Tauranga Fishing Report - 08/02/24

Harbour starting to fire

We have had a mixed bag of weather but most days have been workable. Over the recent long weekend and days after the sea conditions were superb with even the normal afternoon sea breeze not amounting to much.

The skipjack tuna are out there but it appears not in great numbers so far – here’s hoping for that upsurge and the chance to get some high quality bait.

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I noticed that the moon phase had perhaps an effect on the fishing as it has been high in the daylight sky for the past week or more but of course do the hungry fish know that?

A marlin was landed only about five miles out from the harbour entrance last week and although not big it was still a great smoker.

Snapper have been a bit hit and miss but some kontiki fishers have done quite well along the Papamoa coastline with decent sizes, too.

A long time local stated that things should hot up in the Harbour from now until April and sometimes even May, although another local fishing the banks of the main channel on the outgoing tide never got a bite but did see many very large piper in the shallows. The kingfish are in the Harbour and near the bridge there are a lot of baitfish (small kahawai and mackerel) on the city side, so the food chain is there and never underestimate the size of the kingfish that can be there. Of course, where there is any structure like the bridge you virtually have to ‘skull drag’ your kingie in real fast on heavy line but still there can be great results with one fish being enough to feed a family.

Water temperature still seems to be in the 22-23°C mark but I cannot comment on temperatures twenty miles out so they could be higher.

There have been plenty of sightings of dolphins with a lot of young ones in tow and even a leatherback turtle sighted out towards Mayor Island. A sighting of a whale shark out past Schooner Rocks a couple of weeks ago was a great sight for the person in the tender off one of the purse seiners – in this case the whale shark was happy to rub itself on the tender – itchy, perhaps!?

With all this recent great weather it would be very interesting to be able to calculate just what anglers spent on fuel, bait, tackle etc. I know the local Coastguard crews were extremely busy most days.

Finally, it is usually the anglers who prepare well and then make a huge effort with time on the water that get the results, so stay keen and give it heaps.

Russ Hawkins

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