Consistently windy weather and plenty of rain have greatly reduced the fishing opportunities in recent weeks, but the outlook for Wednesday just got better and better.
So, thanks to an upcoming feature involving some of the latest braided lines for soft-baiting, a frantic evening spent re-spooling with offerings from Brittain Wynyard, Kilwell, Shimano NZ and Pure Fishing, was followed the next morning by a trip out to Kawau Island - despite the area being notoriously tough at this time of year. Things looked promising when I got a rather modest 35cm snapper first cast in the main channel west of Kawau Island over sand - an area that's been very good to me over the last two months; I think the snapper feed up on shellfish here. Then it plummeted - two hours later, I'd been forced to move (there was absolutely NO sign anywhere!) and try other spots, but only added two more pannies, even though great looking sign was everywhere, especially in the Kawau Island weedy shallows (3-7 metres). Frustrating - and a lack of current didn't help either. So I went back to the main channel to explore a reefy area in 19-24 metres that I'd liked the look of when taking pics of Al Brown and his brother in action recently. Upon slowing down, I could see fish stacked up, and this continued as I motored upcurrent to get ahead of them. However, while I'd found the motherlode, similar scenarios elsewhere hadn't been productive, with the snapper not biting, so my expectations were not high.
Wow, what a difference! My 7" Motor Oils were getting nailed on the drop or soon after landing on the sea floor, and all were fat powerful fish from 2-3.5kg. I landed around a dozen in short order before leaving them biting just after midday.
So I guess that's the strategy for small boat owners like me right now: check out spots from shallow to deep, use lures you have confidence in, and keep going - the bite times might be shorter, but when they do happen, the day can change in a hurry.
For me though, the greatest success was the quality of lines I tested that morning - all initially appear to be better than those I used only a couple of years ago, so I've got my fingers crossed that they keep performing.
To find out about the results of these and other lines being rigorously tested over several months, check out NZ Fishing News magazine in the December or January edition...