The crap weather over the last week or so have kept all but the keenest anglers at home.
Huge swells last weekend smashed the Bream Bay coastline. It was reported to me that one of the swell recorders were logging waves 10 metres plus – Chinese whispers perhaps, but I know the entrance to the Mangawhai bar was breaking 500 metres offshore. Combined with the king tides, there was quite a bit of damage done to the beachfront, including the access to the Mangawhai beach in front of the surf club.
The good news that all the red weed that had infested the Lange Beach/Waipu Cove area was blasted away with the big easterly blow. It had become particularly bad at the Cove, to the point you could not launch your boat off the beach for fear of sucking it into the outboard’s cooling water intake and blocking it. Once it gets into the system, it can be very difficult to remove, so is not worth the risk.
Beach longliners also struggled with the weed as it was some distance offshore, smothering the reefs and sandy bottoms with its thick sludge-like covering.
Once the swell settled and the breeze went offshore, there was some great surfing to be had at some of the popular spots. The reef off the eastern end of Langs produced some great waves later in the week. Driving along the coast, there were a lot of contractor’s vehicles parked up at the popular spots – they must all have ‘Ten Knot – Two Metre Swell’ clauses in their work contracts!
One crew that got out over the weekend targeted both snapper and john dory, finding both in 40 metres of water out from Ruakaka. They braved the occasional cold shower and were rewarded with good numbers of both, although the snapper were not monsters, they were in prime condition. The gurnard, while not plentiful – they got seven in a three-hour session – they were all a good size and were caught on orange inchikus and sliders worked hard on the bottom.
The dinghy brigade fishing the Mangawhai harbour say the fishing was slow over the big tides, although some snapper and the occasional trevally were making a guest appearance in the IceyTek bin.
The Queen’s birthday weekend sees the weather in the Far North looking a little better, although far from perfect. If conditions are good, I would be looking for a decent bait and berley session at the Hen and Chicks – anywhere there was a bit of foul to fish back into.
I know the team at Mangawhai Top Catch are looking forward to the arrival of the gurnard in good numbers, both outside the estuary as well as on the Kaipara.