Go to the 50-60 metre mark this weekend
Spring weather can be so inconsistent. One day it will doing its best to make us think that summer has arrived early, then we will be hit by a gusty and cold southerly wind complete with rain that will snap us out of our daydreams about fishing in idyllic conditions.
What we can expect though is for those conditions to flip for the better sometime soon. That’s how it has been since Labour weekend, everything from sunny skies and calm waters to strong winds, rain and terrible fishing conditions. The weather is looking pretty sharp for the weekend ahead though and sea conditions are likely to be good for a few days to come. Of course, there is nothing like sticking your head out the window to see what the wind is doing before you set out. Checking the forecast and the current weather conditions go hand in hand.
If the west coast is looking tidy then my advice for snapper is to go to 50 to 60m and I’d expect a decent catch in short order, but then everyday is different. Fishing in close can still produce some good catches but expect a by catch of gurnard, kahawai and hopefully not too many sharks. Just because a spot works well one day is no guarantee that will repeat itself again and again. I have three stories from the last two weeks of boats having great success in a spot one day and not so flash the next – although in each example the not so flash days still provided some great fishing.
Our boat had an epic day with big fish jumping on the hooks within seconds of hitting the bottom but a week later, while the action was almost as good the average fish size was much smaller. Boat #2 fished one day for a good catch of fish around 3 to 5lb and returned the next day to the same spot with a mostly different crew and only got big fish, one I weighed for the skipper went 9.13kg, an honest 20lb’er! Boat #3 managed a good catch the first day, same spot a week later and that produced only one fish so after a short wait they headed out a little deeper and were into it. I guess the learning from all that is that the fish are mobile and with no structure to hold them they are constantly moving. A little burley down on the bottom will draw them in and hold them there but you do run the risk of sharks finding you too. While the are no guarantees with fishing all three of those boats ended up with great results, not surprising for the west at this time of the year.
The harbour is firing also but the big tides this weekend will be challenging. My preference is to get to a spot in the shallows just before low tide and fish straylines out the back of the boat as the evening starts to close in. Choose the right area and the snapper fishing can be outstanding. Those right areas can be found all over the place on the channel edges. Some will work, some won’t, we’ve enjoyed good success west of the tripod in 5m or so of water at this time of the year in the past.
Trevally are in good numbers and seven gill sharks are usually around in big numbers in spring. Although they appear very docile and come to the boat very easily they are dangerous if messed with so be careful if you hook one. They are a very distinctive looking fish and grow to over 2m in length. They can be caught off both the coastal and harbour beaches at this time of year but please, if you do catch one, release it to fight another day. Don’t be that dick that leaves them on the beach to die. We need to do better than that.
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