And just like that, winter chills! It’s not officially winter until next week but we’re already switching to winter mode and its associated adventures for the next three months! Murky waters have predominated over the past week, as have high winds, high seas and extra-high tides with that huge tidal current that will peak over this weekend. The 2m swell is dropping thankfully, and the water temps are still holding okay but the inevitable slide of several degrees has started. The inner areas are definitely shifting into more winter mode although good snapper are still being caught in the fish highways – Motuhie channel, around the Noises, Tiri channel and similar. Good feeding times will come with the waning blood moon, along with those clear crisp winter days (you can still get sunburnt at times).The recent tumult out around the kelp beds means that those gathering seaweed for winter gardens are in luck, lots of luck – many beaches are full of prime seaweed, free.
There will be areas close to shorelines that are (almost) glassy calm in the lee of the wind direction as it wanders around the compass. These are ideal times for a nudge around with soft-baits over sandy areas for snapper and kahawai. Drop-offs from rock ledges are also good snapper territory – and don’t forget kingfish! Many kingies will be cruising the edges of the gulf looking to pick up a stray ‘baitfish’, whether real or an imitation. Kingfish prefer a hapless struggling baitfish to most cut or dead baits – they love the chase. Soft-baits, poppers and stickbaits are ideal for these shallow water green machines. Go exploring, try a new spot or perhaps one so obvious that no-one fishes it – like just around the corner from so many ramps.
Best of all… Join in LIVE on Facebook this Sunday (NZ time) at 09:30 for the next level of soft-baits – Black Label Livies. Watch and see exactly how they look in the water, e.g. how the fish see them when you fish! You’ll also learn how to target and catch bigger fish with them. Find out first-hand how to give your fishing a massive boost! See you Sunday morning for a coffee with these exciting new soft-baits (after the 08:30 MagicFM radio Sunday Café).
It’s also a good time to have a quick look at those hours clocked up on boat engines, and other bits of critical machinery. You can prevent a Coastguard callout with some basic servicing. Reels and gear suffer from neglect if not at least semi-stored properly, and there’s nothing worse than gear failure – you’ve spent all that time energy to fish Spot X only to be let down by a nick in a rod guide, a sticky drag, a corroded reel handle or an old leader that ‘looks okay’ but was used on several fish last time.
The main hindrance to catching good fish? Warm duvets. Carpe Diem, seize the day.