The run of snapper out over the sand has continued for those able to run the gauntlet of the easterly conditions.
Reports from Easter, the first two days at least, saw the ramps full of those boat fishers making the most of the limited opportunities the weather allowed. The fishing was good throughout the bay, with some bigger fish reported from the Hen and chicks from the bait and berley brigade.
On Anzac Monday we didn’t have to go far for a fish. We ran to 40 metres 2.5NM east of the Mangawhai bar where over a bit of light rubble we picked up a nice catch of pannies in the 38-45cm range. Phil Lees and his dad Gordon arrived late on the scene but missed the bite, headed further down to coast to off the Te Ari bluff and the golf course development where they quickly ended up with a similar catch on orange sliders. The same day Ben Francis fished with bis family a little further out from us in 50 metres and produced some bigger snapper drifting both baits and lures in 50 metres.
One angler who stayed closer to home fishing one of the many patches of foul in 20-25 metres of water off Bream Tail was Craig Stevens who caught and released a 23lb snapper, one of the better fish I have heard of coming out of the region over the last few weeks.
Dave Gurr and his crew at Mangawhai Top Catch hosted a fantastic three-day kids fishing event, based in the harbour only. He had a great turnout for the contest which saw around 120 young anglers under 16 try their luck in the last week of the holidays. The kids all went away with a prize thanks to some fantastic support from the community. Dave says the event will be repeated next year.
The easterlies kicked in for all of this last week, minimising the boat fisher’s opportunities. Surfcasters fishing at Marsden Point adjacent to the refinery are reporting some good catches of both snapper and the occasional trevally still. Similarly, the surfcasters off Te Ari have had some good action, especially where low tide coincides with the changes of light. They tell me a gutter has formed between the inshore and offshore swell break line and the snapper, gurnard and trevally, along with the ever-present kahawai, have been caught in steady numbers by both the beach casters and longline drone and kontiki fishers.
Longer term, the weather is meant to be a little more settled over the next few weeks and I hope to head a little wider to the Chicks and possibly the Mokes for a strayline session. Those in the know are telling me the occasional good-sized gurnard is appearing over the sand closer to home for those wanting to still be able to hear the dogs barking!