The whole gulf is full of fish at the moment (big and small). We have been finding it hard to get away from the small 35cm fish as they are so prolific at now. We are finding pockets of better fish in areas from 42mtrs NE of gannet to top of the Coromandel and across to Anchorite rock. We look for bait/birds etc. and contours that the bigger fish hang out. The big kahawai are in now and can be a pain when trying to get snapper. We got our best fish after drifting past the kahawai, so it pays to be patient with them sometimes. Long drifts have been and producing better fish at the end of the drift just as we finish up, which is nice.
The whales and dolphins and pilchards are pushing in at the moment which means some great fishing is heading our way. We plan on doing two-day trips staying at Great Barrier so that anglers can take advantage of this fantastic annual winter event (day one means planning for a better day two as you know what is happening in the area). We expect these more intense workups to produce fantastic bycatch-kingfish fishing on the 200g slow jigs like last year.
Also, this is the month that I used to catch my bigger snapper off Takapuna cliffs in the old days (10 years ago). We would anchor, with a good burley flowing and drop lightly weighted live yellowtails on 10/0 hooks (tail cut). Any area like this that holds lots of bait will have moochers around (all around the bays and inner islands).
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."