Tauranga Fishing Report - July 28th, 2022

Big Swells Rather Than Big Fish

It’s starting to sound like we have hit the repeat button again, but this time, it’s even worse.

Yes, I checked the weather last night, Monday 25 at 8.00 pm, and the swell at A Beacon, located at the entrance to Tauranga Harbour, was 6.2 metres! Yes, we are complaining but, on a very positive note, we are also not out there trying to work in it!

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I feel for the pilot boat skippers, and the pilots, who have the unenviable and very responsible job of trying to get the latter either on or off a huge ship that is pitching and rolling, sometimes in the dark, in these conditions. So, what the hell are we moaning about sitting at home in the warmth with a hot drink nice and handy.

The fishing has been very much weather dependent and I have only been out once in the last two weeks.

On the plus side, I recently had a mother and son from Winton (down south), and two young boys (aged 11 and 16) on board, and what an absolute pleasure for me with everyone being very capable. Despite being slightly built, the two boys fished their hearts out in over 75 meters of water with 12-ounce sinkers.

The group pulled up a variety of species: golden snapper, pannie snapper, blue mackerel, and terakihi, which made for an excellent take-home feed for the entire family. Also, Charlene caught her first kingfish that put up a great fight on a small tarakihi ledger rig!

We fished the other side of Motiti Island in the ‘80 Metre’ area that features quite a bit of foul ground. For our day, there was a bit of current that was not too bad, so tangles were few and far between.

On returning to the harbour to fillet the catch on the edge of the channel, we did spot a large bronze whaler shark as an added attraction. We rarely see the sharks at this time of the year, but the crew were excited to see the large fish.
The deep water for our bass, hāpuku, bluenose, and gem fish should still be good when the weather allows. Even though the bluenose spawned back in April, there should still be a few out wide in three hundred meters or so.

The old belief that the hāpuku come into these areas in the winter, I hope is still true. But without any opportunity to even try, I am unable to confirm this.

For the divers, the water temperature is now down to 13 degrees C in close, and 14.5 degrees C 14 miles out. If we are lucky, that is about as cold as it gets this time of year. I have experienced 13-degree water, but with the right gear, it is not too unpleasant, and the better cold-water visibility (generally) is worth the effort.

On that note, I still see divers that seem to think by staying in their wetsuits they will stay warmer between dives. After many dives in all sorts of boats over the past 50 years, I have learned that you are far better to get changed into warm, dry clothes and make sure the wind chill factor is not dealing to you. Getting a hot drink or two into the body also helps.

Down the line, there is still plenty of nice trout to be had at the Rotorua lakes, and you don’t have to burn too much of that valuable fuel to get amongst them.

In closing,  just remember that spring is only a month or two away, so dwell on the positives, rug up, and get out there when it is safe.


Russ Hawkins

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