While I have personally been out of action, I am reliably told the only thing holding anglers back has been the recent spell of dodgy weather.
Superlatives used to describe the fishing in between times – mainly this last week – are ‘insane’, full-on, ‘never been better’, and ‘wicked’.
Tony Orton from Offshore Adventures has been out filming in his new Extreme 795 Centre Cabin Stella II has been smashing the snapper over on lures. He says the work-up action has fired up big time. On Wednesday he was fishing in 50 metres out from the Mangawhai bar in line with Hen Islands.
He drifted alongside one work-up involving whales, dolphins and gannets for close on an hour, getting some magic drone footage of the action from above. In the mix were five big gurnard, some of the biggest he has come across in Bream Bay.
The following day he moved his efforts a little further south and after a slow start, made thee most of another good session among the work-ups.
Dave Gurr from the Mangawhai Top Catch store says the gurnard capture was great to hear as normally the bigger grunters were moving out of the area around now. He says it is not uncommon to find snapper feeding on juvenile gurnard later in the season.
He also reported several good kingfish landed by customers over the last week, in close around the Bream Tail area. At the other end of the bay Nik Key nailed a nice kingfish on a kabura in 30 metres of water out from Three Mile Reef. He says there had been some great snapper action among the work-ups in the same area. Last week he and a crew left Marsden Cove at 6.30am, went to this area and were back at 8.30am with a limit of snapper and another kingfish – all on kabura style lures which is Nik’s ‘go to’ tackle.
In the middle of the bay off the Waipu rivermouth foul one kayaker tangled with a ‘XOS’ kingfish for some 25 minutes after it had taken a 10” softbait ‘dropped and dragged’ behind his craft. Unfortunately, this ended in tears alongside the kayak when the hook straightened. The fish was estimated at 25kg plus.
Dave says several of his customers are fishing Ocean Angler Jelly Baby tails on the slider heads of their choice, saying these are much more durable in the thick and fast action that can be work-up fishing.
This weekend the best bite times will be (Saturday) 12.30pm-2.30pm and on Sunday 1.20pm-3.15pm. Otherwise the start and the end of the day offer minor bite times. For more on the bite times in your patch, check them out on www.fishing.net.nz