Red hot fishing off Ruakaka
If there is one piece of advice I can offer this week regarding Bream Bay fishing is ‘just get out there and do it’.
And the good news is, you don’t have to travel very far at either end of the bay – Whangarei entrance or Mangawhai.
According to reports, the bait action has been intense.
Nik Key, a top charter operator and snapper lure angler from the Hauraki Gulf moved to Northland 12 months ago and has been sussing the bay out. Just after Northland went back down to COVID Alert L2 he made the most of the weather window and went with a mate out of the Whangarei entrance and down off Ruakaka.
He described the snapper action as ‘full on, from two metres out to 40 metres.” Nik’s go-to method is 200g sliders which he will fish as shallow as 10 metres. On Thursday the kabura style lures were ‘smashing it’, and anything with a purple or pink skirt was the go-to colour. He will often rig his sliders with Z Man Jelly Babies in place of the conventional skirts they come with, and it was this combo that produced their bigger fish – 70cm plus. The sliders and jigs had it all over the soft-baits as well.
Another observation was the birds in close were working up the anchovy schools which were quite fast moving, whereas at 40 metres the pilchard and jack mackerel schools were more concentrated and deeper down, with less bird action.
There was gannet activity the length of Bream Bay, all the way past the Waipu rivermouth and down off Langs Beach. You don’t have to go far offshore to find the fish which at this time of the year is likely to be a mixed bag of snapper, kingfish, gurnard and john dory. The beach fishers were able to ply their trade during lockdown and the reports are mixed, with fishing on dusk on an incoming tide being a good time to run those kontikis and drones out.
One kontiki fisherman spoken to said he had been baiting ever second of third hook with a 5” soft-bait and had been ‘smashing it’. When I asked him what ‘flavour the softies were, he wouldn’t commit, saying ‘you know the ones’. My money would be on a Nuclear Chicken or what ever you favoured brand variant is.
On the subject of soft-baits, Dave Gurr from the Mangawhai Top Catch store went soft-baiting off the shore in the harbour during lockdown and was rewarded with snapper to 58cm – he was stoked as a soft-bait off the shore in the harbour was a first for him.
Dave is always a source of good info, so if you want to know what is going down in his patch, he is well worth calling into the Woods Street store and talking to.
Tarakihi is an iconic Kiwi species, but it can take a bit of finesse to target them successfully these days. Sam Boothroyd shares a few helpful... Read More >