Top of the South Fishing Report - 30/05/24

D'Urville Island fishing well

Well, the organisers of the 2024 Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show will have to be happy with their event as it was a great four days up in Auckland, and it was good to see so many happy people talking about fishing and boating. The display of products was amazing, and all the companies put in a huge amount of work to make their stand special. It was great to see so many people from the South Island there too – it certainly shows the power of fishing and boating within New Zealand.

Winter is certainly upon us in the Top of the South, with some snow on the hills but the fishing is still good. It has quietened off in the shallower waters as most of the fish have headed out to deeper waters, but there are still good numbers of gurnard being caught within Tasman Bay with the odd snapper as well.

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Most people have turned their attention to D’Urville Island. The cool, nutrient-rich deep water attracts a great mixture of fish and so far this year D’Urville has been fishing great, whether fishing on the bottom for the likes of snapper or blue cod or chasing the pelagic species with topwater or mechanical jigging gear.

The reports of big blue cod being caught are pleasing to hear with a lot of fish around the 50cm mark and above being caught. It shows that the fisheries management measures put in place are now starting to work, as the size class is certainly increasing.

The return of big blue cod is pleasing.

Some great snapper have been caught as well, with slowjigs certainly proving to be the pick of the methods. Fishing with slowjigs is a good change to bait fishing in the shallows, where you are actively looking for the fish and making sure you position your boat above the schools of fish so your jig intercepts them. The snapper schools move a lot this time of year so you need to keep tracking them. It is good to keep your track on when using your chartplotter as this makes it much easier to keep track of your drift line but also where the schools are in relation to the tracks. You will find as the tide speed and direction change throughout a single tide, the drift will change a bit too, so just keep an eye on that and amend your start point to hit the schools of fish you are targeting.

The other important thing when chasing deepwater snapper on slowjigs is using the lightest jig possible to reach the bottom. The lighter the jig, the better the action and the more success you will have. A good way of using a lighter jig is to run lighter braid with a thinner diameter which means your line and jig are not as influenced by the strong currents here.

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D’Urville Island snapper fishing is solid, with slowjigs being particularly effective.

Bluefin tuna madness is starting around the country, and I am certainly looking forward to getting out and chasing them. From what we are seeing already up the east coast of New Zealand it could be another great year for them, so fingers crossed.


Dan Govier 

[email protected]  

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