Full Reset. Spring does this, by land sea and air the upheaval of seasonal change is inevitable yet still surprising, year after year. CAUTION  Loch Ness monsters by are out there! Fully, semi and barely submerged

branches, trees and other major debris is lurking ready to cause havoc to your wonderful day of play out there. Keep a wary eye out, particularly along tidal current lines, some of what lies just below the surface is very ‘Titanic-like’. From an elevated vantage point this week a tiny tail poked out above the surface not far out from an Auckland shoreline, with an ominous dark shape just below the surface it looked just like ‘Nessy, half a pine tree will do that.

Another BIG Northland trevally – on the new Catch CURLY TAIL softbaits!

Seminars: Whitianga bait-free competition with the helpful addition of a pre-comp seminar of what to use, and what not is on next week Tuesday Nov. 7. The following week in Wellington/Plimmerton an epic open day is being held at KP Marine, with a softbait specific seminar at 1pm, past, present and future softbaits – are you up to speed or are you missing out? Find out, easy, and free.

Excited by the fishing season ahead? We all are, and our choice is wide not only in what equipment to use, but where and how to catch fish. Overwhelmed by information? Usually that’s more of a function of social media opinions, not so much fishing facts. So perhaps with the seasonal change, some changes to your fishing are in order? Adapting to what can be fished, not just what you currently do, or have done for many years. What’s your ideal fishing day? A bit shallower water fishing, some sneaky land-based sessions more often than not? The challenge of catching ‘even’ a kahawai on a blustery ‘non-fishing’ day – can be a thrilling new personal challenge, or the challenge and adventure of a flounder on a softbait , or a kingfish on a softbait (big 10inch 😉 ), even fishing a softbait as a livie under a balloon, or those marvellous mackerel overlooked by many New Zealanders. Lots of ideas and ways to enjoy this Spring/Summer of fishing, have a browse on www.catchfishing.pro for ideas and expanding your bait-free fishing thrills. Have you tried the new Curly Tail softbaits? Almost too good with their action in water, a heap of bite triggers built in, check them out and their incredible vibe action, epic stuff and a great addition to your fishing prowess (see video on Catch Facebook/Instagram).

Kawau Island – has good solid snapper in the shallows (curly tail softbait territory?) – with more than one angler sheltering and catching well-conditioned snapper over the past two weeks – fatties too, nice. More good snapper to be caught in an around the top end of Waiheke/Ahaas right now as the Spring rush into the Gulf and Waitemata harbour is well underway. This area northern Waiheke area is great for fishing with lots of habitat

And that’s a big YIPPAAH! Marty from BerleyPro/Tasline travelling the world with Catch softbaits.

welcoming the incoming snapper (and a few kings) and a great place to shelter in calm when there’s a bit of a SW wind. Some well-conditioned snapper to be had in and around here.

Nesting time it is for gannets, the need to breed and feed is paramount, similarly with a lot of the wildlife out there in Spring, it’s all on November is THE month of the year to get excited and head out fishing, try new tackle, new techniques, new fishing.

Fishing reset – the world is your new season oyster.



Pre-Competition seminar!

Whether you’re in it to win it, to simply enjoy the festivities or simply want to learn and apply more bait free fun to your fishing in general, it’s a great to place to make it all happen:

100% Bait Free Lure Fishing Seminars:Whitianga Longshore Marine Lure Competition coming up with a Pre-comp lure specialist talk, Tues. Nov 7, 6pm. Wellington KP Marine open day – Softbaiting then and now at 1pm, Saturday Nov. 18

Bait-free competition, with preceding seminar for the inside running…get the good oil.

Joe Burrell this week with another stonker of a gulf snapper on a favourite Jack Mack Livie softbait . @joe.burrell01

Heard of it, but do you, do it? Light leader, the key to a many angler’s success, whether they’ll tell you or not, just dropping from say 30lb to 20lb can be night and day in terms of snapper strikes, going down further to 10-15lb on those quiet/soft bite times – can bring home fish when otherwise it’s baked beans on toast for tea. Particularly when fishing in clear water over relatively open ground, light leader can give you the much-needed edge. Similarly with kingfish, depending on where you fish 30lb leader can be plenty! Especially on light gear out over open ground like most of the Hauraki Gulf for instance – if there are kingfish around hounding those bait schools, they’ll be keen on a well presented/light leader lure (of many kinds not just speed jigs) mid water, good times are guaranteed. And what about those days when the fish are there but not biting, maybe a SE wind just prior to full moon?

Light leader time can change your fishing fortunes like Lotto. Catch Fishing Facebook page.

Local Hauraki gulf hits and misses. North and NE of Tiri to Kawau area has been really good fishing, lots of birds generally milling around the area just outside the cable zone to point the way, general area snapper fishing no real need to chase the dragon. Similarly eastern gulf birds are active but flying over wide areas, stop drop and hookup under the Moehau range. Softbaits are doing very well, including the big 10inch versions to target the big boys, and yes there are some big thumpers lurking around there, check out Joe Burrells snapper this week pictured. Dolphins periodically visiting around this area and along the Whangaparaoa peninsula, with the odd foray down along the bays too – family hunts and captivating sights for the humans along the coastline to view.

Using your lighter leader for those wary fish (full moon at the end of this month for instance) is a great way to change minimal or soft tentative missed bites, into hook-ups and landed fish. The inner channels fishing your thing? It’s time to start some worthwhile prospecting, grubtail softbaits are perfect for using here and here’s a great approach to try, particularly with light leader, say 10-15lb. Literally grubbing your softbait along in the inshore mud/sludge, tail up is a dead giveaway due to the inherent buoyancy of the grubtail, add a small jerk of the rod to puff up the mud signal, then pause and let the snapper swim over, suck the wafting softbait in – strike time. Noises, Rangi channel, Motuhie, even the Tamaki strait – time to be prospecting. Further out, play time – baby dolphins flipping around, whales puffing away in the distance – aye a great place to be when the wind drops enough, and the whales can find enough baitfish. Hopefully some epic action between Flat Rock and Little Barrier is on the cards.


Christmas. There, I said it. Yes, the new normal means many things we may be wishing for or planning to get, don’t wait, there are already fishing supply chains that will be empty this side of Christmas. If there’re those things you want for yourself, or for others, best to do it now and avoid that inevitable disappointment when the fishing trips and fun in the sun is well underway www.catchfishing.pro .


Facebook @GrantBittle (Capt Espresso) . Instagram #EspressoFishing

Fish just don’t seem to care! Wind, rain, hail – pfft, meaningless to those a few metres below the surface. So some inshore fishing has been the go, and many

Straylining softabaits – have you, do you?

have been doing alright catching aji, squid, kahawai and some snapper, stray-liners doing rather well. Adjusting your fishing to what is available is key rather than doing the exact same thing, month on month, year after year, reducing and eliminating so much pleasurable fishing. There’re so many different species and ways to catch them, why not dare to try something out of the ordinary? Usually, a lot of fun and adds another string to your bow at least.

With all this wind and expect more a simple solution despite strong winds is lining up a nice little possie, which doesn’t have to be far away, anchored or land based with that wind overhead helping align you with the tide current, habitat, and fish. Burley pumps up the mosh pit and further back there are usually a variety of fish coming through and around you for the next few hours, perfect. So in your vicinity, not necessarily all at the same time there can be snapper, gurnard, mackerel, squid, kingfish, kahawai, john dory and a few more. All within casting distance. Using lures while in a typical strayline setup can be exciting action-packed fun – using all sorts of rod/reel combos, as well as tasty temptations especially soft baits.

Check out the what the ultra-buoyant Livie soft baits look like on a running ‘strayline’ rig, there’s a video up on the Catch Facebook page in the next day or so. It’s amazing to see how well they can be presented. The sinker used is intentionally highly visible – say either a Beady Eye or Freestyle Kabura. The main reason being that the huge eyeball, luminous, UV coated kabura head acts as an advertisement, an attractant to a fish to investigate at close range, and disco! A hapless, defenceless ‘live-bait’ (soft bait) wafting wounded, looking absolutely perfect to attack for a feed. Using say the big 10inch Livie version with a small 1/4oz jighead (like Stingaz ) the soft bait has almost neutral buoyancy, i.e. you can cast it way out the back where the bigger fish tend to congregate watching the baitfish feed on the burley trail, waiting for their opportunity.

Catch 10inch Livie softbait bobbing around under a balloon, the future of fishing is here!

Cast this big beautiful, delicious looking Livie that gently wallows around, only very gradually sinking down (great for the shallows). Or go heavier and have the jighead plant the softbaits head on the seafloor, but the inherent softbait buoyancy makes the soft bait come alive, looking like it’s feeding, or similar on the sea floor, again helpless and presenting itself perfectly for a strike.  Twin hook softbait rigs (just like you would straylining a pillie with a keeper hook) work well in this situation. Simply brilliant. Just keep using the same SB over and over, and you can change to different species of with colour, size shape, weight, o you can get strikes and hookup even when the fish aren’t hungry.

Why not put a Livie (softbait) under a balloon! It’s crazy good how alive they look – and they align perfectly where you want them, they DON’T keep swimming back under the boat/tangling the prop/hiding from that kingfish swimming around looking for exactly that – a livie bobbing, struggling under the surface – ready to be snaffled. Best to be prepared for this and go up in gear – not your lightweight set, a proper jig rod/reel would be ideal.

So, adjust the lure type and size,

Landbased stickbaiting (Catch Handmade) a mighty kingfish!

targeting different fish as they come through and see what new adventure sessions you can enjoy, no need to be grumpy at home exchanging endless txts moaning about ‘the weather’ or traffic, or politics. And when the wind drops as it will – you have the gear that really opens up your options for any day, whether anchored, drifting, jigging, straylining.

The choices you have with fishing are far and wide, it is merely a matter of adapting to your situation and throwing down the fish-gauntlet.

Enjoy Spring fishing, it’s on!


Percolating like an old school coffee maker, Spring is bubbling and bursting into life out there, full on mode, at times. Workups are having a whale of a time out past Anchorite still, turn your sounder off to help stop annoying the whales and dolphins who hunt and maintain the workup using sound – their own echolocation, add a bit of extra-awareness as you move around carefully and you’ll be into some good-sized snapper and kingfish keen on mechanical jigs in attendance, along with a few other welcome combatants.

Water temperatures eking upwards bring promise of more good tidings to come and this summer should be a cracker for fishing. El Nino already taking effect will bring a longer hotter drier summer, more westerly wind tendency, yes sounds like much better summer coming right up, imminent. Like many the excitement is already building with (fishing) vacation plans well underway as they should be, time to make up for the fishing time of the past few summer seasons.

CROATIA fishing – with Catch tackle, nice.

There’s something about the pleasure and ubiquitous nature of fishing that really does show just how around the world, enjoyment of what fishing brings crosses any language barrier and much more, fishing thrills and enjoyment is the same wherever you may be. How about Croatia – to the right of Italy across a nice bit of fishy looking water, and good keen anglers doing their thing over there just like you ‘n me. And what do you know but choosing and using the Catch Eels in the stunning waters there. The fishing world is a small and great place to share stories, information and good times.

There’re quite a few local fishing competitions coming up, and more to be announced soon so get your fishing calendar out and get into them again, fun times, great people, good fishing and epic prize giving’s too. Most competitions emphasis the enjoyment factor rather than full-on competition, and there’re all sorts to choose from, big game, small game, ladies only, kids only, inshore, offshore, local, regional and national. The time has come to surge forth out of the doldrums of winter, perk up and get into the wonderful world of fishing and all that it entails.

Top picks right now:

  1. Workups with big jigs (200gm and up, both slow pitched for snapper down low, and speed jigged back to the boat for kingfish, your choice of lure, but that Double Trouble is hard to beat. Anchorite and outwards with the whales (Brydes) there, happy places.
  2. A straylining session with wind, tide and territory lined up. Casting out the back where the big boys tend to lurk – how about a stunning little 20-35gm stickbait to get them rising! Or a big 10inch Livie softbait hurled out the back on a 1/4oz jighead – just barely wafting down towards big snapper, or a microjig cast well out back on your spin gear and retrieved back to the boat through the burley trail (go up a bit in leader strength).
  3. A few short hours of calm weather window – head out, and simply drift with a Beady Eye kabura (one wind off the bottom in Rod Holder can work wonders) while you cast around on your lightweight spin gear a little microjig, whether something like the 7gm Pocket Rocket or the 20gm Dominator , simple brilliant in the inshore areas.

Thank you, for the amazing feedback about The Espresso Reports, the Lure Coaching Seminars and to all of those who send in their fishing pictures to www.catchfishing.pro from around the world, simply epic stuff! From Rarotonga to Rangitoto, California to Croatia, the fishing world is a wonderful place.

Whatever your fishing preference, tick tock, the Spring clock down-under is ticking along whether you’re ready or not, so don’t miss out this summer, which can mean getting rid of the old/never used/rusty/inappropriate stuff, and possibly trimming down to just some good gear you know works and works where and how you fish, often less – is more. The right rod ‘n reel to suit, a few lures in your shoulder bag/back pack and you’re away laughing.

Espresso out.

Whales right in and around the inner gulf of Tiri/Rakino/Noises area recently have been an amazing sight in such shallow water, where if they dived

headfirst, they’d bump their head immediately. A wonderful place to enjoy the sights and sounds of the gulf while catching fish within eyesight of the big city. The action out there is all over the show, close, mid, wide as the mammals are moving around a lot chasing their next meal. Here one day, but gone the next!

Winter it is out there, while Spring is on our calendar, it is still only just turned September and the water temp is still cold, around 13c. Traditionally October was just the very start of Spring swim-in of snapper into the gulf, we shall see over the next several weeks.

A lot of the time there will still be ‘kabura-days’, the ones when the bite is so soft and tentative, kaburas are ‘required’, typical of winter snapper especially. Highly sensitive rods (e.g. microjig rod by Catch), light leader and line, using softly, gently moving Freestye Kabura and Beady Eyes – hard to out perform in this current wintry scene. Start with putting a few fish in the bin with them, nice pannie sizes for dinner, then look at upsizing your lure, with the combined increase in rod and lure action to target some bigger fish. A good swap-out change from kaburas are microjigs , not too much of high lift/long fall, more gently blipping the sea floor, easy strike stuff, puffing up mud giving away it’s position. A smooth continuous wind up, slow jig retrieval style of the microjig is an absolutely dynamite way to catch fish like gurnard and snapper whatever your target

that slow-jig gradual retrieve is a top winter technique. Slow Pitch is a very good call especially when there’s a bit of a bite going on, and with both a good fall, and the all-important ‘pause’ of your slow pitch technique (have you been to a seminar and seen this?) there are good sized snapper and kingfish looking for that falling food.

Another prime snapper to The BOSS slow pitch jig.

There’re lots of good slow pitch jigs out there to choose from, if you haven’t already tried it the BOSS is an absolutely top performer and benchmark lure, and easy to use with its ultra-fluttering fall, definitely one to have and use this Spring for both snapper and kingfish.

Weather and calendar point us all toward getting out and enjoying some well-deserved fishing time as warmer, longer days continue their upward swing providing the motivation for us all to shake off the hibernation mode and get back into outdoor life.

How To…? Reels on Catch Fishing Facebook – check them out – practical hints, tips, setups, tackle advice, technique demo’s, rigging, all sorts of 100% bait free lure fishing, have a browse while you’re not fishing – so you are primed, ready and 100% sorted for your very next round of fishin’ missions, enjoying catching fresh fish, yes! Scaled, skin on, seared – taste buds going wild.

What’s on YOUR fishing calendar? Get into it. Www.catchfishig.pro .



Winter fishing, and HOT tickets – with super deep water softbaiting.

Some of the best table fish bar none are caught in winter, and to those who know and have experienced it, a clear winter’s day fishing is truly hard to beat.

Super-deep softbaiting combining Giant Squidwings and Livie Softbaits on Catch Fishing Facebook.

And it pays to make the most of your time out there, here’s a brilliant way to catch deeper water fish (whether snapper, kingfish, bluenose, gemfish, hapuka, bass), by getting a big live-bait look-a-like down in front of a deep water fishes face. Luminous fish-adverts seen from further away, perfect bite-inducing action, and useable over and over again. Brilliant. Imagine you’re a big ‘puka say, and a ‘Livie’ struggles nearby somewhere, sending out it’s ‘eat-me’ vibe, the big ‘puka feels it, swims closer to investigate this potential opportunity for a meal, getting closer it can now see the illuminated fish in it’s death throes, helpless, hapless and all tasty. Smacko, get in my belly!

So what is this rig? So easy and yet highly effective, the big 10inch LIVIE softbaits, with a 500gm or 750gm Squidwing (with or without the Squidwing skirts). A simple, yet so effective setup for fishing deep waters and high currents, with softbaits. Get the edge, the advantage and see for yourself. Also – how else and where else could you fish big rigs, combinations, adjustments to your territory and the day itself. The fishing world is literally your oyster – how are you going to adapt and enjoy.

The Spring rush is coming fast, every year catching us out with repairs and maintenance, BEFORE the inevitable bust-offs, lost fish, fish of the day getting away, you know the excuses we have. Is your gear really in fish-fighting condition? Reels with dodgy bearings and grabbing drags, old weak mono, and rusty hooks in with good ones, stinkin’ old rags/towels making for seasick pax, the list goes on, missing out on the prime fishing days coming up due to the various things that didn’t get sorted BEFORE Spring. Do it all now. BTW great bargains are to be had in many tackle stores, a perfect time to get those things that really do make life that much more enjoyable out there in our chosen passion. Hot flask, EPIRB, sea anchor, how’re those rods guides – have you actually looked (a magnifying glass is great – a big cheap kids one). Actually opening up the tackle box(es) and throwing out those nasty old, rusted, never used/never will, ragged gear, donating some maybe. Get hold of a few new-tech lures, softbaits and presentations like better suited hook rigs, jigs that are actually for where you fish (use my ‘Rule of 2’ i.e. 2 x depth of water in metres = lure weight in grams e.g. 50m deep, x 2 = 100gm jigs, easy).

A well sorted tackle box (rather than one full of rubbish you don’t want and don’t use) cuts down on space, weight, frustration and adds to your fishing pleasure and leisure. Get on and do it, your future self will be very happy with you and thank you immensely. Look after yourself and your fishing. Pliers that aren’t nearly locked solid from rust, a wide-mouthed net that works well and folds away out of the way, gaff sharp secure and ready for the BIG ONE. Kingfish jigs – those assists in tip top order or ragged, dulled point and generally unappealing? Slow Pitch and mechanical jigs 100% ready to tempt the trophy sized? Old mono on board (how many seasons of salt sun coupled with the normal degradation of PE over time). And how’s your last 30m of braid looking on your line, a bit frayed? Waiting for the big disappointment break? Perhaps a properly suited rod/reel combination that actually matches what and where you fish (or will be fishing) i.e. time/tech changes over the last few years have been massive and for the better – find out what you’re missing out – like SO MANY people at seminars, it’s not what we know and are catching, it’s what we are missing e.g. the game changing twin hook Stingaz system for softbaits Catch introduced. Coastguard’s busiest time of year is coming up, when you me and everyone else heads out for great days on the water…don’t be one of ‘those’.

*Wheel bearings – a regular let down and drama creator


*Old fuel and/or fuel filter with water in it – triple check

*Favourite reel – you can give it a basic service yourself, clean, spray…but any dodgy-ness, get it fixed NOW before you’re about to go out. Or like many things, it may be better to get a new reel/rob combo to suit your fishing. Live a little, enjoy a lot.

Then you’re ready to head out – especially if you’re chasing the dragon (workups) out in the prime zone at the moment 50+m

A few whales have found some good food supplies and they’ve been feeding, creating some epic spectacles and fast ‘n furious fishing. Almost to Horn rock, between Anchorite and Pigeons areas with so many Gt Barrier gannets pounding the water to whitewash. There’s still some action back down in Firth of Thames, and I suspect the whales and workup action may push over east towards the top of Coromandel over the next few days. And there’re a few good keen anglers heading out even further chasing tuna and deep drops around the top and out of the gulf. A good moon now, leading up to the full, absolutely ideal to get out and get into it.

Enjoy your fishing, whatever your preferred style and fish.


Brisk winter fishing trips chasing snapper are ON! …when the wind allows, but they’re needing a bit more planning to come home with fresh fish, and not

Catch Eels catching snapper, low ‘n slow motion is the go for prime winter fish.

having to grab some sausages for the BBQ on the way home from the ramp. Here’s a typical day over the past few winter sessions, the indicators and fishing influences prior to launch and what actually happened, interesting stuff, mostly fact, some more opinion and experience, with several of the main factors checked and planned around typically before heading out.

Wind direction and speed to determine the actual sea surface: Metvuw.com has one of the most accurate weather forecasts around, easy to read isobars and a great overall view with a basic understanding of weather data. Windy.com is excellent for both wind speed (average and gust strength) and most importantly for the Hauraki Gulf, the areas of calm wind, often one side or even smallish areas can be beautifully calm, another windy choppy and unpleasant, just a short distance away. Swellmap.co.nz graphs showing tide changes (match up directions with Windy) and tidal strength are a real key for surface conditions, stronger tide means wind opposing tide will stand the waves up much more. Also check the swell height and interval – a 1m swell may not be noticed at 15 seconds apart, but at 5 seconds can mean very lumpy and a potentially seasick crew. So, when the factors all roughly align (or not!) a very accurate prediction of fishing conditions and how they will change throughout the day can be made.

Winter means a lot of hibernation time for snapper (and humans), so checking bite times (moon phase) can help, the previous week the full moon with a slight southerly wind would typically mean a much shorter bite, mid tide is usually best for bite with current flow and activity – so a midday high tide indicated a mid-morning bite which may only last 15 to 30 minutes. It pays to have your gear prepped and ready to go, no time to be tying a PR knot once you’re out there, over fish, with wet cold hands and a rocking boat, tick tock.

Even with a few dolphins milling around, a whale off in the distance cruising through the snapper bite could have been timed on a watch, short sharp aggressive feeding, short lived, then back to ‘Where’s The Fish’? Feeding over and back to very tentative barely detectable bites – best to try microjigs or very slow moving kabura to keep catching snapper, albeit at a much slower rate, until midafternoon/mid tide again in the afternoon. You could have set your watch to the mid tide bite start and stop.  Of course, this is nature and there are many more factors that can improve or worsen the bite.

And so it was – short sharp bite times, good snapper feeding mid tide but a lot less otherwise. Interestingly the success of kayakers in and around mussel farms has been standout in effectiveness, those little softbaits and microjigs cast generally from outside towards the mussels, extending the short bite with good numbers of snapper in the area welcomed aboard. Just like land-based bait anglers who do well over winter using smaller, mere bite-sized baits, using lures jigs and softbaits it’s a great idea to start with small lolly-like temptations rather than present a ‘big Kahuna burger’ meal.

A delicious looking Eel like the one pictured swimming slowly along, grubbing the sea floor puffing up a bit of telltale mud giving away its position is a perfect softbait presentation for several snapper to snaffle, fresh fish on the winter BBQ!

Bottom end Waiheke, 40m off the top of Waiheke, just out from the Tiri channel, mid-ground of the gulf with a couple of whales, and even some action in the Tamaki Strait this week – action stations are moving around a lot, but action there is to be found.

The daylight hours are lengthening with only 2 weeks to Spring, it’s time to really gear yourself up and make this summer of fishing one to truly remember, good times, friends, family and great fishing.


Winter briefs – Spring is just a month away with all that it promises for the upswing in fishing conditions and snapper numbers, but right it’s best to go

small to catch the big one, whether you are land-based, or water-based. Catching those hibernating big reds often requires a gentler more tidbit tempting approach rather than offering a full 3 course dinner in one go. Easy eat items are generally accepted, so in terms of lures – microjigs , and even using smaller kaburas with nice light wafting skirts – those tantalisingly tempting tentacles with the all-important hidden hooks or soft tentative bites. Right now is also when lighter leader really does come into its own – it can make the difference between getting a lot of attention and ‘no fish here!?’ Many anglers’ fish with 30lb leader, I suggest 20lb is plenty for the majority of the Hauraki Gulf year-round, 10lb and 15lb are even better in winter. Similarly lighter gear helps provide the right approach, better feel and more hookups with fish having those oh-so-gentle mouthing takes. Perhaps it’d be an interesting time to try new some new softbaits like eels – grubbing along in the mud slowly? Softly-softly catchy fishy. Weekend weather is looking much better than the usual of late. If you are headed to one of the various mussel farms – that’d be a great place to be, just quietly lurking on the outside – casting a little Pocket Rocket microjig and drawing the fish out – hook up and enjoy the battles, micros work so well like this. Gulf fishing further out – the wide open world of workups, enjoy! Deeper water should be good, if it’s not happening when you’re there, just drift with your smaller lures on and near the sea floor, you may not even see any sounder sign. Tungsten micros are the go out here – easy money as they sink fast in deep water like the Pocket Rockets, the 45gm version is outstanding even with a bit of a quick drift on. A few flicks once the jig has reached the bottom and puffed up some mud, but don’t forget the slow retrieval up 10 winds (approx. 10metres) out in 50m.

Or perhaps heading out well offshore chasing the huge southern bluefin tuna is more your bag baby? And with a striped marlin just caught out off the Alderman’s this week – who knows what you could hook up! Only one way to find out, check the latest weather on a few different sites, and make your plan.

Lure fishing and coaching seminars are in full swing, it’s the perfect time of year to learn new and improved ways to enjoy fishing and catching fish. Last week’s seminar was at The Maraetai Beach Boat Club, a packed club with lots of like minded people sharing fishing information, new release of softbaits, different rigging options and techniques too.

There’re more coaching seminars coming so stay in touch, the next one is at Hunting and Fishing in Gisborne, be there if you have half a chance.

Enjoy your last few weeks of winter fishing.


Officially winter, as if we couldn’t feel that!

Mackerel – fun, food and much more – the 7gm Pocket Rocket does it again!

Autumn was more about weathering extremes to say the least, a lot like the fishing fortunes, however those that have been out have been rewarded with good supplies of spread out pannie snapper over much of the gulf, mostly well conditioned, perfect table snapper gracing many of the keen’s home fires lately.

Aji, or mackerel abound, the sea surface bubbled right around Tiri at times this past week, quite a sight to see as the sea surface ripples and splashes into life, fish, birds and more. And why is this good news? The food chain, and where each participant lies on it. Other bigger fish like snapper and kingfish are after them, also bait fishermen, and those in the know about how good these fish are to eat themselves, and mackerel can be caught in all sorts of places. The new tuna? Landbased or on the water, ultra-lightweight tackle and tiny lures with a steady retrieve work wonders – mackerel can be picky at times like any fish, so a variety of offerings helps. The little 7gm Pocket Rocket pictured (rig with a trailing hook rather than jig style to the solid ring of the assist hook) works well. Being tungsten metal the Pocket Rocket casts a very long way even if using heavier tackle than ideal, but it’s much smaller in size so an easier target more suited to catching this size of fish. Soft mouths require a gentle approach and provides great fun fishing.

Gannets and dolphins are doing what they do around the gulf, west was best last week. The wonderful world of workups – the northern areas of the gulf and further up the coast toward the Hen and Chicks still seems to be holding more baitfsh, and therefore more mammals (not just humans), especially the big guns, whales, so workup fishing up along the coast is still pretty full on, inside the gulf the deeper 50m areas have been the go. When you’re in amongst the pumping action of workups – it’s not a place for slow jigs, tiny hooks, light line, or small softbaits and lightweight jigheads. Go big or go home as the saying goes. Why go big? You’ll catch a lot more kingfish, bigger snapper usually, far less kahawai on the drop, waste less time on light line caressing your lure back with a rampaging ocean going kahawai hooked up, circling the boat…and what’s all that bad language from your fellow anglers, ah, braid knots and tangled lines, more prized fishing time gone. Inner areas 30-40m have been great for simply enjoying an easy day of drift fishing with your secret weapons 😉 . Even if it takes a bit of a thump to get out some days, setting up the drift with drogues/sea anchors calms things down on board a lot, and an hour or three of very enjoyable drift fishing usually follows. Simple, effective and fun. Take your tackle boxes and throw down everything, including the kitchen sink, and simply enjoy your day, and dinner. Don’t just stick with what you know or are ’comfortable’ with, why not try new things, a new style or approach, a new spot that might have fish (by land sea or air 😊 ) target different species and come home with a variety of fish, flavours and set up a stunning dinner table.

Thanks to each and every one at the Hutchwilco Boat Show, it was busy! The Catch Fishing stand was pumping all 4 days and with so many happy people enjoying their lure fishing, bait free – the positive vibe palpable. Thank you to a all those returning familiar faces and friends, and to the newly introduced anglers to bait free fishing, enjoy! Speaking of which – YES YES YES! Lure coaching seminars are coming up…North Shore Auckland, East Auckland, Tairua, Bay of Islands, Whitianga/Coromandel and more, stay in touch for dates and venues. July 11 is the next one at Fish City Albany – LADIES NIGHT!


Great inshore, kayak, small boat, landbased and longline fishing – still, despite the weather tantrums! Those tiny anchovies relentlessly hounded by all and sundry from the tasty little aji (mackerel) and hard

Kahawai at your feet!

charging kahawai to some snapper and even the odd kingfish thrown into the mix of possibilities fish-wise. Those immaculately dressed little white terns are your airborne spotters, spy them dabbing the sea surface and you’re in with a grin. Yes you can chase the often-fast-moving school(s) of fish underneath the birds or wait as the hubbub meanders back and forth. Often on an incoming tide the anchovies end up literally at your feet some days, beaching themselves in an effort to avoid these predators hot on their tails. Madness, mayhem and thrills for any angler, novice/seasoned/young/old with rod ‘n reel or longline, so many ways to enjoy an hour or three. Happy Autumn days can occur at any time, anywhere, just keep that ever faithful 2-piece rod in your car/close at hand, a couple of microjigs and you’re 100% sorted for the next pop-up fishing thrill. It’s worth checking those tides – incoming is awesome. Small, medium and large predators abound, solid chunky monkey kahawai are marauding around within casting distance. The lighter your line, the further you’ll cast. North Shore Bays and Whangaparaoa Peninsula have seen their fair share of inshore action this past week.

Further out, not many out – boats that is, due to the consistently high winds, higher than forecast at times, so with the increasing tidal range/current up to that big bright looney-tune full moon on Saturday, things will be stirred up out there. So when the weather is good – great go out and get into it, but more likely it’ll be stormy, so sheltered inner areas can often be a real and new thrill, ajiing, shore jigging, night fishing…lots of options when you don’t get stuck in a fishing rut.

Do you PITCH – slow, medium or fast!?

Slow pitching tackle and techniques are going ballistic, and rightly so, keen to know more? While watching what happens to the actual jig in water, you can see the rod and reel actions that create the ideal slow pitch jig drops – it really gives a great view of different ways to make jigs work their magic…the new video, a simple, quick and easy watch is now up on Catch Facebook and Instagram.

Yes indeed, the showcase of NZ fishing and boating and all that goes with it is imminent. Catch Fishing will be there of course with a big bright stand, NEW products, pick ‘n mix or complete ready-to-fish setups so you’re good to go, 100% from the show onwards. Time to make up for lost time, see you there: The Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show | NZ’s #1 Boat Show for over 65 years.