Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - 30/11/23

Evolution of softbaits - your advantage

During a presentation last week, the past, present and future of softbaits was discussed and shared afterwards at length with some very knowledgeable anglers in Wellington at KP Marine.

Past softbaits were often ‘one-hit-wonders’. Materials used back then have progressed massively, now resisting bite-offs 10 times what they used to back in the old days, and even just a few years ago. They had no stretch, were basic in design and function. Fast forward to the present day and we have surface contours and moulding just like, or better than, the real thing. Colours and contrasts, shapes, sizes, species and more.

----- Advertisement -----

Not only that, but the ways of presenting a softbait have improved vastly with even better lifelike action and movement, and where and when they can be used effectively. Light tackle softbait rods and reels are still an excellent choice for shallower waters, but now using softbaits to target fish never even considered, in depths like never before. Bass, hapuku, kingfish, and bluenose are all now on the menu for softbaiters – by adjusting the tackle used, like using heavy deep dropper rigs, surfcasting gear, drone fishing, the list is only limited by our mindset.

It’s not about softbaits vs bait vs whatever, but having different options to counter the different fishing conditions and fish feeding preferences the day and time you happen to be out there. Far fewer fishless stories, and more fishing thrills with rewarding-looking fish bins at the end of the day.

Sick of snags when softbaiting from the shore or in amongst prime snapper territory of kelpy weedy areas – here’s the fix, use a weedless rig, and what’s more the design of softbaits like the Catch LIVIES incorporate a small but significant design feature to help them glide through this gnarly fish filled terrain, and catch out those moochers. Rig your softbaits simply and effectively to help prevent the hook of a softbait from getting snagged on weeds and rocks. The narrow top-slot on the Livies is a perfect example of a specifically moulded SB design for this rig, certainly an option for when you are fishing land-based, shallows or anywhere snags can be a problem. See the video on Catch Facebook for the insider info and how to rig it.

An example of a weedless softbait rig.

Believe it or not, December traditionally can produce quite a slowdown in snapper feeding around NZ, this of course remains to be seen since Mother Nature rules and she will decide all in good time. Right now is the traditional time to be fishing those inner shallower channels with softies and micros, the main highways are just that – the main in/out and snapper areas to target are Rangitoto, Motuhie, Sergeants, north channel Kawau, even the downtown Auckland Tamaki Strait. All good areas to target, maybe a good place to use the weedless rig mentioned above? So right now is perhaps the time not to whiz straight past prime snapper territory in the channels, certainly a good option to be considering when looking at the weather as well. 

----- Advertisement -----

Big barrels of tuna have already been caught out off the BOI, the start of the big game chase – marlin anyone? Get your game face on. Either marlin or tuna, the 200gm trolling Squidwings is an epic lure to have out – rigger or shotgun it’s the ideal straight runner, with its distinctive surface water splash, and an easy-to-eat option for fish to eat while trolling!

Christmas awaits, what’s on your fishing gear wish list?

Good ideas browsing through in the Catch Facebook Catalogue.

Captain Espresso




Rate this


Post a Comment

Required Field

Fishing bite times Fishing bite times

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Latest Articles

Snapper and Blue Moki From a Kayak
February 2024

Blair Whiting discusses kayak fishing at Kapiti Island for snapper and blue moki... Read More >

Crayfish Rolls
February 2024

A recipe for crayfish rolls is shared... Read More >

Expert Tips for Topwater Fishing
February 2024

Grant Dixon talks to the experts about their tips and tricks for topwater fishing... Read More >

Balex Dock - THE Solution for the Marina, Waterway, or Lake
February 2024

The Balex Dock is a customised floating solution that will keep your boat out of the water and give you a controlled launch and retrieve every... Read More >

Charter Fishing Hints
February 2024

Grant Dixon explains how to make the most of your fishing charter... Read More >