It is nice to hear of good winter fish starting to arrive on both the west and south coasts. The west Coast is fishing well, with groper in good numbers. Fisherman's Rock and the Steps south of Mana Island are proving well worth a fish. Along with the groper, terakihi have been fishing well, drift fishing off Book Rock in 60 – 70 metres along with the southern End of Hunter Bank.
South coast. The bluenose fishing has been good, with anglers reporting good catches. When fishing for bluenose, try using a large jig as a sinker along with a couple of hooks above it with lumo squids. Drop your lure until it hits the bottom, then just slow jig your baits up to between 20 – 40 metres and slowly drop your lure back down. Keep in touch with the weight of your jig, as often fish will strike as it is dropping. By being aware of the line tension you can feel the strikes. As well as giving your baits some life (movement), you are more likely to get a strike. Inshore on the south coast, blue cod and tarakihi are fishing well, with south of the Marine Reserve proving lucky for me in 40 – 50 metres of water.
Surfcasters are still catching gurnard in Evans Bay, along with tarakihi and the odd moki. With the white bait season just around the corner it's only a matter of time until large numbers of kahawai start to run the Harbour, and around the river mouths on the south, east and west coasts.
There is still good fishing out there - despite the cold weather - so it is worth making the effort to get out and give it ago. On days when the weather is just too rugged, then it is good to pull out your gear, have that tackle box clean up you thought about doing all summer but were too busy fishing to get around to! Check over your gear, and get any repairs done and your reels serviced. Servicing ensures your reels are working smoothly and will be ready to go next spring.