Southern blasts of Antarctic-cold airflow from a large high-pressure system travelling up the country are bringing a definite chill to the early morning air, but the fish don’t seem to care!
There’s been some great fishing activity out in the gulf. The western side is still the main drawcard: Kawau, Flat Rock and up around towards Omaha – but watch that cable zone as your fish could end up being very expensive. The eastern side mussel farms have been producing excellent pannie snapper, too. Various pop-up workups are on the move as well, so keep an eye open for them. There are some BIG bait schools around the 50m-mark attracting the right attention!
Some good but brief fishing weather-windows are coming up for the open gulf; the rest of the time – close in is the go. This week – go the soft-baits! Light jigheads or worm hooks and tiny split shot/sinkers with little soft-baits like the ultra-real “Livies” are in demand from gurnard, snapper and the stunning John Dory. Try some aggressive movements – wake ‘em up, then let them sneak up and strike your barely moving lure, especially if you are up early and fishing close quarters. The edges of shadows are a great place to be fishing right now. Predators lurk in the shadows and lookout with their good eyesight – put your soft-bait in that area of exposed light, and be ready. Stealth can be vital, so kayak and landbased anglers have an advantage – try to move around calmly with little or no engine noise.
Evening sessions and into the night can also be very productive, especially with the berley approach. Line things up with those sou’ westers and target all sorts of fish: john dory, kingfish or even squid with squid jigs. Lil’ Squidwings, small stickbaits and unweighted soft-baits can all be used to fish the berley trail. There are usually all sorts of fish out and around the back of the transom, not only snapper.
Saturday’s weather is looking great – wherever your fishy destination is. Whether you’re in close early or late, out into the big wide open chasing down some adrenaline, or simply enjoying a drift fish for some beautiful fresh winter fillets and trying to keep the filleting blade sharp, there are plenty of fish to be found. Well-presented soft-baits, microjigs, Kaburas and Beady Eyes are doing very well. Heavy leader is NOT the go most of the time; if you’re over most of the gulf with no foul ground, 20lb is spot on.
If you can’t get out fishing, you may as well add to your existing knowledge and fishing options. Sit back, relax for a few minutes and watch his week’s broadcast of the Espresso LIVE series of fishing information.