Inner Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - 30/11/23

Post-spawning snapper moving in shallow

Despite the constant strong equinox winds in the last two weeks, there have been a few days one could sneak out for a cheeky wee fish even if it was for just a few hours.

I often say that even if you can only get out on the water for just a few hours it is worth the effort, as only by being on the water do you see and learn. Last weekend the wind fired up so fishing in normal spots was out so for no better reason I anchored in the lee of the cliffs near Mathesons Bay. We have all seen kingfish come right up to the stern of the boat eating scraps of bait but never before have I had a large snapper do the same. This day was a first and tossing a tossing a bait in front of his nose, he just inhaled it. Again, I have never had a snapper fight on the surface and surprisingly the fish came to the net within minutes to be de hooked and released.

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You can't beat a day on the water, catching a feed of fish and being entertained by seals, dolphins and a few big bronzies – sure makes you realise just how blessed we are to live in such a safe county.

For those wanting to chase the workups, head out off the northern side of Waiheke and work the area from Gannet Rock towards the top of the Coromandel. It is worth having a bit of a play off the reef structure at the southern end of Gannet Rock as there are a few reasonable snapper and kingfish lurking in the area.

Due east of the cable zone and slightly south of Tiri you will come across a few workups and the snapper will tend to be spread out rather than in schools.

The Rangitoto channel has been a bit quiet with the exception of spot 10, where I suggest using solid fresh jack macs or strip baits of kahawai or mullet.

Keep your bait options open when the bites are slow or the snapper picky.

There have been a number of workups in the Rakino and Motuihe Channels, and the snapper which have mostly spawned are now working their way up the channels and into the shallower inner harbour.

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The Noises/Ahaahas (Area 5) comes into its own at this time of the year, with a lot of snapper that have spawned moving in feeding around the reef structures and channels between the islands. Take a bit of time sounding around Spot 8 or south of Spot 15 on the edge of the drop-off.

There have been a number of good reports coming in from Area 7, especially on spots 12, 22, and 23. These spots can show few fish on one side of the tide but be laden with fish a few hours later once the tide has changed.

Softbaiters I have spoken to have had more success with smaller 3-4” brown or yellow jerkshads than the bigger 6 or 7” tails. It makes sense as the bottom is mostly muddy sand where they are feeding on crabs, shellfish, etc. whereas bigger softbaits work better in kelpy areas.

The weather for the Hauraki Gulf this weekend is looking OK at this stage so the ramps will be busy, make sure the boat is prepped and ready to go rather than holding everyone up. Please make sure you have salt ice or frozen water bottles to keep the catch chilled!

My picks for the weekend are: 

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

Area 2 – Spots 3, 14 and 20 (southern Rangitoto - Islington Bay; Motuihe; Motuihe - Waiheke Island)

Area 3 – Spots 7, 14 and 16 (northern Rangitoto; western Motutapu)

Area 4 – Spots 12, 14 and 16 (Billy Goat Point - Otahuhu Point)

Area 5 – Spots 5, 7 and 13 (Maria Island - David Rocks; Otata Island)

Area 6 – Spots 10, 12 and 13 (Anita Bay; Hooks Bay)

Area 7 – Spots 7, 21, and 22 (Rotoroa/Ponui Island - Ruthe Passage; Pakatoa Island - Rotoroa Island)

Tight lines!

Bruce Duncan (Capt. Swish)

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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