Bream Bay Fishing Report - January 28th, 2022

Bream Bay

Results steady rather than spectacular

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Easterly winds have made conditions at times unpleasant out wide, but when you can fish the deeper pins, it is well worth it.

We recently battled our way out on Tackle Tester to one of our favourite bits of foul between Bream Head and the Chicks where we were rewarded with a good bag of snapper with the best fish topping four kilos – no monsters but prime eating fish. They were caught on a mixture of bait and lures, the bigger fish falling to soft-baits – the Orange Atomic Sunrise seven-inch tails doing the greatest amount of damage.

The next break in the conditions saw the Mangawhai bar workable and we shot out to what we call ‘The Fingers’ – an area in 32 metres off Bream Head that is quite obvious when you see the bathymetric charts. We had to work hard for our fish but ended up with a respectable bin of snapper with the occasional gurnard thrown in – this time 40g micro-jigs were doing the business along with smaller grubtail softies.

The next day I did a boat review of the Kingfisher 670 Powercat – a great fishing machine – and once the photography was done and the notes taken, we did one long drift out the back of Five Mile Reef that produced a steady stream of snapper. It was an all- white Gulp! 5” grubtail that outperformed the metal lures.

Unfortunately with the latest COVID threat upon us, hosts of the Reel Legends Fishing Tournament have had to cancel the event. With the whole country now at Red Light COVID status, events of that size cannot be run for fear of them becoming ‘super-spreaders’. The contest will be held February 17-19 next year. For more information go to

In the February issue of NZ Fishing News, I wrote a feature on the event which included a description of 10 good snapper spots located in the inner Bream Bay. Many of the spots mentioned in these reports are shared, including the GPS marks

On the way out in just a few metres of water as we left Marsden Cove marina entrance we spotted a couple of rat kingfish feeding alongside a cruising stingray. Casting a topwater lure right past their noses didn’t attract any attention, but on the way in, some slightly bigger kingfish were working in tandem with a stingray. First cast and it was game on, on to be busted off when the braid broke – bugger!

For anyone interested in targeting kingfish, especially if you would like to do it with a flyrod, the shallows between the Marsden Cove entrance and the wharves would be a good place to start looking. Now is also a good time to be targeting the channel markers with topwater lures for kingfish. I have reports from the regulars who do this and they have had some success already and it will only get better as summer progresses.

It pays to have someone on the helm because on hooking up, you need to drive away to keep the fish out of the buoy’s anchor chains.

Mangawhai based charter skipper Tony Orton aboard Stella has been back out at his favourite haunt – the Mokohinau islands – and has been putting his clients onto some reasonable kingfish and snapper, even bringing home some respectable hapuku in the 15kg bracket on one recent trip. Tony reports the snapper fishing out here has steadily been producing double-figure fish. He says in some places where he has been livebaiting over the deeper pins for kingfish, it has been hard to get the baits past the ravenous reds.

The change of light still remains the best time to catch a feed. Staff at the Mangawhai Top Catch store say they are not getting on the water until 5.00-6.00pm some days after work, but that is all the time they need to catch a decent feed of snapper without having to go very far.

Grant Dixon


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