The weather certainly has not been kind since my last update; strong winds and a bit of swell have dominated the top of the south, resulting in very limited fishing days.
There has been the odd morning where the wind has eased and enabled a few boats to get out in Tasman Bay, despite the swell. It has been very surprising to see some really good snapper still being caught relatively close to Nelson. This is certainly late for the snapper to still be present in Tasman Bay.
The mussel farms in Tasman Bay are also still producing well, and with it being the largest structure with an abundant food source present within the region, there is no wonder that the fish are holding there as long as possible.
The kingfish are in their prime at this time of the year, making for great eating however prepared.
Water temperatures are now starting to drop, so this will start to chase the fish out of the bay. But never say never – the snapper may stay a bit longer yet out in the deeper waters.
For those boats that have managed to get up to the top of D’Urville, they have certainly been rewarded for their efforts. Some very fat, healthy kingfish have been caught by those targeting them with the jig, which is great to see. The kingfish are in their prime at this time of the year and if prepared and cooked right, produce some magnificent eating, and they also are just as good as sashimi with soy sauce and wasabi. However, please only take what you need, we need to look after our kingfish stocks in the top of the south, as it is a small area where they are mostly targeted, and we want that fishery to continue.
It has been very surprising to see some really good snapper still being caught relatively close to Nelson.
The other reports I have been getting are of some really big blue cod, with some boats getting a few fish over that magic 50 cm mark. Any blue cod over 50 cm is a trophy I reckon, kind of like that 20lb snapper and the best thing is that there is some great eating in a cod that size.
Now is the time we start to see some good snapper being caught in the deeper waters and slow jigs is certainly the best and most enjoyable way to catch these. I find in the deeper waters, over winter, the jigs certainly outfish the baits. So, if you don’t often use slow jigs in the deeper water, take a visit to your local fishing store and the team will see you right for what you need.
Sliders and slow-pitch jigs are a good option when targeting snapper in the deeper water.
Unfortunately, work and travel have prevented me from getting out over the last couple of weeks on the odd day that has been fishable, but I guess it is winter and the fishable days are few and far between at the moment so you just have to take them when you can.
Check out the Bite Times for your favourite fishing location here.