Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - 08/02/24

Think outside the box with snapper on holiday

With most of this week looking good for some excellent fishing times, some calm waters came true, and some didn’t. We’re well past that frenetic full moon fortunately, the tidal current is good but not too strong, primo! Certainly, good to be out after the big game – old favourites and the new hot-looking lures in tow. Even the wind and tides line up a fair bit for those fishing closer to shore – excellent news since closer has good snapper here ‘n’ there for those anchored with berley sessions in mind.

And why not do the same but out away from the throngs of basking beach-goers, glorious wide open spaces of 30m and more, anchored with berley down, a heavy one of the collapsable metal pots would be good (or add a rock to your sock), or tie a burley down off the anchor warp so it’s near(er) the bottom flowing back under your boat and away out the stern. Then dropping straight into a super session with microjigs! Ridiculously good fun laughing away as you hook up on your lightest gear. Snapper, gurnard, dory, mackerel… who knows, probably a kingfish lurking around too, checking out what the commotion’s about. A great way to spend a calm, sunny summer's day out there, doing something a little bit different, surprising yourself with what you can catch.

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Go light and see how many species you can catch.

The pick of micros – that famous little 25gm Pocket Rocket, or a beauty little 20gm microjigs. Simply lift and drop the rod allowing the micro to freefall on the drop – even letting it hit the sea floor – vary this and see what’s working at the time. Or the partial-wind slow pitch approach, then a slow-ish gradual retrieve, tag tag – strike and hook up! Hilariously good fun. Mackerel (more are showing up around shorelines all over the show at the mo’) love the diminutive 7gm Pocket Rocket, again it can be too much fun, nice light drag settings and if you’re anchored the jig will get down no worries, use your lightest possible setups. The deeper you’re anchored the more vertically you can fish the micros, even very lightly weighted softbaits too – like the nice ‘n tasty looking 5-inch Livies.

Ice your fish in a cold slurry as soon as you’ve ikied it aboard, as the degradation of the fish flesh will be rapid in this heat – within minutes.

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Piper are underrated tucker!

Snapper are on holiday a lot in this heat, like many of us, but that’s no problem – target a few of the other fish out there waiting for you, and you can be eating some of the best-tasting fish dishes there are on the planet. Check the stunning and mouthwatering piper dish by Alex Bender. And what we can do with mackerel and other fish is amazing. The NZ Ajing and Light Game Facebook page has many more delicious and fun fish to catch. While snapper are great, they’re taking a well-earned summer vacation. Embrace it, go light – there are a lot of other fish to fry. Imagine the tasty flavours from around the world from such simplicity, and the lifelong memories created for the younger generation on a catch ‘n cook day of their very own, school is just barely clicking into gear for the year. There’s no better time than now.


Captain Espresso

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