Great snapper catches continue
Captain Cook named Bream Bay for a good reason – he was able to restock the larder after long period at sea, feeding his hungry crew with a heap of snapper – hence the location’s name.
Nothing would have changed if the famous British navigator had returned to Bream bay today. The hot snapper session experienced over the last six weeks or so has continued over the last fortnight.
Yes, there is the odd day when the fish are a little slow on the bite, but in the main crews are returning with some great catches from 30 metre mark and beyond.
The concentration of bait has been holding out just beyond the Three and Five Mile reef areas. Find the birds and you will find the fish.
Steve Martinovich says the fishing has been nothing short of phenomenal for weeks now. He predominantly likes to anchor up and deploy bait and berley aboard his charter vessel Sumo, but he has found drifting over the sand with both bait and inchiku-style lures has been doing the business.
He reports the fish are in stunning condition and when it comes time to fillet them, the knife is left coated in fat.
The Hen and Chicks are a popular stamping ground for Steve where he will anchor up and fish conventionally, but he says he doesn’t often get out there at the moment as the fish sign on the way out is to good to pass over.
Other anglers report some reasonable-sized kingfish moving into the shallower foul throughout Bream Bay, while the deeper pins seem to have been invaded by ‘rats’ – fish up to 75cm – which are good fun on soft-bait gear but get a little tiresome when snapper is the target species.
There is still plenty of gurnard to be had, although these fish will be more scattered over the next few weeks and not so prevalent. The crew aboard the Mangawhai based vessel Filthy went out to drift over the sand in 32 metres off the bar looking for a feed of snapper last week, except they only managed one. But they were very happy with their ‘by-catch’ of a dozen or so carrots. All were caught on orange slider or a lumo green Lucanus.
Mangawhai Top Catch proprietor Dave Gurr says his customers report the work-up action is continuing unabated at the southern end of Bream Bay, although the fish are a little smaller this last week or so than they have been. Metal Lures have been out fishing soft plastic and conventional bait. He suggests it is worth picking up a few livebaits as these are always good to drop into the gannet action. Make sure the livies are weighted to take then down quickly out of the reach of the seabirds.
Dave says with the warmer water in closer now, the sharks too have been getting in on the action. He suggests if the sharks are nailing fish after fish, as has been reported, just move away.
Offshore Adventures’ Tony Orton has been putting his new Extreme 795 charter boat Stella II to good use this last week or so, heading to his favourite stomping grounds at the Mokohinaus where he reports some hot action over the deeper reefs. He says one his last trip the snapper were coming up from 60 metres down to grab the soft-baits just metres under the surface, making for some exciting fishing for his clients. He says while he has been catching some reasonable kingfish, that action has been a little slower.
As the weather heats up, remember to take a little more ice than you might have done over winter and early spring. A rule of thumb I use on our vessel is a 5kg bag per angler, plus one for the boat. If you are going to go to the trouble of catching it, you may as well care for it properly. If you don’t use it, you can always put it in the freezer and use it next time out.