Whangaparaoa Bay area place to be
Extended Whangaparaoa bay areas continue to be a good place to be for many according to a lot of birds, baitfish and their hangers on – kahawai, snapper and humans.
Lots of following the kahawai under frantically diving gannets on fast-moving bait going on, by that I mean many boats and skis keen to be where the birds are diving, a constantly changing spot. The gannets dive because they can see baitfish that are more than likely being hounded by kahawai, and possibly dolphins.
Casting in or near this white water (let alone being actually in this forbidden white-water zone) almost guarantees a kahawai hook-up soon after a lure hits the water, no chance of getting near a snapper 40m away below. Trying to fish the white-water also increases the risk of hooking a gannet or dolphin – one of the most destructive and easily avoided injuries out there.
If you are catching too many kahawai to your snapper here’re a few things you can do to increase your snapper ratio. No skirts, no kaburas, and use (usually) bigger heavier lures – like a metal slow pitch jig and fish your lures one or two handle-winds up from the bottom only, then STOP, drop back and keep fishing the bottom metre only.
Net your caught fish so if you don’t want a kahawai say, de-hook with a pair of pliers and release back out of the net – the fish will almost certainly live this way, and they are a vital part of the food chain to be treated with due respect like all life out there.
Drift fishing most places, including within (distant) eyesight of the large gatherings of boats is also a very productive way to target snapper and less kahawai. Snapper are not pelagic style long distance chasers, so they are around the active area but often not close to the boiling pot that’s moving all over the show.
So dropping down a pilchard look-a-like for instance the Power Pilchard Black Label LIVIE (softbait) or an anchovy imitation like the faster-sinking tungsten Pocket Rocket is exciting and productive, without buzzing around only to arrive back exactly where you were, less the prime fishing time it took up, and less fuel. Getting your lure down fast to the bottom where the snapper are is key – using a heavier deep water softbait rig like the one pictured (Beady Eye Kabura with Black Label LIVIE softbait) also increases your chances of catching big prime snapper, wafting a softbait down on a lightweight jighead will almost certainly guarantee a kahawai.
A little further afield out in the midground there are good solid pop-up workups, it’s that time of year! However, there’s a fair bit of quiet going on in 50m, the relative edges of the gulf providing the most action, right up from Tiri to past Kawau to northern Bream Bay – dotted along the coast various intensities of gatherings, various combatants too. The inner Auckland channels will slowly be starting to improve, especially once the current muddy waters clear a bit and the Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) continue to climb inshore i.e., breeding time.