Tauranga Fishing Report - 8/9/23

Mixed bag of fishing and species

Still not a lot happening, but at least we are getting the odd day out between fronts of rain and wind.

Last Friday, the first of September – with that rather big moon – the weather was just too good to ignore with five-knot variables and no swell, so my two sons suggested that we have an early ‘Father’s Day Out’ as the real day looked like it was going to be pretty awful. 

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The decision was quickly made and we were off to Mayor Island, hopeful for a variety of all sorts. A stop of at the Pinnacles on the way proved to be dead as far as kingfish were concerned, but other anglers in that same area bottom fishing did catch john dory, pink maomao, and terakihi, which was great to see.

On arriving at the Western Bay of Mayor we got a burley trail going and in a very short timeframe had around 15 to 20 koheru in the live bait tank – feeling rather confident we would get some kingi action or other deep water fish at the 300-metre knolls later on.

We tried the Garden Patch, Tuhua Reef, and out at a 98-metre hill, all with deep-shot live baits, and not even an enquiry! We did get a nice eating-sized kingfish jigging at Tuhua, estimated at about 15kg+. We have had this same scenario in the past when we have had live baits such as small kahawai and jack mackerel and had no result, and jigs have worked instead. But of course, never say never on anything.

We later did some 300-metre drops with baits and live bait and caught two small bluenose and three very average gem fish, but nothing significant at all.

Regrettably, I have not had any information from around the traps regarding inshore fishing apart from one angler that fished the ‘middle ground,’ which is generally halfway to Motiti Island covering small areas of foul ground scattered across a few miles. This angler only caught one legal snapper, at 42cm, and heaps of small ones that he released.

Another local also had a similar result, though slightly better: six tarakihi and a couple of nice-sized snapper, in the same general area a week before.

On our way back from the Friday trip we did see an unusual fish called a banded bellow fish
that appeared to have been eaten by a large jellyfish and the beak had stuck through the jellyfish’s upper body area – the things you come across while out at sea.


Russ Hawkins
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