Manukau/West Coast Fishing Report - 09/03/23

Harbour fishing excellent

The harbour has been fishing well, with snapper up to 5kg turning up from time to time. 2kg+ fish are common, and the snapper are in great condition.

Even gurnard, which are usually skinny and a little harder to catch inside the harbour at this time of year, are in surprisingly good condition. Kahawai schools can be found quite easily: just look for terns working and kahawai will be there. Mostly they are quite skinny having just spawned, but they will put on condition very quickly over the next few weeks.

----- Advertisement -----

They are a heap of fun to catch on light gear, just cast a small jig or softbait into the workups, and you will soon have plenty. Kahawai aren’t generally a fussy fish to catch on lures and are a good introduction to lure fishing. On light gear I point the rod tip at the lure, which not only helps the lure swim better, but it also ensures a good hook set as you’re eliminating the bend in the rod.

Trevally also aren’t too hard to find in the harbour and are great fun on light gear. We target them in shallow water using 4/0 hooks and small straylined baits.

Kingfish have been rather elusive this year – for us, at least. We’ve only caught rats when we’ve targeted them and we have done very little of that so I’m sure others have fared much better.     

The coast is also fishing well. Snapper are being caught in a range of depths from close in out to 50m and beyond. We’ve only fished between 8m and 11m recently, catching snapper a little over 6kg. It would be a hard call to say one depth is working better than another. The shallower you are, the more likely you will get gurnard. And, unlike the harbour fish, gurnard caught off the coast remain in great condition all year round and don’t favour winter. I’m guessing it is to do with the more constant cooler water temperatures.

Albacore have been in the mix for those trolling out wide.

Kahawai will soon turn up out west if you use berley, but it also brings snapper to the party, so you make your choice on that one. Kahawai aren’t too much of a problem if you’re using heavy gear, but we generally only use light braid.

----- Advertisement -----

There are plenty of skipjack out at 80m and onwards, and some big albacore in a bit closer. At our recent Classic Competition, we caught one that weighed just under 9 kilos, and it just didn’t make the grade. That fish took a small tuna lure at around 60m.

Marlin seem to be mostly around the 120m mark and are generally well over 90kg, but there are quite a few smaller fish around 60kg in among them. I have yet to see blue water in close, but then we’ve not been out game fishing often. When planning a trip, the smart guys will look at SST and chlorophyll charts. This year we’ve had a few yellowfin tuna turn up at our weigh station, and they have typically been caught much further out.

Take care, Smudge


Rate this


Post a Comment

Required Field

Fishing bite times Fishing bite times

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Latest Articles

Marine innovation on display at Auckland Boat Show
March 2023

As this year’s Auckland Boat Show got underway yesterday, it was an emphatic demonstration of New Zealanders’ quick uptake of big boats and innovative marine products. ... Read More >

Myth Busting: How the CRA 2 Commercial Fishery Actually Operates  
March 2023

Crayfish are one of NZ’s most sought-after marine species, and it’s not hard to see why – they’re damn delicious! Unfortunately, whenever a high-value resource is... Read More >

Marine Predators You May See While Fishing
March 2023

Sam Mossman details some of the 'other anglers' you may encounter on a fishing trip... Read More >

Legacy 35 Boat Review
March 2023

Nick Jones reviews the Legacy L35... Read More >

Black Magic Flipper Lures
March 2023

  Anglers are spoilt for choice when it comes to lures these days. Some are reinventions of traditional products, while others have taken on an out-of-this-world... Read More >