Those days when fishing has been possible it’s been a bit of a lucky dip as to what gets caught. Winter is a favourite time for us to fish the deep water of the Papakura Channel for snapper but our last resulted in sharks, eels and no snapper. I’ve heard of others catching snapper but they have been very hard to find.
We fished the first weekend of July on the edge of the Waiuku Channel off Brooks Beach near Matakawau for gurnard after failing to catch any snapper and in a short time we managed 6 nice gurnard in the bin before it was time to head home. The day before we fished in a nearby spot where we didn’t even get a nibble, the difference was the weather. The Saturday had atrocious weather and the water was a dirty brown colour everywhere we went. On Sunday we found cleaner water and that was where the gurnard were. Often at this time of year it is the conditions that dictate where you can fish which can force us to leave our favourite spots behind but opens up the opportunity to fish somewhere new. I usually fish somewhere new if the fishing is hard in my proven spots and while that doesn’t always work it’s a strategy that has often saved the day.
Off the coast it is a similar story. Boats going out to 50m or more are generally having some success but sharks, particularly spiny dogfish can be a real menace. Baits are your best bet at this time of year and smallish baits on the good old two hook dropper rig is hard to beat. It’s not a time for light gear either as sharks will ruin your day.
Kite and torpedo fishermen are still catching off the surf beaches and successful anglers put out as much line as they can. Interestingly a John dory was recently caught by one lucky angler a couple of weeks ago. They do turn up from time to time but not so much on a long line and I believe there a more of them about then we realise. There’s little structure to hold them so I believe they are spread out making them hard to find. Very few people target them but I think those who do have a good chance of being rewarded. Probably the best way to target Johnnies is to put a small live Jack mackerel down on the bottom with a good heavy sinker. Trimming the tail fin down will slow them down and make them kick harder too which all helps toward bringing in the predators. Snapper won’t hesitate to take a live bait and neither will kingfish. Not a bad sort of by catch if the John dory don’t show!
Stay safe, Smudge.