Big beautiful bottlenose dolphins, the gangsters of the dolphin fraternity can instantly stop you in your tracks with their sheer size, speed and friendliness (the North Shore Bays had an extended visit this week).
But most often poor indicators of imminent good fishing – they are not the happy-go-lucky smaller common dolphins who are like fish finding compasses (akin to Captain Jack Sparrow's compass). Bottlenose dolphins are hunter killers that conduct small patrols around the gulf, gobsmacking to watch in action but usually snapper-free underneath – or a very fleeting bite. There are 'dolphins', and there are 'dolphins' when you're fishing.
Broadbill seems to be on many peoples bucket list, and they are being very well targeted and caught by trailer boats. Day or night adventures, your choice, check out the Northland action if you've got this mammoth fish on your agenda.
Season changes have, well, changed. Wild, windy weather and air temperatures dropping like Giant Squidwings means fewer opportunities to fish the open areas. So if possible be 100% prepared as the wind can drop faster, sooner than predicted and you can miss a golden opportunity of reel screaming, braid pinging hookups and epic fights - there is always another day to spend at work, take a health day rather than a sick day.
Blinkered on just snapper? It is but one species of stunning fish that are in our waters, target and catch the others for a welcome change in every way.
A change in approach helps a great deal. Wind direction strong and steady from one direction for a day or two? Look on the chart for those leeward sheltered areas, you may need to be fishing a completely new area – but how good is that to avoid getting stale with your fishing adventures and provide a new challenge.
Fewer daylight hours are upon us yet good fish are poised to play the game, so be prepped with an open mind on where you could fish, then make and enjoy an adventure of it. Match your water depth with lure weight (2 x water depth in metres = lure weight in grams, e.g. 30m deep = 60gm lure – easy!).
So what fish are you going to target next? Kingfish out at Anchorite or Channel Island or by the bait-schools north of Anchorite towards Gt Barrier? Snapper in the very shallows of Whangaparaoa Peninsula or outer Kawau Island, or southern end of Little Barrier? Or just north of Anchorite on the drift there? Perhaps join in at the mussel farms over Coromandel, or head out to the Broken Islands for deeper waters and high expectations? Or tangle with monster kahawai just north of the Tiri channel in among the mackerel schools there? Lots of choices, yours to make.
It's fish hunting time!