Mechanical jigging speed jigs for kingfish is working well. The fish are hounding a few baitschools out there. These are signalled by small fast moving frenzies over wide areas, a few birds trying to keep up, and probably a small pack or three of hunting dolphins.
With shorter days, and days of shorter sharper bites, it really shows by the fullness of the fish-bin if you are prepared. Prepared to adjust very quickly from a gun-ho, to a softly softly fishing approach, easily within 20 minutes some days. Softly-softly approach includes little flappy tentacles and skirts. Whether using jigs or softbaits, give them something to nip at, easily too. Keep the motion slow smooth and steady. But when it’s on – try a really big jig, slowpitched very aggressively. Big snapper and kingfish can be keen on a quick big feed at this time of year.
These fast moving bait schools desperately attempting to flee the predating kingfish are not ideal for targeting snapper, but ideal for targeting kingfish. Speed jigs for sure work well. But sometimes the baitschool and attending predators are moving along very quickly so the target time is brief. In this scenario try a much more fluttering style jig. This allows for a lot of hangtime in the water, more time for kingfish to hear and see it, then strike. Kingfish readily take slow pitch, inchiku and even micro jigs like this, perhaps even more so than a speed jig. Mechanical jigging is but one way to hook up to the big green machine. Light gear is amazingly effective too. As you are often in the open gulf there is nothing to bust you off, enjoy the ride. Keep backing the drag OFF as the kingfish gets nearer the boat, not adding more. Tire the fish, don’t try and haul the fish. This will see you land these well legal sized kingfish on 20lb gear (or less) all day long.
Where’s The Fish?
Inshore areas have still been providing a thrill here ‘n there, from John Dory lurking in the shallows of many bays, night time squid fishing, to kahawai streaking through chasing mackerel out from the North Shore bays early evening. Explosive action for a while, then just as sudden, complete disappearance.
Whales dolphins gannets and more have been active around the gulf. Some days the skies open and the sea provide much, other days are more of a rest or digestion day. However there will still be some short sharp feeding going on somewhere. The vagaries of bite aggressiveness are also heavily influenced by this current bright lunar glow. So if you’re chasing workups in the gulf, they are rewarding. But you might need to travel near or far and certainly be prepared to do both. Full commitment and a bulging fish-bin usually the result. Western Gt Barrier/Little Barrier, top of Coromandel, east of the cable zone half way to Anchorite from Tiri – all have seen reasonably good workup action this week.
Skipjack tuna are in small numbers, but they are still here in the gulf! 17.6C around Little Barrier seems to be holding them there along with a plentiful supply of food.
Bluefin tuna have started their annual human fishing frenzy – for those into catching the amazing tuna! This week’s recreationally caught fish are big 70kg fish, what a sight. If you’re into Bluefin off the coast of Waihau Bay way, start your engines, the full moon is the time for these fish.