Squadrons of gannets have been swooping right into the very shallows along North Shore Auckland, over to the Noises, also out from Hatfields Beach. There must have a been some very quiet time in the gannet colonies – the whole troop seemed to be flocking elsewhere. Even the Great Barrier gannets have been making some long flights in towards Tiri environs. Similarly, down the line over towards Beachlands and Clevedon, there have been some amazing inshore workups – intense stuff for us land-dwellers to observe.
Dolphins have been in large gatherings at times too, with some big gatherings a few miles north of the Noises – the big bubble of Spring is bursting at the seams. Whitecaps predominate when viewing the sea through binoculars, so much visual action of white terns and gannets seem to blur the vision even more - the mid-ground from Gulf Harbour to Rakino has seen plenty of surface action.
If you're a landbased fisher, we've been getting some useful reports from various people fishing off the bricks along the eastern coastline. Rock and landbased fishing have their own rewards, and winter fish can be especially good. Trevally, kingfish, snapper have all been showing their renewed Spring interest.
These annual blustery conditions help a lot of snapper sneak into the Gulf under the radar, and while the workup scene has seen good snapper, there is no doubt a lot more and a larger fish to arrive in the pre-spawn inflow. Now is an excellent time to think about what adventures you'll get up to over the next few months. The variety of fish available within the confines of the Hauraki Gulf is heartening, and you can now learn how to target different fish with different lures, the choice of whether to keep fish for food or to release.
We live in a wonderful time and place and have a backyard playground extraordinaire. The fishing is now more a matter of 'how do you want to enjoy catching fish' rather than 'how come I'm not catching any'!? Traditional approaches can work well, and so can new innovations, together the combination can be even more rewarding. There is a wide variety of ways to catch the mainstay the mighty snapper, the powerful kingfish, the highly prized john dory or the ever-delightful gurnard.
Are you in? Don't' wait, the fish aren't. Game on.