Inner Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - 08/02/24

Don't you just love this summer!

Finally we have long periods of calm weather and by the look at the queues at many of the boat ramps every man and his dog are getting out on the water.

With the gamefishing up north going ballistic we had to have a crack for two days. Surprisingly we saw just one workup and only caught six small skippes. Running a translucent greenish lure off the shotgun it was just too tempting for a big blue which put up an amazing sight as it screamed in and smashed the lure only to spit the dummy (and the lure).

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With the wind getting up in the late afternoon we went in for a strayline fish at Ngunguru. No matter what we chucked at them from pilchards to fresh skipjack we damn near got skunked. Option B – go have a drift fish in close, and long story short every drift we hit fish but what was strange they were only really close to the beach in 3-5 metres.

I am writing this having just come in from a fish at Omaha, with very little sign showing in my normal spots. It was only after the tide had been running for an hour and a half that they came on the bite – nothing flash mainly pannies (35-42cm) but one big mother did take me to the weeds.

The inner Gulf has been very patchy by all accounts, out on the worm beds southeast of Tiri there’s been a few workups but the snapper below have been slow on the bite. This is where I would be doing a drift fish. Depending on the speed of the drift use a trace of at least one to one and a half metres and use a big sinker that will bounce along stirring up the sand which we find excites the fish to hit the bait more aggressively.

Across the Firth close to the mussel farms there has been a heap of kahawai feeding on anchovies but again the snapper below have been soft on the bite and only when drifting do the bigger fish hit the bait hard.

This is a bit of a strange summer from the point of view that nothing is normal, with a lack of bird life and baitfish, and the normal run of post-pawning snapper is just not happening. Where I would normally be fishing in deeper water has only been working at dawn and dusk, especially on a rising tide. The most reliable areas to target are where there is low structure covered in kelp or casting floaters in weighted baits around rocky shorelines – again dawn and dusk will produce bigger more aggressive fish.

What it all boils down to is whether you are prepared to put in the hard yards, be it up early or home after dark, no matter what you do it’s just great to get out and enjoy the weather.

My picks on where best to target a feed of snapper:

Area 1 spots 9,10 and 19 (Rangitoto, western side; North Head, Rangitoto lighthouse)

Area 2 spots 7,12 and 14 (Browns Island west; Motuihe)

Area 3 spots 2,13 and 18 (northern Rangitoto; western Motutapu)

Area 4 spots 6,13 and 14 (Billy Goat Point - Otahuhu Point)

Area 5 spots 10,11 and 14 (David Rocks; Motuhoropapa)

Area 6 spots 10,12 and 24 (Anita Bay; Hooks Bay; Oneroa Bay - Hekerua Bay)

Area 7 spots 5, 7 and 17 (Ponui Island - Ruthe Passage; Rotoroa/Ponui Island - Ruthe Passage; Pakatoa Island - Rotoroa Island)

- Bruce Duncan

Bruce’s Hauraki Gulf Fishing Hot Spots Guide has 150 proven spots including information on tides, weather, rigs and how to fish each spot. Get it here. 

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