Harbour starting to fish well
The harbour is really starting to fire. Snapper, trevally and gurnard are all achievable targets right now. Shallow water between 2m and 10m deep on the channel edges are the place to be.
There will be lots of very small snapper around and it’s important to try and ‘unfind’ those fish in order to find the bigger ones. Little snapper are like hungry seagulls, they will dive in and steal your baits every chance they get. Larger hooks will keep you catch numbers of small fish down to a certain extent but those snapper will soon strip your baits to nothing. I use 8/0 recurve hooks, which can make trevally and gurnard a little harder but certainly not impossible to catch but they are worth the sacrifice in my opinion.
Red weed can be a major issue especially on the bigger tides and once that stuff gets on your baits you won’t get bites. Check and clear your baits often if you encounter it but really it is usually best to move on. Scallops are currently in great condition and are as good as you will find them. Scallop beds are also a great place to target trevally. A lightly weighted strayline works best for me when targeting these fish.
The west coast is an amazing fishery, we have had great success out at 60m and most action is between 50 to 60m from the stories I’ve heard. You will certainly find snapper in closer but your catch of kahawai and sharks will increase accordingly. Once snapper have spawned they will start to disperse but right now the fishing is red hot out in the deep water.
We fish 10lb braid with 20lb mono leaders for jigs or softbaits and with a set up like that you will comfortably hit the bottom and feel every touch with 80g jigs. It makes fishing fun and if we switch to baits it’s just a matter of tying on a 60 to 80lb dropper rig in place of the jig. We tend to use one hook these days on that light gear. Last time out there were only two of us and there were no tangles. It helped that we only caught two kahawai and a baracoutta, the rest being big fat snapper to over 70cm in length. Happy days.
Tarakihi is an iconic Kiwi species, but it can take a bit of finesse to target them successfully these days. Sam Boothroyd shares a few helpful... Read More >