Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - 16/11/23

Don't be afraid to experiment

Busted off… again! What can you do? Perhaps simply a hangover of previous below-average advice (poor line, leader, drag, technique and more), or following ‘traditions’ that not longer apply, ‘fishy facts’, ‘Fakebook facts’? Lighter leader is a well-known option for catching fish, but why not use HEAVY LEADER, like 300lb, for a softbait? What! Sacrilege surely. Don’t get stuck in a rut, adapt to your territory and fish target. (See video on Catch Fishing Facebook and Instagram).

Softbaiting techniques continue to evolve. Improved rigging techniques, the latest softbait options, using softbaits  in new places, new and better methods of presentation, deep water softbaiting, more effective rigs, straylining your softbaits - so many options. There’s a seminar at 12 noon this Saturday in Wellington at KP Marine’s Open Day covering all this, one not to miss.

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The bait-free fishing competition pre-seminar hosted by Longshore Marine Whitianga at the Mercury Bay Game fishing club last week was absolutely fabulous! And check out the cracker snapper caught by Mitch Anderson and Longshore Marine on the Catch 7” Livie Softbaits - such a superb lead-up to the lure-only comp, congratulations and all the best this weekend.

Two trophy fish for Mitch Anderson caught on a Catch! seven-inch Livie softbait.

Workups in the Hauraki Gulf abound, here there and way back over there. Spring it is and while there are whales appearing just around the corner off the Mercury Islands, with thumping workups to boot, the Hauraki Gulf is seeing its fair share of heart-pounding adrenaline style fishing. Many are occurring closer in now, about level with Flat Rock across the gulf, some thumpers further out with the whales, but closer in, good thrills and reasonable snapper along with some kingfish in attendance. Also, the action at the top of Firth has been an excellent choice of where to start chasing the dragon of workups, a good go-to at this time of year.

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Milky fleshed snapper? While not 100% accurate, holding a snapper horizontal and looking down on it, just behind the head/shoulder/gill area on the upper back is where the main fillet/muscle area is. The milky snapper are a lot skinnier and the muscle just isn’t there. If this shoulder area is skinny, going in towards the spine rather than flaring out with the normal muscle and condition you can see and feel – it could well be a snapper with skinny milky and unappealing flesh. Put it back if it’s good-to-go.

Rather quiet around the inner areas this past week between Whangaparaoa peninsula and Rangitoto, but expect that to change very soon, any day now.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Catch! Tackle, a 100% NZ-owned business, its products, the educational seminars – continuing not only to bring you the latest information and techniques, but also leading edge lures, rods and reels to enjoy your fishing with - bring on a great summer and fishing. 

Captain Espresso


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