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