Tauranga Fishing Report - 09/03/23

Harbour still fishing well

I have just returned from six days of diving and fishing with nine other great people at Great Barrier Island on the charter vessel Whai. As usual, our skipper John made a great effort throughout to ensure we had a top time.

The constant easterly swell of around two metres restricted us diving-wise, but we did get to try the Arid Island area, where we enjoyed some excellent action both on and under the water. The southwestern side of Barrier was more sheltered, but the visibility was average but still enjoyable.

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The fishing was great. There were no big snapper, with the best being speared while free diving (5.95kg) and most others being nice pannies.

We fished at Great Mercury Island on the way past in only 14 metres, where there was plenty of snapper action with fish in the 2-3kg range.

Back in Tauranga, I was out Monday and Tuesday with a really great group from Taupō who made the job an absolute pleasure – with plenty of laughs and some good fishing at Mōtītī Island.

It was the PGG Wrightsons competition, and we managed a nice kingfish on a little ledger rig: not huge, but it took out the runner-up kingfish prize at around 10kg.

The snapper fishing was really good, with plenty of nice-sized fish around the 40cm mark taken on the kelp edges and plenty of kahawai milling about in the burley trail.

The writer recently took a busman’s holiday to Great Barrier, where crayfish were on the target species list.

I was in the Astrolabe area, where the water was a beautiful blue at 20 degrees. However, at that time of the morning, there was not much fish life except for the typical bait schools and kahawai. We all know that can change with the time of day and tides. The never give up attitude regarding big game fish has always been something I have noted over the years. And, even though we don’t target them a lot ourselves, we have seen marlin feeding on sauri as late as May, so there is still a chance.

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The Tauranga Harbour is still fishing very well and rumour has it a snapper of 8.8kgs was caught there in a recent local competition.

Trevally and kahawai are also still in the shallows when using a bit of burley on the outgoing tides.

Cheers, and keep trying!

Russ Hawkins

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