Start your engines! Fishing freedoms finally, and with finer forecasts expect some great fishing, from mackerel to marlin, snapper and kingfish to gurnard – so what’s on your Fishmas wish list?

Figure 1 Striped marlin and 200gm Squidwings

Sea temps are as high as mid summer already in several places, the wild west coast is hot enough for early big gamers as far down as Raglan to already head out for a prospective look and learn. A big blue marlin of 187kgs has been caught up north (east) with several striped marlin and YFT recorded as well that side. The waiting is over, time to fuel up and get the game face on.

Workups in the Hauraki Gulf took a little bit of a siesta – but expect that to change with a flurry. The full moon’s influence this coming Sunday (19th) is in full force, so expect frantic feeding at times but also sudden down-times, all-on or all-off kind of stuff. It’s easy to catch fish in the thick of it, but when it quietens down – just drop down to a Beady Eye Kabura or microjig, and keep them within 3 or 4 slow winds off the sea floor for snapper, simple and extremely effective, they have outstanding reputations for good reason. The inner areas are looking much better for snapper, some better sizes being caught around western Rangitoto and in the downtown/container ship area – the perfect softbait scene. Try grubbing them along the bottom and be ready for the take and strike!Sea temps are as high as mid summer already in several places, the wild west coast is hot enough for early big gamers as far down as Raglan to already head out for a prospective look and learn. A big blue marlin of 187kgs has been caught up north (east) with several striped marlin and YFT recorded as well that side. The waiting is over, time to fuel up and get the game face on.

Gurnard are happily hanging around the wide open ‘worm beds’ of the inner

Figure 2 Gurnard on Pocket Rocket microjig

gulf areas, so places like the North Shore Bays are primed for some good gurnard sessions right now. The Lil’ Squidwings is definitely worth a cast around, gurnard seem to love pouncing on these funky little lures – which can be gently slow-pitched, or cast with a slow retrieve on/near the sea floor, ideal for a carrot or two. Fun times!

Have great week leading up to Christmas, it looks like some better weather and good fishing ahead, especially once the waters clear a bit more inshore following the rains, best we make the most of it.

Enjoy!

Big gamers, medium gamers and small gamers – it is time to play the game, the fish are certainly keen to mix it up! And with big tides, that full moon a

Pocket Rocket micros = summer fish catching!

week away yet, tropical storm warnings and Auckland borders getting relaxed a bit, sounds like Mother Nature’s got a few of her own ideas – so how’s it shaping up for fishin’?

Snapper – plenty of snapper feeding well enough and they’re spreading out, swimming in and around all sorts of places, so it’s really your choice of where you want to fish for them almost, not just where the snapper ‘usually’ are. So right now is a great time for prospecting, some new ‘cheeky’ areas with the stealth of a kayak for instance makes for some highly entertaining fishing, all sorts of places whether inner city areas or further afield and more remote. It is amazing where some great snapper can be found about now like Narrow Neck, perhaps a bit early for right up by Hobsonville – but worth a look? Fish your 5” softbait hard on the bottom has been a good technique this past week, not much movement, just drifting on and along the bottom, get ready for a gentle take…snapper time! The normal channels are looking much better – Motuhie, Rangitoto which is good since traditionally by the time Christmas arrives – snapper will be starting their summer holidays a bit too. So make hay while the sun shines, only a couple of weeks to go. Workups are flitting around out in the gulf – easy enough just to head out, check the bino’s, avoid the no fishing zones and you’re away laughing along with the dolphins whales gannets, and the rest of the chain gang. If no real surface action, no worries – an easy drift fish while using your tackle box’s smaller jigs, little inchiku, little slow pitch, smaller slow jigs all on your favourite rod and reel. Slow retrieval, disco!

Kingfish seemed to take a bit of a holiday last week, plenty around but probably a result of the very little current, and some rather still days, too still if you know what I mean, lovely, calm, serene but a soft bite…but wait…that tidal current swings into force now, those kings have got to be frenzying up. Jigs, stick baits, poppers, land-based or any other style of ‘base’ – boat ski yak drone kite – those big green machines are waiting for you to come out and play! It’s your duty. Pick of the jigs – Double Trouble whether slow pitch rigged or mechanical-jig rigged has been catching them at Flat Rock, and outwards, or a tasty looking big 10” Livie softbait.

Figure 2 Days Out Fishing Charters in the stunning BOI – Darren Knapping

If you’re heading north especially Aucklanders who love to fish – or you’re just up there enjoying the Bay of Islands – here’s a great fishing charter thoroughly worth going on @Darren Knapping and Fishing Days Out. Highly recommended for a great day out fishing in the stunning BOI, walk on, walk off, walk around, hassle free fishing – gotta be good for you!

Softbaits. Store your different softbaits seperately, even similar compounds –

Figure 3 Great snapper fishing, Bay of Islands, Darren Knapping.

there are many ingredients and some just don’t get along well at all. Even octopus skirts, kabura skirts, rubber bands, rubber mats can all interact when you’re not looking, don’t let them turn into a gooey mess.

Christmas Shopping Bargain? This Saturday 11th December 10am-4pm, Catch Fishing is having it’s annual showroom sale located at 12B Piermark Drive, Albany, Auckland clearing some used rod and reel sets off the charter boat, (reels have recently been serviced), demo rod and reel combos, some end of lines, lures and softbaits with packaging damage, samples, and lots of other bargains…..you do need to wear a mask, and be double vaccinated to visit the showroom.

Lastly – those beautiful evenings we are graced with now, what an amazing time to be out for an evening fish in the boat or kayak, or good for a bit of land-based prospecting around the coastline with a softbait or microjig on your softbait rod . Summer 😊, enjoy!

GAME ON! Striped marlin, a short-billed spearfish and yellow fin tuna have all been caught recreationally around the N.I. this week, out west, the BOI and Tutukaka with more sighted further down towards Gt Barrier too.

Figure 1. Mahi mahi on Lil’ Squidwings, Kensei acidwrap slow pitch, and JGX2000 reel, light tackle thrills and a half!

The New Zealand’s ‘marine heatwave’ is unfolding with coastal temperatures already up 1 – 1.5c, it’s significant alright the early stages of the La Nina effect, so while global warming has it’s downsides it has some serious upside at least in the interim here in NZ fishing-wise. This game season is looking extra-good right now so if you haven’t already got your act together, ACT I scene 1 is already underway, time to put on your game-face and play your part – someone has to!

How about Albert? Albies, the chicken of the sea – the stunning and delicious albacore tuna, are also awaiting your presence and chilly bin. Fresh or smoked albacore, such a mouth watering taste sensation. You know if you have, but if you haven’t – you have to try it, and if you caught it, triple bonus points. @JoshSullivan was right in amongst them this week out off Mayor Island feeding friends, family, and gym how good is that, A+! Others in the Far North/BOI have been quietly enjoying some superb freshly caught albacore as well. And after enjoying the thrills and colourful delights of catching mahi mahi on occasion ‘out the back of Barrier’ in previous years, especially on light tackle, come on down I say – the more mahi the better!

Snapper – will soon be needing a bit of a rest, so by Christmas there’ll be a noticeable drop in snapper activity in general. But that’s so far away right? Just a few short weeks. Then the tactics of inner areas with microjigs and sneaky softbaits really comes into its own – great news for more inshore anglers, tiny tinnys, kayaks from a beach launch, landbased sessions too. Drifting the inner channels is coming on stronger every day. Mid ground 30-45m still a great place to be consistently catching good snapper, no real need for workups there’s plenty of grazing snapper in the open gulf to simply drift and catch great fish. The Freestyle Kabura changed the face of fishing in New Zealand when Catch Fishing brought it here from Japan and it is still one of the most effective fish catchers there are. The Beady Eye is also notable extension of this slow jig. With these lures the weight you choose is not particularly critical (unlike softbaits, jigs etc), there is little action to these truly slow jigs, so when in doubt go bigger and heavier – particularly on the drift when they really do shine. While my Rule of 2 applies to most jigs, the kabura can be upped to 3 e.g. in 30m x 3, a 100gm Kabura works well, out in 50m a 150gm Beady Eye – brilliant. The extra weight doesn’t deter the fish strike – they are striking at the skirts in general, and it keeps the kabura down in the snapper strike zone better (a metre or 2 off the bottom), and more vertical. So if in doubt go bigger and heavier with all your kaburas, and keep those skirts looking good! You wont have to use a torch out there fishing to get these kaburas to light up in the depths, sunshine on them as they are being rigged up is plenty, our big glowing orb in the sky provides more than enough radiation in just a few moments. There’s a fair bit of surface activity out towards Little Barrier this week, but maybe they’re having a siesta after feeding so much – lots of good sign but a soft snapper bite.

Can you remember your first kahawai? Not sure about you – but I can remember the first kahawai I caught (landbased Westcoast with my Dad on my Mum’s split-bamboo rod), the thrills from those humble beginnings have barely diminished after many decades.

Figure 2. Kahawai – a simply superb fish to catch

The kahawai – a lot more fun to catch than snapper? Worth a significant consideration when thinking of going fishing – especially while on vacation. Treated well they are great to eat sashimi, smoked, ceviche style, and so many others, or netted and lure removed to be returned relatively unscathed back to the water to continue its life cycle. A brilliant fish, quite easy to catch in comparison to many, except those days when even they just say no! And that’s fishing.

Cicadas are starting their chirpy sing-songs, tuis chasing wood pigeons just for kicks – aye a good kiwi summer is upon us, one to enjoy, whether it’s the simple pleasures in life like wandering amongst the brightly lit blue bioluminescent waves along Whangaparaoa at night this week, or fishing if you can – anytime fishing with kids on a  jetty somewhere, exploring new adventures in a tiny tinny, or chasing the dragon – which ever fish that means to you, snapper, kingfish, tuna, marlin – whatever spins your reels.

Tuna – Right On Time! As mentioned the previous Espresso Report or two it’s about now the YFT (and big eye) tuna showed up – BOOM! Out from Tauranga over last weekend the first of the these tuna were targeted and caught

Figure 1. Squidwings for tuna – skipjack, YFT, big eye, slender – hear your reel singin’ in full song!

recreationally. Exciting times directly ahead for tuna-tamers! Slender tuna were caught just a few weeks ago in the Hauraki Gulf, lots of skipjack are darting their way in closer to the NZ coastline every day now too. So what lures are good to troll for tuna? Well the notable go-to is the Squidwings range, perhaps not the Giant Squidwings (although the aggressive mahi mahi do love to take them on!), certainly the 200gm trolling Squidwing and smaller classic Squidwings are ideal – an outstanding trolling lure that doesn’t spiral, sends up it’s own jet of water attractant, runs straight and true for an easy follow and strike (comes with built-in stabilisers), and trolled readily at faster speeds for tuna if desired – all you gotta do is fish where the fish are for that clicker to start howling!

More settled weather, calmer tidal currents with mid tide current flow the go, eclipse and full moon have been moved on, really good fishing is the present state of play. Lots of surface activity and sounder sign in the early 30m chart depths pretty much right across the local Hauraki Gulf, and of course some thumper workups out further with the Brydes whales if you wish to chase the dragon.

Salt ice time! Iki or similar for all fish for a humane and instantaneous end, immersed immediately in salt ice slurry and amazing seafood for much longer is guaranteed. The key is getting that temp down fast – make the most of your day out, and for several days of fresh fish afterwards, ice ice baby.

Trebles vs singles for top water – what’s best? Without a doubt trebles with barbs for hook-up rate and hold, but there are drawbacks that can make other hook sets preferable in your fishing. Barbless trebles are brilliant too – easier to remove from fish without massive injury/death if released, also so much easier to get out of clothing, and skin(!). Or singles, not all top water lures will run with singles, but some already come tuned for this like these Zingaz or the stunning handmade Catch stickbaits, they run exceptionally well, no guess work required – cast ‘em out and hold on tight!

What jighead weight? Instead of changing your softbaits from one weight jighead to the other here’s another way you may find useful – as most of the time you’ll probably have about 2 or 3 favourite jighead weights for where you fish. Rig a softbait (SB) onto each different weight of jighead like these Stingaz and when you want to change jighead weight, just swap out to an already fully rigged SB and change the entire jighead and SB. Your SBs will last even longer than ever and they’ll be rigged nice and straight calmly at home looking perfect for the best presentation and strike rate, rather than the inevitably hurried and ‘that’ll do’ approach when you’re in the thick of it out fishing.

Blue mackerel schools are highly prized – and there are some good ones on the eastern side of the gulf, and where they are, well everything loves to eat them! Big snapper, and kingfish for sure. They are also a delicacy eaten sashimi style – stronger in flavour than most so that ice slurry is vital and brings out the best in this beautifully coloured fish. Unleash your microjigs , be patient after hookup, they have soft mouths.

Enjoy!

Beaver full moon today the 19th – more like a kingfish moon ‘round these parts! The planets are aligning, and the signs are good, November, kingfish, full moon…top water excitement is pumping up! And there is every reason to expect a particularly good kingfish bite this weekend. Top water thrills should be rewarded whether simply flicking a softbait small 5” medium 7” or large 10” it’s your choice, or change it up with a small 25gm stickbait on your softbait gear, a small baitfish of the 20-35gm size is a perfect snack for a kingi or

It’s kingfish time, stickbaits or jigs – just do it!

kahawai. Or go big – big rods, big reels, big lures, and big kings! Hitting areas like Anchorite, Channel Island, LB and GB, Horn rock, Flat rock, gannet, open water bait-schools or a simple headland away from the rest…the choices are many and varied, all provide exciting prospects. So, yes, it is a great time to do get into the explosive excitement of top water fishing for the mighty kingfish, be in to win.

What about the gear to do it? Here’s some kingfish specific gear whether you need to get into it, or upgrade your existing tackle – cast your eye over this gorgeous real-deal kingfish tackle handmade poppers  , handmade stickbaits , top water rod and top water reels . Carpe Diem, seize the day.

Snapper time!

At least one 20lb+ snapper caught and released at Tiri this week, shoreline stuff, a great indication that the snapper spring has sprung, and the inner areas are starting to become far more productive than the past few months. So, whether you have a luxurious launch, or a tiny tender-sized boat, jetski, or landbased as well now, it is prime time to be fishing for snapper, whether out in deeper waters or literally at your feet in the shallows around a likely looking local spot.

The workups are firing out there, pilchards are in the limelight with some very good snapper hanging around the spread-out action stations in 45m+ stretching across the Hauraki Gulf. Fast ‘n furious stuff right now with most fish in the bulk-up phase, so go as big as you dare with your lures jigs and softbaits – this will help you eliminate the smaller and undersized fish. If you hit the pot of gold snapper-wise you’ll probably be limited quickly so stop with the snapper down below and target kings and kahawai on top, variety is the spice of life.

Bottlenose v’s Common Dolphin – who wins?

Dolphins are generally thought of as one of the best friends a fisherm’n can have – particularly when looking for bait schools and finding a thumping great workup with fish everywhere – an incredible spectacle most often created by dolphins. Ah those beautiful natural fish finders, dolphins. But there are dolphins, and there are dolphins.

Bottle Nose Dolphins, Tursiops truncates.

New Zealand is the southern most point of their habitat even though they’re found around the globe. There’s only about 500 in total around New Zealand, our coastal bottle-nose dolphins are very big and often cause an involuntary gasp when first seen especially if up close, yes they are really BIG! The oceanic dwellers further out off the coast are even bigger. Breeding is every 3-5 years.

Short Beaked Common Dolphin, Delphinus delphis.

The common dolp

hin is, well, rather common – which is a good thing for us fisher-folk. Living into their 20’s these dolphins are almost always great to be fishing with, at least in the same vicinity whether they are actively feeding or just hanging around, they are never that far from a food source.

So, when deciding whether or not to stick around and fish the area you see dolphins in it pays to be selective, a bit dolphin-ist if you like. Bottlenose are best left alone, watched from a distance as they are simply not useful when it comes to providing a fish source for humans, alas, it’s just not their bag baby. But the commons?! Now we’re talking, the smaller and more prolific dolphins are the ones to take note of. Common dolphins are our hero’s and rule the roost when it comes to workups. If you are in the same area as common dolphins – drop a little lure, they’re giving you a heads-up most of the time and it’d be rude not to take their hint.

Do you fish for snapper? With lures from a boat, kayak, or ski? An outstanding rod that’s been creating quite a name for itself, perhaps you know of it personally already – The Kensei. About time to treat yourself in your fishing, isn’t it? A guaranteed grin over Christmas, that feeling of joy on hookup, your howling reel, rod bent-as with a great fish…The Kensei. Find out more, don’t miss out The Kensei – YouTube

Just 5 weeks to Christmas!

Enjoy

P.S. This week’s beaver (kingfish) moon will also have a rare partial eclipse, the longest lunar eclipse since the 13th century! The moon will rise around 8pm Friday, the earths shadow will gradually cover it starting at 8:20pm peaking at 10:04pm – watch for the brief period when it will appear as a blood micro moon.

Whales having a whale of a time, dolphins grinning widely back at you while doing aerial acrobatics, and lots of fish – from the pilchard which seems to be flavour of the week to solid snapper and depending on where you are lots of kahawai, or none at all – couldn’t find one if you tried. Good tidal current, good moon and good water temps on the upward climb, all good, all good indeed. Out in the open waters of the Hauraki Gulf are vast areas of pilchards getting hounded, whales spillage providing snapper down below with some excellent nutrition…so take the hint, softbaits and lures like a Power Pilchard and Pocket Rocket will get more attention simply by looking like part of the food supply wafting down from above, whether there is active feeding going on above or not. Lots of activity still in the surrounds of Anchorite rock – but there’s so much happening right up and down the coast, the animal kingdom does not know about lockdowns, it is full throttle life in the fast lane out there. Simply drift fishing most places in 30m or more will return good snapper of various sizes, from small pannies to big thumping males – and how wonderful it is to see not only such solid snapper but the vast majority of them being put back successfully after a quick photo. Many 20lb plus snapper have been caught, and most released, how truly fulfilling not only to catch such a magnificent fish and at the end of the day having a BBQ showing off the picture of the magnificent beast, while that big ol’ boy is back in his home getting ready for another day too, triple bonus.

Great to see so many responsible and courteous anglers, boats, skis etc moving calmly and carefully around workup activity. When there are several sounders making a racket right throughout the water column – annoying at least, perhaps preventing or stopping the workup in its tracks? Here’s a tip to help your fellow warm blooded mammals, the dolphins and whales provide you with fish. Unless you are actively using your sounder/sonar to confirm what you are experiencing, best to turn it off yeah? Rather than wonder why the workup you are attending moves off – perhaps you caused it with your annoying sounder(s)? A bit like a neighbour playing a stereo too loud, whump whump whump – gets on your wick ay! Now imagine several neighbours all playing different music at the same time. Easy fix – turn your sounder off, you’re not using it anyway, but sound communication and echo location is how our aquatic brothers hunt and maintain a workup. Silence is golden.

Orca in the local gulf shallows, very happy hunting!

Orca! Absolutely delighting boaties particularly around Kawau lately with their captivating smile, sheer size and playful looking antics in the shallows, turning upside down flailing their prey the ray, quite an incredible sight. If you do see Orca you may as well put your rods away and enjoy the spectacle for a while, fishing tends to go very quiet and still when these top predators are in town. An International documentary is being filmed right here until Christmas so help make them famous and help with their protection – if you see or hear of Orca just call 0800 FILM UW and let them know roughly where. @SteveHathaway is doing extraordinary work with these big beautiful mammals, help our big mates out. Enjoy!

La Nina summer in New Zealand is on the cards according to weather forecasting experts which means both warmer air and warmer waters – which should bring even more fish variety, strangeness and pleasant surprises while out fishing as the summer unfolds. Unusually warm coastal sea surface temperatures are highly likely, with the potential to cause a marine heatwave in some areas so expect the unexpected. Be prepared for all sorts of thrills while out fishing, and whenever moving around anywhere around or below 20kts-ish, tow a lure. 20kts is a mere casual half speed for many pelagic fish like tuna, marlin and mahi who can all sprint 40kts+! And with the changes in temperatures, currents and food sources the script hasn’t been written yet of what’s off our coastline and swimming closer every day now. Let the lure swim further back than you would normally at the standard 7kts, and use something designed not to tumble at high speeds – like the trolling 200g Catch Squidwing  or Legend Unicorn, both great options and ones I have had personal success on with both striped marlin (@20kts speed) and YFT.

Figure 1. Microjig Pocket Rockets and snapper, easy! On the stunning Catch IRT custom reel and Kensei slow pitch rod.

Back more inshore the solid feeding for the previous week or more in the local gulf dropped off, the weekend brought a sudden downturn in bite, noticeably so. The popular Whangaparaoa bay area had many scratching their heads wondering what all the fuss was about. A good bite in relative terms still on out further, but the wind and surface conditions stopped most from venturing out to see. The Firth is fishing quite well, especially upper regions as the variety of bait supply is lighting up sounders (although most Happy Jack and Waiheke gannets seem to be hunting prey further afield) and there are large snapper lurking with those schools! Big solid male snapper. So if you come across good bait sign, drift fish the area. Microjigs with extra-strong  hooks like the Pocket Rockets, or the original Freestyle or new Beady Eye Kaburas, and have your tried the Boss Squid – an inchiku slow pitch hybrid?! Ssh…bit of a secret weapon that one. Snapper – an aggressive hunter predator or cautious scavenger? There’s some very interesting results coming in from the Catch Fishing Crew and various switched-on charter operators using the new big 10inch Black Label Livie softbaits. These up-sized and next-level softbaits will be available in NZ, Australia and the rest of the fishing world within mere days now! Here’s a quick Youtube link worth watching showing the new monster 10inch (25cm) softbaits, see how the fish see them in day and at night, as well as some suggestions on rigging these big bad boys. Over to you now, click here: BIG 10inch Black Label LIVIE softbaits – YouTube

Last weeks Espresso Report’s tips on fishing workups for less kahawai and more snapper hit home – thankyou so much for all the messages and pictures over the weekend and during the week, success at targeting more snapper and less kahawai when the bite is on, and when workups are firing like they have been, what a thrill. Happy to help and it’s wonderful to see so many enjoying our own piece of paradise in the backyard and coming home showing off some big fish and even bigger grins.

Extended Whangaparaoa bay areas continue to be a good place to be for many according to a lot of birds, baitfish and their hangers on – kahawai, snapper and humans. Lots of following the kahawai under frantically diving gannets on fast-moving bait going on, by that I mean many boats and skis keen to be where the birds are diving, a constantly changing spot.

Stunning deep water softbait rig, the Beady Eye Kabura & Black Label LIVIE combination.

The gannets dive because they can see baitfish that are more than likely being hounded by kahawai, and possibly dolphins. Casting in or near this white water (let alone being actually in this forbidden white-water zone) almost guarantees a kahawai hookup soon after a lure hits the water, no chance of getting near a snapper 40m away below. Trying to fish the white-water also increases the risk of hooking a gannet or dolphin – one of the most destructive and easily avoided injuries out there. If you are catching too many kahawai to your snapper here’re a few things you can do to increase your snapper ratio. No skirts, no kaburas, and use (usually) bigger heavier lures – like a metal slow pitch jig and fish your lures one or two handle-winds up from the bottom only, then STOP, drop back and keep fishing the bottom metre only. Net your caught fish so if you don’t want a kahawai say, de-hook with a pair of pliers and release back out of the net – the fish will almost certainly live this way, and they are a vital part of the food chain to be treated with due respect like all life out there.

Drift fishing most places, including within (distant) eyesight of the large gatherings of boats is also a very productive way to target snapper and less kahawai. Snapper are not pelagic style long distance chasers, so they are around the active area but often not close to the boiling pot that’s moving all over the show. So dropping down a pilchard look-a-like for instance the Power Pilchard Black Label LIVIE (softbait) or an anchovy imitation like the faster-sinking tungsten Pocket Rocket is exciting and productive, without buzzing around only to arrive back exactly where you were, less the prime fishing time it took up, and less fuel. Getting your lure down fast to the bottom where the snapper are is key – using a heavier deep water softbait rig like the one pictured (Beady Eye Kabura with Black Label LIVIE  softbait) also increases your chances of catching big prime snapper, wafting a softbait down on a lightweight jighead will almost certainly guarantee a kahawai.

A little further afield out in the midground there are good solid pop up workups, it’s that time of year! However there’s a fair bit of quiet going on in 50m, the relative edges of the gulf providing the most action, right up from Tiri to past Kawau to northern Bream Bay – dotted along the coast various intensities of gatherings, various combatants too. The inner Auckland channels will slowly be starting to improve, especially once the current muddy waters clear a bit and the Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) continue to climb inshore i.e. breeding time.

Slender tuna caught by the Betabug! Classic thrills for the crew of @haurakiadventures , congratulations!

Never a dull moment in the local gulf with big Brydes whales now much closer into the actual gulf, Orca enjoying their hunting in the Firth of Thames and tuna being caught too! What? Yes that full moon this week bringing it’s usual twist to fishing adventures out in the Hauraki. But tuna being caught on the famous Betabug is classic stuff, especially in October and not too far from Little Barrier makes for epic fishing. A welcome surprise and stunning catch, congratulations to the crew of @Haurakiadventures! If you can get out and target these tuna Lil’ Squidwings trolled is another effective way to target and enjoy the sound of your reel in full flight.

Labour Weekend is often a wild and woolly weather affair with wind speed all over the place, so if past years are any indication, and forecasts look to align with tradition –  inshore area fishing is the go bro…kayaks, landbased or boat based but close, nice and close most of the weekend, and if Monday’s calm comes true – unleash! And the further north you are, the closer snapper are to home base as the inshore water temperatures are on the rise.

Speaking of up-north here’s another guy doing great things in the beautiful Bay of Islands for fishing friends and family alike, Greg Tucker www.fish4tucker.co.nz . A family based team passionate about all forms of fishing sustainably, sharing the outdoors and BBQs with friends and whanau. Greg also does a wonderful online fishing tackle service with his can-do attitude. Definitely worth a click and browse, great stuff.

BIG baits, Big Fish! Next level softbaiting is here…

Big (soft)baits, BIG FISH! Black Label LIVIES

An old adage that so often rings true – so Catch Fishing is releasing the answer to our dreams, a true 10inch amazing looking softbait for doing just that, using big softbaits to catch BIG FISH. Imagine what you could target and catch with a monstrous Black Label LIVIE, that’s 25cm long!! Take first look at the new release with Espresso LIVE on Catch Fishing Facebook and Instagram Sunday 10:00am. Simply stunning – join us and be a part of this exciting new release, see the NEW COLOURS and what you could do when you unleash this beast!

Good looking workup activity is moving right around the gulf, great to see and watch gannets diving amongst the dolphins, smaller workups spreading out whether closer in by northern Kawau, or down from the Moehau range, spring fishing is on!

It’s blue-bottle mania out westside, with gas-filled sacs that float, they can alter their orientation to sail with the wind. While not a true jellyfish their tentacles are poisonous, do not handle!

See you Sunday…

Grunty gurnard are in and over the sand between Rangitoto and the North Shore Bays, so even when there’s a SW wind – combine with an outgoing tide and you have ingredients for several hours of good fishing. You’ll probably have to put up with by-catch of snapper, not such a bad thing right. Closer in to Rangitoto and the channels there have been some good snapper caught, mornings have been the go, nice pannie sizes for the dinner table – look for some terns working in the lighthouse area, a good place to start.

Whitewarrior 5″ smelt LIVIE working well

Small softbaits hard on the floor are working well, remember to cast in all directions also dragging a softbait, sometimes across drift or a softbait struggling down current can work very well not just the typical cast forward approach. The waters are still quite murky from the recent high winds and rain – accentuating the sound and sight of a potential feed (your lure/softbait) by letting it grub along the bottom helps let fish know your lure is there, you can attract a lot more bites by ‘revealing’ your lure this way. Little luminous white smelt style softbaits like this are ideal for this situation.

Mid ground has been more for gradual drift fishing smaller lures, microjigs, 5” softbaits or smaller inchiku, kahawai here and there, reasonable snapper too. The western side of mid ground, Kawau area has seen some good surface indicators – so another good place to be having a look and drift around. Common dolphins have been hanging out there a fair bit – they are giving us the hint.

Go big when the bite’s on, 200gm Squidwings

Further afield just out of the gulf, SW of Little Barrier and further up Cape Rodney there have been some great looking workups offshore, the usual combatants in attendance from the diminutive baitfish and all their hangers on…right through to top of the pops whales, orca sharks and dolphins. If you do get out and into a full-on bite, put the small gear and small lures away this is not the time for Kaburas! Go big and you’ll target the bigger predators around, kingfish, XL snapper and more. Auckland has a well earned reputation for multiple weather types in a day, even more erratic in spring, if you are after some calm fishing keep an eye on various forecasts and be aware that predicted calms come across often sooner than expected, and leave sooner, be prepared and you’ll get some good fishing time in. Carpe Diem, seize the day! Go fishing and enjoy.