The snapper have softened their voracious bite of late, getting more into breeding mode and less of a bulk-up frame of mind. The higher water temperatures, the time of season and much more have all aligned to create some softer bite times out there; however, there are still times of fast feasting alright. The inner areas with soft-baits have been doing okay. The usual aquatic highways and byways have been holding fish, which is handy since there’s usually somewhere relatively calm even when the wind speed is making some noise in the local Christmas trees – it’s great to see the pohutukawas in full glorious bloom. Out further things are changing as fast as the weather.
Increased kingfish catches have made for some great BBQ banter, but unfortunately, sudden weight loss has been common. The sharks are quite happy to feed on fresh kingfish steaks provided on a tether. Flat Rock has been performing well over the past week. Jigs, rapalas and topwater lures have all had their fun in the sun but the taxman is everywhere. Best of luck avoiding the top tax rate.
All sorts of ‘other’ fish like gurnard, dory, kahawai and mackerel are all doing what they do in their lead up to Christmas. There are plenty of these fish around – perhaps time to target something other than snapper?!
The key to coming home with fresh fish (and various forms of delicious seafood) is simply having a little more of an open mind right now. 2020 has been a prime example of adapting to external change – fishing success is no different and a whole lot easier!
For instance, you’d typically set up a slow pitch rig the night before a fishin’ mission with say an 80g lure so you’re pretty well sorted for some drift fishing out in 40m. Awesome. Out there the next day, however, you could be faced with any number of different opportunities. For example, you may encounter a huge kahawai school, which you can jig or troll through for some fresh ceviche and smoked fish pie. You could also throw both a topwater lure out and a big jig down to target kingfish that’ll be hounding the kahawai for sure. You then might stop a hundred metres away for a casual drift fish for snapper hard on the sea floor with your ‘never fail’ lures. Snapper are breeding and can be extra fickle so throw down different lures and vary your action massively – from erratic and fast rod movements all the way down to no movement at all. It pays to hold your lure completely still for several seconds just off the sea floor, count to 10, then slowly, slowly wind it up to half way through the water column. It works with all sorts of lures you wouldn’t think can work this way, mechanical jigs included. Increasing current levels will help perk things up out there as well after a slow week.
It’s a crazy busy time on land around the Auckland region. There are the mad motorways and the increased hustle and bustle to “get it done” by Christmas. What better way to calm the nerves than ensuring Santa wishes you a ‘Happy Fishmas’? – i.e. under the guise of giving, give yourself a well-deserved reward for getting through 2020. Prepare for and enjoy some time fishing over the Christmas period, whether it’s in your favourite local ‘spot x’ or further afield where new adventures begin.
That westerly quarter wind drops off next week, so crack into some fresh snapper, throw in a battle with a kingfish or two and drop a couple of ‘others’ into the fish bin. Sound a plan!? Get into it –there’s simply no time like the present.