Tauranga Fishing Report - 16/11/23

Harbour starting to produce good snapper

Encouraging weather reports and very little swell are a welcome scenario at last and the bookings are starting to come in on a more regular basis.

The fishing has started in the harbour with some very nice fish being caught near that change of tide close to the entrance and outside on the northwestern side of the shipping channel. The latter is well out of the way of any shipping movements so you can relax! Snapper have been landed up to 6kg which is a superb fish for any area.

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If this run continues as it did last season, you will be likely to enjoy good results right through until late April/May. The bonus is you will need less time and fuel to access some great action.

Don’t forget that long trace and sometimes even two hooks about a metre or so apart can work well.

The water temp out wide is slowly getting up to 16 degrees Celsius and Mayor Island at 17 along with some nice water but not really blue just yet.

We are seeing a few of the “common” jellyfish drifting through, a sign the season is changing, so let’s hope that El Nino hots things up.

The snapper fishing along the coast has been a little slower but from the stories I have heard, using a combination of softbaits and bait has worked on some nice snapper, kahawai and trevally, even in only eight metres of water.

The tarakihi fishing has been a little up and down with some nice-sized fish but not a lot being landed. Most have come from 67-85 metres out the back of Motiti Island towards Schooner Rocks. The action has been described as just “OK” with not the normal amount of sign. This could change in just a few days as it has in the past.

I had a very slow day last Sunday (November 12) where we covered 37 miles to a number of spots in depths ranging from 77 metres up to 32 metres. The results were poor – we didn’t get a legal snapper and managed only a few tarakihi from locations where we usually do reasonably well.

Perhaps a suggestion here that trying in close along the coast as mentioned above in the shallows from eight metres out to perhaps 18 just might be worth a shot for the odd snapper or gurnard. An added bonus could well be a decent trevally, particularly towards the Karewa Island areas.

I have not had any reports from out on the Mayor Knolls except that the bluenose fishing had been good but the bronze whaler sharks had destroyed some nice fish before they could be hauled aboard. The sharks are learning fast as we have seen in the past when they hear that engine noise they soon work out it is tucker time.

Sharks are already being seen at several shallow Mayor Island fishing spots.

Even in the shallows just last week at Mayor Island near North West Bay, the bronzies were seen cruising around on the prowl. If you are spearfishing make very sure you get your fish quickly into your float boat to be away from harm’s way and keep your catch intact.

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Hopefully this weekend the effects of the tropical cyclone near Fiji will not have too much swell hitting our coast. At the time of writing, it appears it will move well to the east away from the North Island.

Keep safe out there and good luck, remember what you see on TV does not happen every day for sure but prepare to put in plenty of effort.

Russ Hawkins

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