Skipjack tuna are already in the Hauraki Gulf, along terekihi and hapuka - also being caught this week! We live in wondrous times. And with both striped marlin and blue marlin being caught over the past few days out of Whitianga and Tutukaka, the summer fishing season is overflowing with promise! For those big game aficionado the early season snowball of action is rumbling into life, with kayakers to luxury launches all preparing their game face and gear to battle with the mighty marlin.
For the smaller game fun-in-the sun approach, there is nothing like the sound of a reel igniting into life as a skipjack hits a trolled lure or snatches a retrieved softbait/microjig. Whether you are after a thrill especially for young or new anglers, or testing yourself with ultra-light gear, skipjack are a stunning and exciting fish. They can be excellent sashimi if treated correctly, and make a platter medley easy enough to catch in a day - say tuna, mackerel, snapper and kahawai. The Lil' Squidwing is a go to lure for skipjack, highly effective for targeting them whether trolling the lure around 5 or 6 knots, or sight fishing with a cast and retrieve, pure magic fishing fun. Fight? Pound for pound it's hard to be a tuna in both a muscle and endurance contest, they are bullet shaped for good reason, outright speed! You may also want to put out a micro jig for them, but if trolling it have the hook at the rear trailing along - this keeps the jig from tumbling (slow down if it still tumbles) and presents the hook better for even more hook up success.
Snapper have taken heed of the summer routine and breeding with long periods of tentative or slow bite the norm. Frustrating when the fish are clearly there on the sounder, or if you happen to be out in the 35m-40m depths northern Tiri area among the hopeful gannets and bait schools. Some days it's thumbs up, the other days simply thumbs scratching heads wondering what's wrong, no snapper biting? It's just the nature of nature right now.
However the inner circle of the Waitemata harbour has had some excellent rewards for the downtown fishing brigade. Harbour bridge, Devonport Naval Base, Chelsea Sugar Factory have all had good fishing at times. Marvellous when you can zip out after work, perhaps with a job-n-finish early knock-off time, a tiny tinny or kayak similar out in amongst some great snapper fishing for an hour or two, with a wry smile as you hear the drum of traffic or watch the slow motion movement slowly grind to a halt and ooze along homeward. No doubt many commuter's having a sideways glance, envying the person in the tinny below.
Kingfish have made up for a lot of the lethargic snapper bite days of recent past, some days kingfish caught out number snapper. The usual hideouts are holding the king of fish, and lots of legal length. Expect the kingfish bite to be also good among the southern Gt Barrier bait schools, as soon as this full moon passes on
Christmas Eve. Christmas – a time to easily justify getting a fishing present or two, perhaps even for someone other than yourself?? . Finer weather, lots of fish, so many wonderful ways to enjoy the day catching different species, in different places. The (fishing) holiday season is upon us, and there is no better time than now to enjoy it.
Have a great time, make memories and share your smiles.