Espresso Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - 09/03/23

Autumn action off to a great start 

Feel that change? Cool and clear early mornings are just the best. Inshore channels and shores, kayak and land-based fishing is doing well; light-weighted 5” softbaits slowing descending are working their magic in the shallows – places like Kawakawa bay among the terns/petrels low-flying the area in large groups, for instance.  

A little further out, in 20m or so all around the inner gulf, both softbaits and different shapes of microjigs have been working. Have a few choices on board as using the action from different shapes of micros gives you more strike triggers to use. 

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Out in 40m: easy money. Drift and you’ll find pannies everywhere. Again, microjigs are doing the business, but you may be better with ‘heavier’ micros like the tungsten Pocket Rocket to get you down to the bottom if it’s not five-knot variables.

Heading to 50m and deeper – epic. Schools of solid snapper are grazing around and keen on a snack dropping down from above. Out here, it pays to have both non-aggressive lures, such as the Beady Eye kabura, and the maximum-avoidance, maximum-panic lures, like the inchiku BetaBug, through to a slow-pitch or a hybrid jig that combines both – like the Boss Squid which has been notably outstanding. 

Big game striped marlin are just through those Hauraki gulf gates; Cuvier, the Mokes, Arid, a day trip on a cracker five-knot variable, with you holding onto a raging marlin. And with that 200gm Trolling Squidwing out on the long rigger or shotgun, you have the perfect temptation for both marlin and those superb albacore tuna too! 

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Many gannets have been out by the Mokes; a bit far for most of us to be chasing the dragon of workups, although a few nice ones are popping up between Channel and Little Barrier Islands. The smaller workups back in the gulf – some just out from Waiheke – have seen the gannets barely getting airborne, just enough to flop-dive and get their head down a couple of feet where bait balls are rippling the surface, pushed up by predators underneath. The most exciting lure catching happens as lures drop down to the waiting kingfish and snapper on light spin gear – too much fun!

There are more schools of kahawai over the western side of the gulf. If salt fly is your gig, head out around Flat Rock, where there are some monsters. Keep a few for a big smoke-up, and you’ll suddenly have a lot of friends. 

Lastly, a thank you to a great crew and fishing club at Stables Sports Bar Whangaparaoa and Fish City Albany for hosting the latest lure coaching presentation; a thoroughly enjoyable way to share great fishing information. A couple more coaching sessions on bait-free tackle are coming up in the likes of Coromandel. Stay tuned for dates and venues. And, if you or your club or business would like to host one, message me and let’s get into it.  

We will have some newly captured videos that will definitely change some long-held beliefs about snapper, with several snapper fishing ‘facts’ shattered, in a good way. Coming to a seminar near you so that you can see for yourself.


Captain Espresso



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