Fishing inside the harbour has been very productive over the last few weeks with snapper up to 11lb coming on board our boat. Trevally, kahawai and gurnard are other options that are likely to show up in your catch although you're unlikely to get big catches of gurnard which is pretty typical for this time of year. Kingfish are about, and while small kings are often caught on bait, you're more likely to score a bigger one if you are using livebaits or jigs.
On the coast, you may need to move around a little to find snapper – depths between 10 and 40m are worth exploring. You can go to 60m or deeper but why go further than necessary? Any sign of bird activity, especially from 30m on, is well worth trolling a skippy lure through as albacore and skipjack tuna are around in decent numbers.
If big fish are your thing, there are still plenty of hungry marlin out there and while most people are happy to troll lures it is well worth your while having a few live baits on hand for when you find a workup. Jack mackerel are the bait of choice for a lot of the more successful game fishers. Marlin have certainly been seen and caught from 50m right through to 130m and beyond, but those are the depths where most of them appear to be caught.
While most of the marlin caught out west of the Manukau are stripies, a magnificent blue marlin weighing 197kg was caught by a couple of guys from the Manukau Sport Fishing Club this week. Black marlin also make a showing from time to time and when they do they are usually in close or around some sort of structure.
The west coast beaches are also fishing well, the key being to target days when the swell is well down and the best times are likely to be two hours either side of low tide.
That's it for now; I had better go and get my boat ready for three days of fishing in the CSFC Classic which runs from the 15th to 17th March. Visit our website for details.
Take care, Smudge