Surfcasting and Drone Fishing with soft baits, its taking off! Change of season, change of fishing style?? There’s always something new to try…

Take that! Right on the calendar date Mother Nature let us know winter is here, no ifs buts or maybes. Sudden drops in temperature all around the country with squally conditions are making for somewhat limited fishing opportunities. However the silver lining is shining brightly. Sudden drops in wind speed are coming, get prepared now while its stormy. Then make the most of it.

Winter is prime time for intermittent but gloriously calm sunny days often with some extraordinarily big fish keen to feed. There’s a cool clear briskness to the morning air, filled with anticipation as the fishing unfolds. Be re-prepared from your last trip right now (fresh water is your friend) and re-lube as appropriate. Your gear will then be ready at a moment’s notice for that ‘H’ arriving from over the Tasman. Make those calls/txts to your fishing mates, the countdown is on…fishing bliss.

Perhaps a bit like us during the first few mornings of colder wakeups, many gannets flew only as far as necessary for a feed. The Firth has had some nice action there recently with lots of kahawai and pannie snapper as well.

The water temperature is also receding, signalling the changing of the guard out there. Expect to have some really good fishing sessions over this next week. Mid-morning tidal changes, lots of current, a good moon. Autumn to Winter change…what’s not to like about that forecast! I suggest half a chance an go get into it, the fish will be keen to bite alright. It may take a day of calm before the real deal of feeding comes back on. The water will be murky, but the fishing excitement should be building, the fish are ready and waiting.

Casual drift fishing with quality lures will catch snapper relatively easily in 35m+. There’s plenty of grazing sapper still around, further out there are some good schools of snapper with bigger models among them. Use your sounder and with any good midwater bait sign – stop drop and roll out a few of your favourite jigs/lures. Softbaits are almost like cheating in 40m, use a Kabura head to help get the lure down to the sea floor if needed, then just wind slowly up, no need for much more action than a gently swimming little morsel.

Don’t forget the easy rule of 2 x water depth in metres = jig weight. So if you’re fishing in 30m, try a 60gm jig to start, easy. Use skirted lures to start, and change to bigger un-skirted lures, slow pitch for instance, when you can – they are catching some very good fish, kingfish and snapper. You’ll probably need to go up from 20lb leader to 30 or 40lb when they are on the chew. The workup action should be rewarding, and the chase is on for the pot of gold, it could be near or far, fun finding them!

Enjoy the calmer weather and those wonderful hook-ups! Do it 😊


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