Cooler, darker mornings and earlier onset of dusk heralds nature taking it’s Autumn course, which is great news for our fishing! Fall’s change is upon us all which brings an increase in fishing action – many different species to target, this is the season to enjoy some great fishing adventures for sure. It’s never a dull moment out in the gulf, whether being surprized by whales spouts just prior to these goliaths emerging from the abyss, excited banter overhead as gannets rain down on baitfish, or simply enjoying your favourite fishing style and spot peacefully, Autumn is the time to be fishing and the time is now.

Marlin – west has been best, but the marlin and YFT are within ‘cooee’ of the Hauraki Gulf. Mokes to Gt Barrier, Cuvier surrounds and around the back of Gt Barrier around 150m are prime spots right now when the planets align and allow a venture out. There’s been some very good catches of YFT, striped and blue marlin so if your world allows – it’s a great season to be big game fishing.

Inshore sights for sore eyes have been popping up, exciting stuff along a number of coastlines including the North Shore bays this week for instance! Early afternoon for several days this week has seen some excellent looking action – moving around a bit but usually contained between Gulf Harbour and Mairangi Bay. The inner areas have had quite a spark of life, easily visible with average eyesight or a pair of std binos. Terns, gannets, petrels, shearwaters all doing their best to get fish for dinner when the feeding switch is flicked on. There has been several hours between feeding sessions, with many of the birds just sitting and waiting it out – which means the fish are likely doing the same, in the same general area.

Further out yes there have been some intense workups going on, with many smaller frenetic styles of workups, smaller pods of dolphins and gannets hammering the baitschools in fast ‘n furious fashion. Faster moving and over quickly – but the need to feed is on indeed! Widely spread rather than one concentrated Spot-X, from Waiheke to Gt Barrier with more the further out you go. Good fast fishing to be expected.

How do I set my drag for softbaiting? A good critical question that’s often asked – so here’s quick video of how to set your drag – fast easy and effective:

The great news is as soon as The Matrix allows – be out there fishing! Inshore areas are a very good place to be, lots of bird life pointing the way to hotspots, but even without them those shallows first thing in the morning (and mid afternoon if that bite continues) are prime places for Autumn snapper looking to put on some weight before winter. Out in the gulf the food chain is swinging from Summer style to Autumn bulk-up phase. Everything is out there – it’s just up to you to head out and be the hunter-gatherer for some of the best fresh fish in the world, right here.



So what does 50m deep out in the Hauraki Gulf look like, with a softbait? Well here it is – exactly what a curly tail LIVIE softbait looks like, mounted on the renowned Stingaz jighead – check out the real deal for yourself! 

Expect some unexpected full moon antics yet again this week – what with the previous week’s rollercoaster ride of weather and fishing fortunes. The minimal tidal current one of the main protagonists is now pumping up the volume big time, a bit like that NE wind earlier in this week. So all things considered the fishing is looking rather promising for most species over the next several days. Some recent quiet times of fishing in general experienced by many over much of the Hauraki Gulf but change is a constant thing, no doubt the doubtful looks glanced around out there last week will dissipate over the next few days. Good things are coming and after this full moon the bite should be on again relatively speaking.

Snapper had a well deserved break from front line action, although most of the better sized fish came from inner shallow areas – Rangitoto for instance, yes just off the America’s Cup course! The activity both human and otherwise was quite evident the western side of the volcano, hilarious fun catching prime snapper with all the adrenaline-fuelled yachting close by. The smaller softbaits like a Glowing Gurnard curly tail or microjig (lead or alloy) working their magic on some very good pannies. Inner areas – just check for the terns, and don’t necessarily chase them, fish the area for both kahawai and snapper, place like western Rangitoto and just out from the no go zones along the North Shore Bays up to nearly Long Bay.

Snapper are of course just generally hanging out right now, a bit neither here nor there attitude. Other species are fair game, big game to little game, marlin and tuna out by Barrier, Cuvier, Mokes, or closer to home with trevally, gurnard, kingfish and John Dory out there waiting for your lure temptation to appear before them.

Midground fishing is ideal for a steady variety, gurnard, trevally and snapper. Smaller faster workups have been just SSW of Anchorite, and even when they are not evident, the baitfish are, fish on the drift and you should be getting a nice steady mixed bag of fish, use a variety of good lures when more than one fishing from the same boat. Further afield between Flat Rock and Little Barrier is a lot of baitfish, mostly unattended by predators last week, that will change – so expect some workups in the area and skipjack to make their presence known.

Along the southern side of Gt Barrier there has been some fascinating surface activity with whales feeding on krill, lots of terns working the surface – but not much underneath in terms of what we’re after. I suspect that will also change very shortly with kingfish especially making the most of other baitfish balls seen on the sounder along that southern coast.

The kingfish even had a some sleep-ins last week, but that tidal increase should fire them up more, time to get your tackle primed and ready for these big green machines.

Overall go small – smaller offerings, less lure movement – just teasing tempting the inquisitive bite a lot of the time and you’ll end up with some beautifully fresh fish.




The fishing excitement is palpable! With a great weekend of weather and a perfect time of year to get out to your favourite spot or venture into new fishy territory, the tidal current low, the moon is good, the wind speed is down – definitely time to go fishing.

Out wide of the gulf, marlin. Yes even from Auckland a day trip is quite feasible – out to Cuvier, the back of Gt Barrier, the Mokes, these beautiful beasts are swimming ever closer. With a tuna lure out as well – the big day out could turn into a VERY big day out fish-wise.

Skipjack tuna – just into the gulf, patchy still but such an exciting fish to catch with their nitrous-like speed, incredible tenacity particularly on light gear. Trolling and casting micro jigs are 2 great ways to target these silver bullets – a Lil’ Squidwings or even a bigger one (there are some solid skippies out there!) trolled is ideal and a tungsten Pocket Rocket micro (faster descent) is perfect for cast and retrieving them. Superb fun! Western side up past Flat Rock towards Little Barrier is the go.

Kingfish – half a chance these green meanies should be on your radar right now. Inner areas, marker buoys, rock ledges, headlands, baitschools western Rangi, the Noises/Ahaas, out from Waiheke workups, mid-Firth of Thames, midground workups and of course further afield like the Little and Great Barriers. Kingfish are well spread and primed ready for a battle. With the low tidal current and smoother seas, floating top water stick baits should be the go! Jigs of all sizes and of course the Beady Eye kabura in Rod Holders’ hands as you gently drift along targeting other fish can be an excellent ‘surprize’ kingfish, keep that initial drag setting light ready for the blistering strike and run.

Snapper – yes all around the gulf and harbours, although I would prepare for a softer bite with the conditions prevailing. Micros, smaller softbaits with the potentially short bite times (low tidal current) combine to make tentative snapper bites highly likely. Adjust accordingly with slower gradual winds up off the sea floor and less fast aggressive movements. Out in 40m or more good microjigs have been the stand-out fish catchers.

Anchovies are on the menu for many fish out there at the moment, whether so close to land they are literally jumping onto the rocks to escape kahawai and kingfish (places like at the Noises and along from Gulf Harbour last week just to name two) or right out into 60+m with snapper trevally kingfish skipjack and more hard on their tails. One would expect that’s why little micros like the tungsten Pocket Rocket imitating anchovies have been hooking up at lot out there!

Time to get your game-face on and make some memories, who knows what’s just around the corner.



Plenty of snapper are all over the gulf, lots of pannies fighting to feed everywhere so just setting up a nice long drift in 40m is productive and will steadily fill the bin, this also gives you a great opportunity to try different lures and find out what the fish are really into at the time.

Try all sorts, especially microjigs and kaburas rather than bigger hard body lures at first – with all the anchovies out there, smaller offerings coming down through the water column is half expected by the fish right now – so go with the flow.

Trevally also love microjigs – as pictured with the brilliant little tungsten Pocket Rocket.

Kingfish – let us count the ways! Kingfish are on the prowl all around the gulf, in the shallows and out deep, with the anchovies spread far and wide so are the kingfish. How you want to catch them, and what they respond to at the time can be one of the most thrilling and rewarding fishing there is in the gulf. Stick baits, poppers, live-baits, microjigs, mechanical jigs, bibbed lures and even a Kabura in the rod holder on the drift all are great ways to target these stunning green machines. Apart from their usual hangouts around headlands, underwater pins, wharves and reefs – they are hard on the heels of the many anchovy schools, which also have kahawai and others working them over. Bird activity on the surface is a sure give away to find anchovies as well as the sounder, white terns working inshore areas like Gardeners Gap Rangitoto and out to the anchored ships, around the Rakino and Noises area, or just out into the gulf around the 35m mark – anchovies! Kahawai chasing them, and kingfish cruising around looking for any straggler kahawai or well presented lure or jig. The shallower you fish, the more intense the battles too.

Kahawai are such a thrill to catch as well, bag a few and share around as freshly smoked fish, you’ll earn a few Brownie-points that’s for sure!

The inner areas are definitely worth targeting, and first thing in the morning has been productive this week, a strong current flow is on right now with outgoing tides this weekend and with some fine weather forecast a weekend of productive fishing is on the cards!

It pays not to be too blinkered about catching just snapper – so many other fish around to catch and enjoy like John Dory, gurnard, mackerel, trevally!

Enjoy your fishing wherever you choose to be.


A holiday weekend of fishing dead-ahead! Fringe fishing has been the go, around the edges of the gulf has been the place to be catching fish and likely to continue with water temps, baitfish, breeding and feeding all ‘ON’ very near shorelines, at times.

The eastern edge of the gulf – over Coromandel side has had it’s fair share of thumping gannets and bedlam underneath the last couple of days, with fewer more spread out ‘flash-mob’ style over the western side, the Tiri to Kawau line in particular. This northern Tiri area also has a lot of bait which extends around the edges of the Whangaparaoa peninsula. Kahawai small, medium and large are in good numbers southern side of the Peninsula and have been feeding there for several days, particularly in the afternoons. Upper areas of the Waitemata are a great place to target snapper at the moment, they are there and keen on little softbaits and microjigs – easy enough whether you’re a kayaker, in a tiny tinny or a trailer boat – these inner areas are the place to target. And while not traditionally the best time, midday can be surprisingly productive at times, so not always is a dawn or dusk raid required, good news for some over the long weekend sleep-in requirements.

Skipjack are showing signs out further – but they like all fish can be all-on, or seemingly vanished – but when they are on, wow what a thrill whether micro jigging or trolling Lil’ Squidwings @ 5-6kts.

Kingfish – yes! Flat Rock has them but there are a lot of sharks to contend with, out further – Anchorite, 5 mile, Channel Island definitely try some top water when they are on the bite – wow, adrenaline filled sight fishing is hard to beat! Easy to use, highly effective stick baits raise the fish like the Zingaz that range from just 20gms(!) to 120gm (Zingaz – Catch Fishing), or the stunning Catch Hand Made Stick Baits – Catch Fishing . And when they aren’t on the bite – throw down a microjig, yes a little tungsten (it helps with speed of drop out deeper) Pocket Rocket and you’ll often create some most excellent fishing fun hooked up to a green machine when most are scratching their heads wondering what’s going on.

Mixed bags of fish are a delight for dinner and variety is worth targeting rather than just snapper. Gurnard, trevally, kahawai, mackerel, Dory, skipjack – all great fish and all keen to feed right now. Most are in roe too.

Summer fishing is on, get the good gear and get out there!



Amazing sights and sounds to see all around the mid gulf and inner areas right now, from Orca cruising the shallows among anchored yachts

at Waiheke Island to kahawai workups just off Gulf Harbour golf course, as well as brief encounters of the workup kind spread out all over the gulf!

New Zealand summertime, a south sea paradise right now.

Kahawai are having a ball chasing the many bait schools out there, whether accompanied by dolphins and/or gannets, or not. There are some big schools of various bait species – which may only be indicated by a few birds fluttering around in a small bunch on the sea surface, possibly fast moving kahawai chasing even faster moving pilchards! This is just one of the many baitballs just under the hull yesterday, check it out >>

Snapper are definitely in go-slow mode though, after all there’s the big bright full moon right now, temperate waters and post-breeding lethargy, so the snapper bite can be rather short, usually good strong stuff but more limited in duration, so make hay while the suns shines (the bite starts) when you’re out there.

Skipjack tuna are just starting to nose into the gulf, around Little Barrier – outstanding fun, the Lil’ Squidwings is an absolute favourite for these blue and silver bullets, around 5-6kts troll speed is great on a smooth sea, if the lure is jumping out of the water, slow down until it doesn’t.

Tidal current is on the upswing which should help with increasing the bite time length over this coming weekend.

Interestingly when the bite drops off, micro jigs have worked incredibly well, out in 45m a tungsten micro works well to get down faster particularly if you are drifting along, the Catch Pocket Rockets have been a stand-out success this week, making the difference between just a couple of fish, and a proper fish bin for the family. Slower action too rather than an aggressive long fall working noticeably better.

Lots of different fish out there to enjoy, so if one species isn’t in the mood there’s usually one or two more that are.



Action stations are back on out there in the local Hauraki Gulf, the mid Firth of Thames, just north of Waiheke and the Ahaas, over west all around Whangaparaoa bay south of Flat Rock and mid ground of the gulf out south of Anchorite! The workup activity has been fairly consistent, but not overly concentrated in one area with smaller pop-ups of action stations spread all over the show, mainly in the 40m depth though. Chase the dragon or drift the area, your choice and both should come up trumps.

Weather patterns are looking great for fishing right up and down the North Island and on both coasts at times, bring on the summer fishing holiday fun! Snapper are biting surprisingly well despite breeding and the soothing of warmer summer inshore waters, the full moon is distant, all good news.

Flat Rock is holding both good snapper and kingfish – smaller offerings have worked well, microjigs, smaller weighted jigheads with softbaits – a little patience while they waft down the water column slowly but be ready for that fast strike!

Evening baitfish rises have been captivating to watch out between the North Shore and Rakino, similarly in patches around the inner gulf, mackerel and those stunning small kahawai rippling the evening’s calmer sea surface. Easily reachable in a kayak or similar after work.

Lots and lots of sharks basking near the surface in shallower waters (15m), and many more down below awaiting your fish dish presentation, hey it’s just tax.

Brydes whales and dolphins are having a great time, the 40m mark from Flat Rock right across to nearly Gannet rock north of Waiheke, lots of good fishing to be enjoyed, snapper, kingfish and kahawai. The bite will come and go, but there are good snapper sounder signs to keep you well occupied and perfect for trying out your various lures, slow pitch and jigs – remember to keep your leader relatively light, 20lb should be plenty, it really does help get more bites than when the fish are extra-wary.

Colour has been less significant than size and presentation, whether you are softbaiting or using jigs it pays to mix them up and simply let the fish be the judge, easy.

Further afield the big game season is kicking off with skipjack, YFT and mahimahi being caught and the first few blue and striped marlin have arrived. Fantastic news for game fishing and all the incentive needed to get out there in amongst it. BTW a great lure to have out for kingfish, tuna and marlin is the trolling Squidwings (200gm) , if you haven’t already – check them out!!

Squidwings 200g from Catch Fishing – Fish like a pro

So much great lure, jig and other bait-free fishing goodness for your fishing pleasure – check out the variety of awesome and much appreciated fishing presents at

It’s the last full week before the Christmas windup – enjoy the festive season, looking back on the year and making your fishing plans and dreams come true, perhaps rewarding yourself for 2020 trials and tribulations.

Thank you for 2020 and bring on 2021!


Pictured: Prime snapper caught out by the LIVIE softbait and Stingaz jighead.

Snapper are softening in their voracious bite of late, getting more into breeding mode and less in a  bulk-up frame of mind, more snacks if yo

u like. Higher

water temperatures, the time of season and much more all align to some soft bite times out there,

 however there are still times of fast feasting alright. Inner areas fished with softbaits have been doing OK, the usual highways and byways aquatic style that is, handy since there’s usually somewhere relatively calm even when the wind speed is making some noise in the local Christmas

trees – pohutukawas in full glorious bloom. Bright coloured softbaits could do extra well over the next few days, lots of murky inner harbour water so give the fish something easier to see and strike in the cloudyness. Out further things are changing as fast as the weather.

Increased kingfish catches have made for some great BBQ banter, unfortunately by the time many kingis are boat-side, sudden erratic behavior and immediate weight loss has been common – sharks are quite happy to feed on fresh kingfish steaks provided on a tether. Flat rock has been performing well over the past week, jigs, rapalas, top water all have had their fun in the sun but the taxman is everywhere. Best of luck avoiding the top tax rate.

All sorts of ‘other’ fish like gurnard, Dory, kahawai, mackerel are all doing what they do in their lead up to Christmas, plenty of these fish around – perhaps time to target something other than snapper?!

The key to coming home with fresh fish (and various forms of delicious seafood) is simply a little more of an open mind right now. 2020 has been a prime example of adapting to external change, fishing success is no different and a whole lot easier!

Typically for instance you’d set up your slow pitch rig the night before a fishin’ mission with say an 80gm favourite lure, so you’re pretty well sorted for some drift fishing out in 30-40m, a good place to be. Awesome. Out there the next day you could however be faced with any number of different opportunities – a huge kahawai school say (jig or troll some for fresh cerviche and smoked fish pie), throw both a top water lure out and a big jig down to target kingfish that’ll be hounding the kahawai for sure. Several hundred metres away after some fun, stop for a casual drift fish for snapper hard on the sea floor with your ‘never fail’ lures. Snapper are breeding and can be extra fickle in their food a lot of the time so throw down very different lures and vary your action massively from erratic and fast rod movements with variations all the way down to zero__. It pays to hold your lure completely still for several seconds just off the sea floor, count to 10, then slowly, slowly wind it from the sea floor up half way…it works with all sorts of lures you wouldn’t think can work this way, mechanical jigs included. Increasing current levels will be helping perk things up out there from a bit of slumber this past week too.

It’s a crazy busy time on land around the Auckland region, mad motorways and the increased hustle and bustle to “get it done” by Christmas imperative for many. What better way to calm the nerves than ensure Santa wishes you a ‘Happy Fishmas’ i.e. under the guise of giving, give yourself a well deserved reward for getting through 2020, prepare for and enjoy some time fishing over the Christmas period whether at your favourite local spot x, or further afield where new adventures begin. Discover some new ways to hook into your prized fish, some new types or style of tackle for yourself perhaps? Getting fishing tackle for family or good fishing mates a bit like giving the famous scorched almonds or box of chocolates – you’re in with a good chance of some for yourself.

That westerly quarter wind drops right off next week, half a chance – crack into some fresh snapper, throw in a battle with kingfish or two and drop a couple of ‘others’ into the fish bin. Sound a plan!? Get into it there’s simply no time like the present.



Browse at your leisure, like fishing should be:

Picture: Another snapper falling to the NEW 45gm Pocket Rocket, tungsten 😉

Tungsten Pocket Rockets – Catch Fishing

Extremes of weather combined with a feast or famine fish bite this past week has meant more of a shotgun approach to catching fish has been required rather than only being prepared for one style of fish catching action. Big and small, aggressive and passive lure fishing have all been required, all on the same day – to come home king of the jungle!

November is simply an outstanding

month to be fishing, from gurnard to kingfish and all those in between, most are keen to oblige with a strike or three! Gurnard

are being caught in all sorts of depths like the open areas of 30-45m but also right in by the Noises and Firth of Thames, a fantastic fish. Gurnard will take on surprisingly big lures at times – but the main thing is to keep your lure in the bottom few metres, with smaller, gradual actions, allowing the gurnard to stalk and pounce on your offering. With the anchovy schools getting hammered well above, a lure resembling a tasty little morsel like that is ideal. Pictured is just one of the stunning gurnard caught this week with the new 45gm Tungsten Pocket Rocket out in 46m. Snapper and Kingfish were awesome ‘bycatch’!

Tungsten Pocket Rockets – Catch Fishing

Mid ground has provided productive pannie fishing, steady Eddie stuff. Drift fishing and  enjoying your weaponry, ammo and arsenal of lures and gear – a great time to be trying all sorts of jigs and lures, you’ll find out what triggers the fish alright! If the wind is up, a drogue or two is essential to slow the drift, allowing most lures to work vertically helps increase strike rate significantly.

Workups – good producers are popping up all around the gulf, lots of smaller pods of dolphins around making for smaller faster workups. So be prepared for moving around a lot, fast n’ furious stuff, great fun if you’re into the chase, anywhere from 30m out really.

Have a look at the Facebook LIVE on Catch Fishing Facebook page this week filmed at Smart Marine Glenfield – there’re a few more tips and suggestions in there too worth considering if you’re out fishing over the next week or so. And if you’re in KeriKeri or thereabouts next Tuesday, Dec.1 come along to the Kingfish and Lures seminar 😉

Fishing is ON!


Rollercoaster rides of fortune have been the norm out fishing the Hauraki Gulf lately, from simply superb to scratching

of heads – Where’s the Fish!?

Great fishing for several days on the trot while the entire food chain rattles has been experienced for many during the past week and this excitement can be expected to continue. Inevitably following such feasting is a bit of a lull, some good old RnR and general aquatic activities other than feeding on other fish. It just depends when you decide to be out there fishing whether not it’s all on with big jigs and big snapper/kingfish, or a ‘Kabura and microjig day’ i.e. a slow bite but you still want to catch fish.

Whales have been enjoying the pilchard schools out in 50m, long may they remain as a vital link in the entire food chain.

Workups have been spread far and wide from the Firth of Thames out to Anchorite rock, some great activity also out at Gt Barrier, but most will be happy chasing action in and around the 40-45 metre mid-gulf mark. Even if the gannets aren’t showing you the way, the mid ground has plenty of snapper to keep you entertained, just drift with your best lures.

Hey hey – the inner areas have also been getting some good supplies of snapper the past few days – out form the North Shore Bays, the Rangitoto channel, Rakino, yes there have been surprisingly good numbers of pannie snapper, as well as some great looking little grunters, gurnard. Soft baits and microjigs are the go in these sub-20m depths.

Kahawai seemed to vanish for a few days, however these fish are charging around all over the show – so a few of these fish for the smoker of fresh are on the list. How you catch them can be the best part of the day whether light tackle, or trolling whatever takes your fancy.

Spring fishing is ON!