A kingfish bonanza it has been lately for both humans and the taxman (sharks). Kingfish seem to abound some days, sure around the usual rocky areas but also around baitschools out in the middle of nowhere. Kingfish can be fussy at times, so using a few approaches is a great idea, topwater, speed jig, slow pitch and even softbaits can take their wary eye and become flavour of the day. It's definitely worth trying more than one approach when out there targeting these big green machines.
Sharks – prolific around the country at any time however they seem to be making their presence well known, particularly when kingfish are on the line, with many anglers initially puzzled at the sudden odd decrease in fight from the kingfish. You'll get half if you're lucky, much like our own taxes. If there are sharks taking their toll, the best idea is to simply move.
Rays – big, small, dark, light are all over – such a wonderful species to watch glide and fly through the water effortlessly, and at incredible speed when it chooses.
Marlin – increasing number of catches are being reported at most ports-of-call around the North Island, most fish are of very solid sizes, and the fishing amp is near tangible. There is a long way to go in this season, but we are underway so if you have been (patiently) waiting, wait no more!
Snapper are in rest and recovery mode most of the time, this is when other species can thankfully take over the fishing attention for a while, as the snapper breed but feed only sporadically. Typically a long hot sunny summers day, with little tidal movement or wind makes for slow to no bite. Dawn and dusk are the best times in this scenario and in the inshore areas are the place to be targeting these fish right now, great news for all the landbased and smaller boat owners.
Downtown, upper harbour, inner Kawau, bottom end of Waiheke, all doing well at the right time. The middle ground of the gulf can be noticeably quiet for snapper fishing some days. Wharfs have been full all around the country with young and old, a wonderful sight and a proud NZ tradition, great to see holiday fun fishing and family time is still so popular and doable with almost zero budget too. Fun times and memories – can you remember your first time fishing growing up?
Inner channels of Auckland have been doing well providing exciting snapper runs, they fight all the way to the boat in such shallow water (and handled well, good to go!) and it's so much more engaging, light tackle, easy spin reels for casting in all directions – to see where fish are holding -or often to determine which way the snapper want to chase and bite. This multi-direction casting is a common Catch Pro Team technique. Whether using spin tackle or micro overheads – which are particularly good for the drift and drag approach bumping along – the Stingaz jighead pointing both the hook and the tail of the softbait upwards which looks like a feeding baitfish wafting in the current even when stationary. Natural tail or curly tail are both working well, particularly with the 2nd little stinger hook – avoiding bite offs, and tentative bites particularly form bigger more wary fish, the number of solid fish being caught on this stinger hook system is a real eye opener!
Out further by Little and Great Barrier good sizeable snapper are still being caught, although again there can be times of little to no bite, it pays to use a few different offerings to entice a strike, smaller soft baits on lighter weighted jigheads can works wonders, so a very slow drift or even anchoring in 50m can be a great approach to slowly waft down a little temptation...
So fishing in summer is not all about snapper but it sure is about fun in the sun. Enjoy this wonderful fishing weather with evening BBQs and fresh fish searing on the skillet.