Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - July 14th, 2022

  • Bruce Duncan

Berley will bring the fish to you

Wind, rain, Covid, man-flu, the price of fuel, and now to top it off, the cost of bait has gone through the roof. It is enough to turn a man to drink!

I was shocked to be told that a box of pillies had just gone up by $10.00, and it’s another reminder of the increasing costs of a trip out on the boat. 
It puts things in perspective when you see snapper at $51 a kilo in the supermarket. Still, you can’t put a price on a day out with your mates and family and, as my friend pointed out, to take the kids to the movies for just a couple of hours of entertainment, and you are over a hundred dollars lighter in the wallet.

----- Advertisement -----

Looking back to my early days when a two-horsepower powered 10ft dinghy was my mode of fishing transport, I would seriously try catching my own bait supply by either dragging the bait net down at the local beach or using sabiki in the burley trail. On one occasion, I had the boat on the back of the car, a bag of ‘bait’ slowly defrosting ready for an early dawn fish. I fanged off to Rangitoto and anchored up, only to find that what I thought was a bag of bait was a defrosted chicken. Cutting a bit of skin off, I rigged it onto a piper line and caught five baits, resulting in four snapper, seeing me back at the ramp with a good feed by 9.30am.

For me, the reality is the most and biggest fish of the day will always be taken on fresh bait. Even though you may not see any bait fish, it’s just a matter of having a line in the water and, in my case, two lines; a Black Magic flasher rig set off the stern in the burly trail and a piper rig on the surface.
When using a flasher rig, never set it right on the bottom. Let the sinker hit the bottom, then wind it up at least a metre to avoid catching baby snapper. On slack water, take the sinker off and cast the flasher rig away from the boat. You’ll find the hook-up rate is far greater as it slowly sinks through the water column. The piper line has a small float, then a half-metre trace with a tiny bit of split shot just above the hook. I set it at least five metres behind the boat.
Purchasing a bait net will soon pay for itself but remember the regulations on the numbers of bait fish you can now catch. I have always found dragging the bait net is always best on a rising tide and just before full tide. Pre-soak bread bran or the likes with a bit of sand as this helps you to toss it further and wider across the water to bring the fish around. Sand makes it sink quicker, so you don’t get every seagull in the neighbourhood eating it and scaring the bait fish.

Catching your own fresh bait such as this fresh piper not only saves money but helps improve your chances of success.

For the few that have been out wide, there have been a few workups in the gulf, mainly towards the east in around 25-35 metres, where you will find some excellent snapper on the bottom.
There is plenty of snapper out at the Noises and especially at the Ahaahas, but they are right on the face of the rises or on top of the reefs in the foul. Burley is a must to fire them up, and don’t be surprised if it takes an hour before you get your first solid fish.
Around Rakino and the back of Rangitoto, the snapper are in close on the foul, but you need to set a game plan and target the one spot. I would suggest the best shot when conditions are right is in Area 2 Spot 14, where snapper, trevally, kahawai, and even the odd rat kingfish are lurking on the reef structure.

My pick for the weekend is Area 2 Spot 3, which is the foul outside of Islington Bay because we have had a lot of strong constant wind in from the east-northeast. I find the snapper move in and around this large reef structure and stay for a week or so. If you head into Islington Bay, drift around or burley up and catch some fresh bait before heading out to target the reef, where you can be rewarded with some nice snapper.

----- Advertisement -----

On my last trip, I had a quick fish till the wind swung me off the spot at Spot 20 in Area 2. This is a tiny, isolated pinnacle of rock that is not on the chart, but it is critical to get the boat laying to it so your baits are in the target zone. Strange as it is, this spot always seems to hold bait fish, jack macs, piper and baby kahawai, and in summer, I have hooked into some very respectable kingfish.

Captain Swish
Bruce Duncan

Rate this


Post a Comment

Required Field

Fishing bite times Fishing bite times

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Latest Articles

Measure-based Fishing Competitions
August 2022

Alistair Arkell typically shies away from fishing competitions, but with many organisers now moving towards a more sustainable ‘measure only’ format, he decided to make an... Read More >

Roy McIntyre: Lifelong Fisherman
July 2022

“I’ve never done anything else, and I started fishing with my dad when I was three and a half,” Roy told me over the phone. “Just... Read More >

Hapuku with a Summer Salad by Bea Bagnall
July 2022

Bea Bagnall creates a refreshing Hapuku with Summer Salad dish... Read More >

Yellowfin Tuna Techniques - Part II
July 2022

Here's what you need to know about catching yellowfin tuna using live baits, jigs and using top-water lures as well as chunking techniques.... Read More >

Freshwater Fishing Offshore
July 2022

Sam Mossman runs through a handful of the exotic freshwater fish he has encountered whilst travelling overseas and lists five Freshwater Fish.... Read More >