The top of the south is firing right now, and it seems like anyone who is into fishing is talking about snapper! The fish are in full force throughout Tasman Bay at the moment and there are a lot of very good fish being caught.
The average size of the snapper continues to increase year on year just like the numbers present, which is very pleasing to see. At the moment the fish are in very good condition, fat as and they are also feeding hard as they come into spawning season.
I was fishing last weekend in Tasman Bay and water temperatures were around 16.5 degrees so although it is warming up, still a little cool for the snapper to start spawning just yet. The females are starting to ‘roe’ up so they are getting close but will be a few weeks away yet before spawning starts.
It is also very pleasing to see the spikey dogs seem to have moved on a bit, as they were becoming a nuisance in the bay and making it difficult to chase snapper.
There have also been some very good kingfish being caught in the bay on flasher rigs. I have seen a couple that were over 20 kg recently and these are being caught on flasher rigs just out on the mud. So again, these big predatory fish are out and about cruising the bay and certainly would not harm to have a livebait out while chasing snapper. The other bycatch of course would be john dory. There have been a few of them caught lately within Tasman Bay as well.
Two weeks ago, we went over to Golden Bay for the Dawnbreakers fishing club weekend. Fishing was tough for a lot of people over there and the numbers of fish were certainly a lot less than Tasman Bay. Despite that, the club members made the most of it and supported by a number of the generous sponsors and it was a great weekend. I think most people that went over visited Anatoki Salmon and caught a few fish which they had smoked fresh while they waited, and the end result was amazing too!
Congestion at the Nelson boat ramp has been a very big talking point over the last week. With huge numbers of people using the ramp, there were a lot of delays for people getting boats in and out as well as a lot of trailers having to park a very long way away from the ramp, resulting in a long walk back to the ramp. I have heard numbers of over 200 boats fishing in Tasman Bay last Saturday morning and it does not surprise me as there were boats everywhere.
A bit of wind over the last week has given the snapper stocks a bit of respite as the weather has not been conducive to fishing, but I am sure everyone is watching the weather very closely right now similar to me, looking at the next opportunity to get out and wet a line.