Bream Bay Fishing Report - September 24th, 2021

Action fast and furious – mostly!

While I am confined to land at present, the reports have been coming in from throughout the Bream bay region of some great fishing.

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Talking with Dave Gurr at Mangawhai Top Catch, he says his customers are reporting excellent bags of snapper.

The mornings have provided the better work-up action, specially when early morning coincides with the last couple of hours of the outgoing tide. Dave says the work-ups have stayed up much longer and remained in the one place, allowing the anglers to get among the action. In the afternoon, the work-up/gannet action is a little more sporadic and fast-moving, making it harder to stay on the fish.

‘Nobody is coming home empty handed, that’s for sure,” Dave reports.

And the most popular selling lure – the Ocean Angler sliders.

“It doesn’t seem to matter what lure of what colour you put in front of the fish; they will take it at the moment. Reports of good catches have come from south of the Mangawhai bar, all the way down to Te Ari and closer to Little Barrier – avoiding the cable zone of course!

Charter skipper Tony Orton took his family out for a pleasant mid-morning fish last Sunday off Bream tail and brought home a nice feed of snapper, caught mainly in 35 metres of water on micro-jigs. Another Mangawhai local who was among the action at the weekend was Rob Cameron. Both he and Tony say the fishing was not fast and furious as some had experienced earlier in the day, but there were plenty of good eating sized fish – around the 40cm mark – for everyone.

Talking to some of the angles at the Mangawhai ramp on Sunday they all showed me some nice fish, nothing much over 50cm, but all in prime condition. The general consensus was – a hot bite early in the morning, tapering off as the tide slowed.

Marsden Cove based charter skipper Steve Martinovich has his boat Sumo out of the water for its annual maintenance so has not been out fishing. He told me he had heard of some great action just outside Three Mile Reef when one crew binned out while soft-baiting, bucking the current trend where lures have been the more prolific producers. Another crew spent time at the Chicks soft-baiting around the wash and shallows, taking some nice snapper. Brighter, larger 7” tails were fishing the best.

He says he has a good number of bookings from Auckland based crews who keenly await attaining L2 lockdown status that will enable them to travel north.

“I have warned them it all depending on the downgraded level for them to fish, but they have booked anyway saying ‘at least we have something to look forward to in the meantime, even if it doesn’t happen.” Now that is positive thinking!

For those who enjoy a feed of gurnard, there have been some reasonable ‘carrot’ catches of late, the fish of a good size. Anchoring up over the sand and getting a good berley trail flowing sees to be the answer. Gurnard are suckers for jigs - especially inchikus and micro- that are dropped on the sand and then flicked upwards with a snap of the wrist. Gets them every time!

Both kingfish and john dory have been on the catch sheets, often caught when fishing the work-up ‘exhaust’ – where the action has been rather than currently is – where it is not a bad idea to run one line ‘long’ armed with a livebait.

My neighbour shared some scallops and crayfish with me over the last week. The scallops are still a little thin, but the cray was magnificent, enjoyed with fresh salad and a glass of crisp cold pinot gris or two.


Grant Dixon


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