Well, the weather has been wet and windy (the wettest and windiest for August for quite some time). Fortunately, the bait and workups have moved closer in and the snapper kingfish and kahawai with them. These workups have been spotted off Gannet Rock, Takapuna, just west of Gardiners Gap, along the East Coast Bays and up by Tiritiri Matangi, Motuora and Challenger (so basically everywhere that the anchovies and pilchards are).
This means that you can use soft baits and smaller jigs to target them as the water depth is a lot shallower. This also means that you will be in for a great fight as these shallow water fish are angry as! Below is a nice 57cm snapper taken by Mal Williams fishing Gardiners gap workups on Monday 9th September 2019.
Mal told me that there were kingfish in the anchovy schools as well, but they were jig shy, so maybe a live bait or topwater lure will be more tempting. He also said that while there were heaps of kahawai, there they were not taking the jigs either. Mal was using 100g jigs (kabura and bottom ship), and they both worked well. Orange seemed to be the best colour.
There are also workups out wide around Great Barrier Island and the top of the Coromandel. There tends to be bigger snapper in these areas and even the chance of big trevally or kingfish. We are starting to use larger 250g kaburas in these areas to get down quick in the wind/current and nab a bigger fish. We are finding that skirts with white are working well for the good size snapper, as well as duller colours such as brown and gold.
Bait fishing in the shallows along the Auckland’s east coast and the inner islands can be fantastic at this time of year. Historically I used to catch my biggest male snapper off Takapuna in early October. I am quite sure that these are the first males that show up in spring and cruise the coastline looking for the abundant bait! It makes sense then to use fresh bait from the area you are fishing to catch these fish!
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"
Check out what we have been up to on -