Did 2019 bring you your fishing thrills, dreams and wow moments? Yes! :blush: No?! Either way, 2020 fishing is on, and the bite is back!
Striped, blue and black marlin, while not big in numbers yet, are well spread around much of the mid to upper North Island. It doesn't take much to get out and get into skipjack, perhaps an albacore, and while you're at it – snag a marlin.
The manta ray migration out past Great Barrier is amazing to see with these massive creatures gliding along, hundreds of them. Also, hundreds of sharks schooling in the Great Barrier island shallows this past week, incredible, and normal.
It's been great to see masses of all sorts of watercraft and approaches to enjoying the Hauraki Gulf environs. From jet skis at warp speed to kayaks, paddleboards, biscuits, wakeboards, simply sailing along, or anchored in a bay with scallops, mussels perhaps a crayfish or two alongside some fresh fillets to be savoured at leisure when home again. The wonders of nature at our front door literally – Whangaparaoa Peninsula has had some blue night lights, natural bioluminescence no less, shorelines of beautifully blue-lit waves, pink over the Eastern Bays!
Where's the Fish (WTF)?
Firth of Thames, ol' reliable, while not ballistic every day, has been a pretty good solid bet most days lately, particularly the top end of it. Calm weather recently was the perfect opportunity to go further afield, and many did with the predicted variable results with that full moon holding centre stage. There has been some good workup activity just south of Anchorite rock lately, the food chain is in full swing – many species have young mouths to feed. The workups of the western Rangitoto have taken a rest and moved out past the Noises once more – expect that scene to continue to move around the inner gulf over the next week or two.
Gurnard are making their presence known, and good on them. The kingfish bite was off a bit over this bright moon, and while some trips further afield did turn up the kings, the numbers were not big. Expect better things this week as the bite is coming back!
This time of year, when it's utterly calm out there, and there's no drift, it's easy to think the fish won't bite. Some of the time many fish species are on holiday too, but the number of times when 'nothing's happening' and a solid big snapper of the day takes off with a tiny lure is astonishing. Perhaps it's just the opportunity or the inquisitive nature of snapper - who knows.
Despite what many think, this motionless scenario is perfect for catching fish. A good micro jig can be the ideal answer, for both shallow and deep water. If you're out drifting the gulf in say, 30-60m, a micro jig flitting around all through the water column will often turn up the goods; kingfish, dory, gurnard, snapper, porae, you name it. And when using them on the light gear, whether microjig rod or softbait gear, a light leader helps a LOT - 20lb maximum, 10-15lb even better. Choosing your colour and shape is cool and rewarding, and can often change throughout the day, so try colour, shape and action variations, and be ready to strike!
Enjoy your fishing