A big black beautiful turtle turned up on Takapuna beach this week, Brydes (pronounced ‘Brooders’) whales were feeding just of Kawau and a small pod of big bottlenose dolphins patrolled the Hibiscus Coast. Mother Nature always has something up her sleeve to keep us enthralled.
The one real day to play in the gulf this week was Tuesday. The wind speeds were right down and the 09:30 tide change and wind direction coincided – stunning. There were lots of areas of slow bite. You know the type – the tentative tug at a lure by smaller snapper picking; a very wintry feel to the gulf indeed. South of Little Barrier up from Flat Rock was one of the closer workup action areas with many mammals in the no-fishing zone. Interestingly, the size of snapper away from the fray was excellent. They were fewer in number but generally of better size than closer to the melee of workups and trailer boats by the looks.
Some incredibly dense and large anchovy schools were quite happy doing what they do further out – tap the sounder screen to see if it’s faulty kind of thing. They were unaccompanied by bigger predators, but once they’re in the sights of dolphins and whales it will be epic thunderstruck stuff. Hopefully this opportunity for mega-workups coincides with fishable or semi-reasonable weather. When these schools get hit it’ll be absolute mayhem.
There was excellent fishing out towards Great Barrier for those who chose the big deep for their fishin’ mission, but you had to be committed. The city side wasn’t the go and the big barrier looked deserted, but out in 70m+ things were very different for just a few who made the grade.
Some good keen fisherman went even wider with such a sea forecast, and some very highly sought after hapuka have been prepared for friends and family as a result – superb.
The general gulf quietened down a lot this past week, although there are still good areas of snapper ‘grazing’ along in 40-50m looking for a tasty morsel. However, it’s a lethargic, almost disinterested bite a lot of the time. This soft wintry bite has meant it’s time to change the lure approach – one or two different and… smacko! Fish after fish on. There can be night and day between two different styles of lures, so it pays to experiment at the moment. Some days fish are fickle and this will only become more common in winter. The better and more varied the menu items you can show your dinner prospect, the more likely a disinterested fish will take a hit.
Kingfish went off the bite at some good dependable places. 5 Mile Reef (SE corner of Little Barrier), Anchorite Rock and even Channel Island seemed to be in lockdown mode. This can’t last – those big green machines need to feed, so the kingfish gear needs a really good shakedown while the wind is blowing. Use a heavy line and leader setup (preferably a long leader) for when the big boys are on, and keep your jigging and topwater setups at the ready.
Winter is here officially next week – as if we hadn’t noticed its pending arrival – so now it’s time to make the change to WINTER FISHING mode. BTW, the next Espresso LIVE series episode will be on just that: maximizing your success in winter with lures, in the shallows and deep water. Stay tuned on the Catch Fishing Facebook page.
Enjoy the thrills and delights of winter fishing!