The month of July has been a very productive one. The weather has been cold with the wind coming predominantly from the south and been often accompanied with showers. However, there has also been a fair share of still, crisp clear days that have allowed for venturing to the outer reaches of the Hauraki.
Over the last week or so work ups have been becoming more frequent, most notably occurring just out past the Ahaa's, between Anchorite and the Coromandel and off the North East coast of Great Barrier. All these areas have produced some great catches but what I think is the most important observation has been around the bite times. They have been short but very intense. Patience is the key over these winter months, all may appear baron, however, the finder will indicate fish are around and they will start biting but it might take a while! The last three weeks the bite time has been around 2pm, intensifying around 4pm and dying away into nightfall. As we have been wide and need to allow for travel time to get clients back before dark we have recently been departing when the fishing has been at its best. However, with bins already full this has not broken too many hearts!
What has also been observed at these times is the sudden and sometimes miraculous appearance of terns and petrels that appear out of nowhere and blanket the ocean in hovering masses. The lack of gannets diving does not indicate the absence of bait fish and kahawai. They are prolific with plentiful snapper feeding below. Dolphins have often also been in attendance which was an added bonus for the kids aboard over the school holidays.
How are we catching once these feeding frenzies swing into action? We have been using predominantly sliders combined with a mix of other jigs for targeting bigger snapper and kingfish. Our sliders are mostly from Catch Fishing with some customers preferring Daiwa. The colour of choice is most often the pink jig head with combinations of pink, blue and orange skirts. It really is the skirts that attract the fish and I would have to say that fluorescent orange has been the dominant colour recently. When targeting bigger fish, you can't go wrong with the red/gold or pink Double Trouble Beta Bugs. This also applies to kingfish in saying that, we had a nice specimen smash a pink Daiwa slider 10 metres off the bottom last week. At the end of the day, when the bite time is on, the fish will smash everything but during those tougher preluding hours the colours mentioned have been consistently firing more.
At this time of the year it can be a hard slog but remember to be patient and when that bite time does arrive, there is nothing better. We probably had our best day on record for snapper two weeks ago out by Great Barrier not far from the Pigeons in the conditions I have already mentioned. So, hang tight and I have no doubt that you will hook up.
Hooked Up Charters