facilities adjacent to the ramp at 4.30pm.
There is no cost to enter, with all anglers having to be under the age of 16 at the time the event kicks off. Target species are snapper, kahawai, trevally, sprat and piper. Dave tells me there are some great prizes to be won, including electric scooters, with the prize pool exceeding $3000 in value!