The waters are starting to cool and with this comes a more aggressive bite from the larger snapper in the Hauraki Gulf! March is one of my favourite months for fishing!
The inner harbour up to Te Atatu is firing now and March is always a good month to have great snapper fishing closer to home. We usually fish areas all the way from North Head up to Kauri Point at this time of year. A couple of my favourite spots are off Chelsea Sugar Works and the bank that runs from there up to the hole off Kauri Point. Change of light in the evenings and early moring seems to produce the best fishing, but when it hots up they are biting all day!
We have been fishing the middle ground with great results over the last week. This is an area south of Anchorite rock and halfway across from Tiri Is. to the top of Coromandel. Look for birds working to find the bait and predators (snapper KY and kingfish), Sometimes, as it was on our last trip, there will be just a few birds working the area and that is enough to target the snapper. We have been doing long drifts (1-2nm) and hitting patches of good fish along the way. The NE winds seem to be best for this fishing over the last few weeks, pushing us back to our point of departure.
When it is windy and the current is strong we use 200-250g kabura style jigs and have found a mixture of orange and lumo green to be the best and most consistent skirts on an orange or pink head (Kaveman 200-250g heads work really well for this as do their skirts with 2/0 hooks which I flesh up with other colours). We also tried the new Ocean Angler 4.5 Jelly Babies other day and they worked very well on the larger jig heads for snapper (also very durable). I have also been playing with and testing the new Junkie Jigs and really like their hula skirts. I have been adding them to my 200-250g kaburas to beef up and flesh out the existing skirts. They have a rubber centre that acts like a cushion for the bigger jig heads (protecting the knot).
We also found some great workups last week just east and north east of Anchorite rock and also north west of there over towards Little Barrier. These workups held both snapper and kingfish which are great fun on the lighter snapper gear and slow jigs
I look forward to seeing you out there. Or come out with me and enjoy my playground and learn a few tricks I have gained over the years!
Nik Key is a tutor, guide, lure tester, author and charter skipper
Capt Nik (Snap) - 021 596 074
"Nothing ventured nothing gained"