After a few months in the doldrums it is finally here. Spring! To be fair the coast has again fished well through winter just like last year. That's fair enough, it has been pretty good fishing regardless of the time of year and our perceptions of how the fishing should be. What more could you ask for?
Well you could ask for this: big hungry fish schooling up out deep, feeding hard out to put on condition so they are ready for that most primal time – spawning. The fish will be hungry, possibly a little skinny compared to their peak condition in April but still mean, lean and up for a scrap. Usually we head out to 60 – 65m to tangle with these beauties. You will catch them in all depths but do you want some of the best snapper action around or are you happy with a modest catch of pannies? Go deep!
If you are getting your hooks smashed off, change to a single hook dropper rig. I've seen it plenty of times and have heard plenty of stories of broken hooks at this time of year. What happens is you get a massive snapper on each hook of your dropper rig and there is no slipping drag to keep the tension on the line connecting the fish to a tolerable level. You have these two leviathans (big word Smudge) literally in a tug of war with a 60lb trace and a couple of hooks tying them together. Something has to give and often it is one of the hooks. I have seen my share of straightened or broken 8/0 hooks. It's not sharks, it's snapper.
For something a little different try 60 to 120g jigs fished on light braid. Fished slowly on the bottom, it is a whole lot of fun.
In the harbour there is one story worth telling above all others. Scallops are now on the menu and they are pretty tidy for early in the season. The beds will have shifted around from last year but that's how it is. Go find them! Trevally are usually easier to catch right now, a shell fish bait fished over the scallop beds is a pretty good bet.
If you want to target snapper in the harbour I can give you no better advice than to fish a flooding tide, in the shallows of an evening. The bad news is that cycle only repeats itself every two weeks and it is at its best during the full moon phase. I have seen an 8.2kg snapper caught in 6m of water not far from the tripod in spring using this technique.
The Waikato River has been providing whitebait and with the steading increasing volume of water with the bigger tides over the next few days I'd be expecting to hear of some epic catches.
That's all I have for this time.