Tauranga Fishing Report - January 28th, 2022

Tauranga Area Report

Fishing slowly picking up

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Again, we are seeing what great fish are out there when you try and go that extra mile. I have just been looking at the great catch by a young lady Brook Shanley fishing out from Whangamata with a black marlin weighing over 370.5 kgs. The fish died and went to the bottom, but Brook and the crew tenaciously raised it.

To our area, Tauranga, I again have not heard a lot but most anglers are still getting a nice feed of snapper near the harbour entrance on the last of the incoming tide and rumour has it that the even bigger fish are due in soon.

I recently dived at Mayor Island with the water temperature at just under 23 degrees and small bait fish were everywhere, comprising of mackerel, koheru and heaps of other small ‘mackerel-looking’ fish and not one kingfish to be seen.

I am not saying they were not there but just an observation, along with the sighting of a small turtle that seems to be a resident on the Western Bay side of Mayor.

The bottom fishing for snapper and tarakihi in particular has started to slowly pick up and usually in these deeper spots from 70 to 80 odd metres gets even better late February and March, especially for the bigger snapper.

Schools of kahawai seem to be more prolific in particular around the few remaining reef areas that we can actually fish like Penguin Shoals.

The Astrolabe Reef, which is “off-limits” has, as it has done for the past fifty years I have been going there, got three to four very large schools of kahawai around it and presumably all the other predatory fish like kingfish and marlin are hanging around underneath. Double bugger I say!

The bronze whaler sharks seem to be back in the harbour in far greater numbers than last summer so if you get a snapper or trevally on, try to get it in as quick as possible.

I checked my logbook recently and I have tagged 68 bronzies in the same spot over the last three years and all done from the boat, not actually caught. Some have been recaptured 12 months later within a mile or two of the place of tagging.

Just a note here to the land-based guys that love to target these great fish and hopefully use barbless hooks and mono and later release them.

PLEASE do not sit on the shark to have your photo taken as these creatures have no real bone structure and can have their internal organs damaged enough to potentially kill them. I would appreciate some thought on this practice to keep the fish healthy. On a positive note, some captures recently have had the tags returned or the numbers recorded and the shark released. Thanks team!!

I notice that nets are being deployed in Pilot Bay at night and I hate to think how many undersized fish are killed during the set. Thank god the people involved at least remove the net early in the morning as we naturally have people snorkeling and swimming in these areas.

Russ Hawkins
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