Inner Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - May 20th, 2022

Good options for easterly conditions

The weather in the last couple of weeks has been good enough for us to get out to the more remote spots around the Noises and Ahaahas, which are the areas I like to target over the winter months. Not only do you have plenty of reef, rocks and broken foul to choose from, but the snapper are also bigger than up in the inner gulf.

You will be well aware when filleting your snapper that the blade of the knife quickly gets covered in a layer of fat. It is this fat that makes the winter fish just that much tastier. After a couple of strokes with the knife, wipe the blade to remove the fat to allow it to better slice through the flesh.

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I generally have been complaining about easterly winds but successful fishing is more than just tossing a bait over the side. In my book Hauraki Gulf Fishing Hot Spots, Area 5 takes in the Noises, Ahaahas and D’Urville rocks, which are perfect with an incoming tide and the wind from the east. In the last couple of weeks, two spots have really fired, especially at the change of light – Spots 11 and 14. One of the advantages of this area is that if the wind does get up, you can run back into the lee of Rakino and target Spot 19.

The bottom end of Waiheke has been a bit patchy but there are two spots (Area 7 – Spots 16 and 17) that I’ve never failed to catch a feed at for the last thirty-odd years. A mate rang to say he was checking out the book but could only see a few marks for this location, asking if it was worth a shot. To be fair, I hardly look at the sounder when at these two spots as the fish move around. Deployment of ground bait and berley covers a wide area in shallow water, so it is all in the way you fish. I told him to cast well astern of the boat, and then slowly let line out till his bait hit the bottom. It is important to hold the rod tip down so you can detect the smallest of bites. Small bites are not always small fish. On average, 32-36cm models graze on the soft sand, along with a few bigger 42-45cm fish.

I haven’t been out on the worm beds for a while but I suspect you will find the snapper in the Rakino channel and close in on the rocky shore.

I have to admit I get a bit of a buzz when I see a photo of a young fella with his first 20-pound snapper and it just goes to show you need not head over the wide blue yonder to catch it. He enjoyed success in Area 1, Spot 13, which is right on your back door on the edge of the Rangitoto Channel.

With what’s going on in this crazy world, let’s get out on the water and enjoy the great Kiwi way of life. Just take what you need for a feed and let the rest breed!

Bruce Duncan

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