With the heavy rain experienced throughout the region over the last month, the inshore water has taken on a muddy-brown hue, but that doesn’t seem to have affected the fishing too much!
The ‘Bait and Berley Brigade’ tell me that the Waipu River mouth and Uretiti foul have produced some good snapper to 6-7kgs. According to one crew, the best bait has been fresh jack mackerel, either butterflied or a fillet taken off either side. The remaining guts and frame would be a good bet as well! The action has been slow-to-steady, but the wait between bites has been worth it. Two hours on either side of the bottom of the tide has been the most productive time to hit it.
My neighbour Chris and I snuck out during ‘gentleman’s hours’ (10.00 am-2.00 pm) last Friday, between weather fronts. We fished in 45 metres of water out from Bream Tail, taking home a bin of nice snapper to 63cm and some gurnard. Sliders were the go, tickled up with a thin sliver of squid. Unbaited sliders were hardly touched, but add a squid tentacle or two, and you were in! There were some juvenile kingfish – sub 75cm – in the mix, providing a bit of excitement on the lighter gear (until they ran around and picked up the other lines!).
Nothing else we tried, soft-baits, natural baits, or micro-jigs, were touched. Interestingly, there was only the odd smattering of fish showing on the sounder, but the action was steady. A couple of 400m drifts were all that was needed.
Others fishing out from Mangawhai the same day did not fare so well. The kahawai birds were working out the back of the bar, providing one young crew (out with dad on the last day of their school holiday) a bit of fun, not to mention a nice catch destined for the smoker. There weren’t any snapper under the work-up action, which was described as ‘flighty’, meaning it was hard to keep up with.
Looking to the next week or so, we should start to see some work-up action in the bay. One observer saw a decent bust-up with gannets in attendance off Te Ari Beach while enjoying a bit of sunshine with the kids – a portent of things to come?
Mangawhai’s Chris Hull with a nice snapper, caught using an orange slider spiced up with a couple of squid tentacles.