Well things have really stepped up in the harbour with some great catches of snapper to 600mm or more to be had in the shallows during evening incoming tides or in deep water for those other times. Also in the harbour are trevally, kahawai and gurnard with the occasional kingfish still likely to be lurking around.
I'm only going to talk in detail about gurnard for this report because this is the best time to get those tasty suckers and they take a slightly different approach than you would use for catching snapper. There's also a little shameless self-promotion for the Counties Sport Fishing Club's annual Grunter Hunter fishing competition on June 10.
Thanks to our major sponsor, Franklin Hunting & Fishing, we are able to offer a $3000 1st prize for the heaviest gurnard. Anyone can fish this comp. You can buy your tickets online at www.csfc.co.nz or buy them the old fashioned way at Franklin Hunting & Fishing. Be sure to ask the good guys and girls there for some gurnard rigs while you're in the shop. I'm sure they can point you in the right direction. Here are my top ten tips for catching gurnard in the harbour:
I use recurve hooks, my favourites are 4/0 Mustad Demon circle hooks
Never strike the bites when using recurve hooks. Just lift and wind after the 3rd or 4th bite
Use small baits of skipjack tuna (bonito) or kahawai and just put the hook through once
We prefer to use light gear with 6kg mono or braid our line of choice
Fish a two hook dropper rig with a single hook strayline rig cast out the back If I had to choose one flasher rig it would be a Black Magic Tarakihi Terror
Use berley right down on the sea floor
Look for gutters running up onto the banks and aim to fish there at the start of the incoming and start of the outgoing tides.
Don't be afraid of fishing in 2 metres of water or less in these places
If you wish to fish deeper water, target the transition of the channel sides just before they start to flatten out
Dress your rigs up with some lumo beads in pink and green
Well that's ten tips and I'll throw in a bonus one for no extra charge, this week only. Try a small curly tail softbait or a slowly fished micro jig, especially in a reddish colour right under the boat.
Even if you have so much spare cash you don't need to fish the competition I think you will find that if you apply these tips you will catch more gurnard!
Good luck! Smudge