Summer fishing it is! Typical wild changeable weather

The famous Pocket Rocket tungsten microjig bringing home snapper, when the fish aren’t biting!

means you really need to pick your day, but when those winds abate, the snapper are surprisingly accommodating and with the right approach, fresh snapper is on the menu. The snapper are lethargic in their bite a lot of the time now – so take their hint and slow your lures jigs and softbait action right down, make your offerings easier to stalk and eat for those less-aggressive fish. Lots of inner area action between Whangaparaoa Peninsula and Rangitoto, and still some good steady drift fishing out from the Noises, Ahaas and across the top of Waiheke, no need to go far for fresh snapper. Check out the Espresso Report video today on the Catch Facebook page for the inside running… Beady Eyes, Pockets Rockets, and Orca!


A very warm and welcoming Merry Christmas to you, what a year 2022!

From epic sights David Attenborough would be proud of – multiple whales of several species including a rare baby Humpback feeding on big bait-balls in the local gulf with more cruising around up the coast to the Hen and Chicks makes for idyllic life experiences and fantastic fishing to boot. The big game season was a cracker and this next season is already underway with short-billed spearfish, albacore, yellow fin tuna, mahimahi, striped and blue marlin all being caught this past week in the North Island! No wonder – sea temps are still well up above normal and not just surface temperatures, down to 200m it’s 2 degrees warmer and has been for the past 2 years. This year looks like similar temperatures will prevail so expect the changes seen over the last couple of years of fishing to continue wherever around the country you are or are wetting a line.

Snapper fishing this Spring has been turning up a lot of good size fish,

some have been in below average condition and with breeding the next topic on the agenda for them you can expect a general slow-down in overall bite, but inshore areas are perking up big time, good tidings. The inner harbour shallower areas are slowly but surely filling up with snapper, great news for softbaiters and microjiggers getting in amongst some exciting snapper action, including those wonderfully cheeky spots like under the Auckland harbour bridge (watch out for those bungy jumpers), the boat-busy Tamaki strait, and more inner areas providing surprisingly good snapper fishing. An effective goto technique in these areas is dragging a softbait or microjig along with the odd lift behind your ski/kayak/boat… a surprisingly successful method to catch snapper over the next month or so.  That giveaway ‘smoke’ trail of mud, a flailing barely alive softbait just gradually moving along presents easy pickings for snapper with their noses down grubbing around for morsels like little aquatic kunekune pigs in the mud. You can fish a long way out the back of the drift like this. Smaller 5inch softbaits and micros up to about 20gms are ideal. Don’t forget – the better your menu selection, the more fish will strike whether they’re after a big meal or just a little after dinner mint 😉, they’ll soon let you know.

Further out into the open gulf it’s business as usual – simply superb days when the bite is on, the ‘rest’ periods are stretching out a bit now but wow some epic snapper and kingfish battles to be had whether simply out drifting the 35-45m depths (birds overhead or not) or targeting some of the reefs around southern Flat Rock, Tiri tiri, Happy Jacks and eastern Waiheke.

So did you reach a goal or two in your fishing this year? A personal best perhaps or simply enjoying fishing for good food for the family like the excellent kingfish, gurnard, dory, kahawai and mackerel. Whether you’ve already added a tick or not – what’s on your fishing list now? In terms of tackle – will it be some self-Santa or potluck under the pine tree. What adventures are in your sights…land based off the mighty 90mile amongst crashing surf

Ben Tupaea night fishing big kings, stick bait of choice – handmade Catch Mahogany. Awesome!

and salt spray ready for whole snapper over a BBQ, or deep drops into the lightless abyss for truly the outstanding taste of bluenose, bass, puka, swordfish? Maybe a troll around for albacore YFT, mahi and marlin, how about freshwater fishin’ fly time or a little jig, or how about more MMA with almost hand to hand battling big kings whether topwater or jigging – every which way is all good. Inexpensive thrills no matter what the experience or age level with catching kahawai too – what magic memories have you yet to make?

Coaching seminars on softbaiting and slow pitch were a massive hit, various in-person and online presentations were almost overwhelming this year – the knowledge sharing, the crazy-good buzz on the night, the learning and individual application, genuine information put to immediate use judging by the pictures received after each venue! And isn’t that what it’s about, getting more out of lure fishing by catching better fish. Thank you for the amazing and positive receptions around the country with hundreds-thousands of people learning, sharing and progressing their bait free fishing – thank you so much, truly gratifying. There’s more coaching planned next year with several already in the pipeline, and why not let me know if you’re keen to host one so we can make it happen in a format tailored specifically to you. Some of the passionate people and places around the country supporting our fishing habit in a good way: Smart Marine, Trev Terry Marine, Smart Marine, Wanganui Marine Services, Waikato Sport Fishing Club, North Shore Kayak club, Fish City Albany and Hamilton, the continued and much appreciated support from real deals like Manukau Yaks, Yakazulu Kayak, the always enjoyable NZ Fishing News and NZ Fishing World online, the Hutchwilco Boat Show, and many more.

Stuck for Christmas ideas: here’s the Catch CATALOGUE to help you out with ideas.

Have a fun and safe time over the holidays, fish ‘em when you can, and if you see me out ‘n about whether on the water or not, do give me a wave and say g’day.

Cheers, have a very Merry Christmas.


Snapper City – just out there not far away from the human city, and December it is which means the aquatic metropolis is a much better place to be, anytime

this month really. The festive fervor has started for humans with the ‘must be finished before Christmas’ catch phrase in full swing, particularly among the all-important tradies – and what with the windy November most jobs shouldn’t be running too far behind schedule from occasional (fishing) days offsite. Similarly, the snapper annual life cycle is in full effect – aggressive feeding preceding the breeding slowdown around our official holidays, so between now and Christmas Eve is ideal to head out and enjoy the local paradise – before packing all and sundry and heading off to holiday destinations at various points of the compass – with new fishing grounds to explore?!

Great news for kayakers and tiny tinnies as the mid Hauraki gulf action has spread out with good fishing all around, and inshore hot spots bursting into life bottom end of Waiheke, Tamaki Strait, out from the northern North Shore bays (especially the last couple of evenings), as well as the gulf’s edges further north. Kayakers and some land-based anglers have been doing very well, numbers of fish and solid snapper sizes too as a result of fishing in the lee. Softbaiting and smaller jigs (micros) around the inner areas have both been working well after the recent rain runoff clearing. Perhaps the Orcas delighting us up and down the coastlines got the message and are into the same sort of hunting mode, in just waist deep water. Stunning to watch. Of course, when the top predator is in town, fishing usually goes really, really quiet! Unsurprisingly. Best to kick back and enjoy the intensity of the experience, and once they’ve cleared the area – successful fishing gradually resumes.

Further out into the greater gulf, it’s a wonderland of whales spouting off in 50m, dolphins perfecting their aerobatics with birds of prey flying every which way at times – spoilt for choice of buffet some days.

A bit like a healthy-looking tackle box – lots of good choices for you and more importantly the fish you’re targeting. While there are good times to be had out there, fish won’t feed all day every day, so that menu approach is still key to ensuring you come home and don’t have to speed-dial a pizza delivery for dinner. Lots of skirt laden lures or softbaits when the going is relatively quiet, then pump up the volume with heavy metal, and few if any tassles/skirts/flashers – if you intend to target the bigger snapper and fewer kahawai.

The new normal. Randomness I call it. For instance, getting a small lure priority couriered to Melbourne from Auckland took 10 days, a standard courier from China the size of several large tackle bags..5 days. The previous way of thinking that you can buy what you want, when you want it is not so unfortunately, so if there is a fishing item you have your eye on (whether for you or someone else) best get it, there is a lot of tackle that will (and is already) being bought with no chance of new stock arriving this year, perhaps for quite some time.

Windy, changeable weather is still good for inshore fishing mo

st days, and while there is no shortage of interesting things going on (how about the Waikato Field Days for a day of discovery?), somewhere there is Spot X to fish in shelter, calm enough waters in relative safety. This first week of December is the lead up to full moon for the month, so while that may throw a curve ball or two for a few days, it should be plain sailing and good fishing at least right up to present-opening time! Carpe diem, seize the day!



Slow pitch strikes on camera, coaching seminars, kayak fishing extra, hot bite and when it’s not – what to do and more, this week’s Espresso Report via video definitely worth a good look!

BTW regular mid-arvo inshore workups south side of Whangaparaoa peninsula for the past few days around 3pm, and solid kahawai hounding shorelines on the northern side as well, must be something going on! I would expect action to increase very soon south of Flat Rock in the very near future, think gannets, dolphins and snapper, keep a watchful eye on the sky there.

So much is on in the lead up to Christmas with more fishing competitions and better fishing weather means great fishing is on the menu, check out the video on Catch Fishing Facebook today for the lowdown.


Whales full-on feeding are having an epic time both in the Hauraki gulf and

the outer regions, gorging on baitfish too which is great news for us! Spring can be an intense time out there, workups are hammering in out in 50m, small to medium, and there’s been a few big snapper (over 20lb) caught out by the gates, the channels of Jellicoe, Craddock and Colville are fishing well and not necessarily where the surface action is. These gates are the aquatic equivalent of a classic Western movie’s bar – swing doors, and now it’s Happy Hour with the doors pushed wide open with an influx of fish patrons, all arriving for a good time.

It can be easy to over fish by getting too excited when the going is good, just know the various limits and no-fishing cable zones, and hopefully a few of the ways and techniques to avoid catching undersize fish over previous Espresso Reports. Ever tried the magic monster 200gm or 500gm Giant Squidwings for snapper!? Target those really big snapper down below when they’re hot on the chew – let the fish be the judge.

Snapper catch nearing limit or you have enough for your requirements? Try a big Slow Pitch or Mechanical jig. Drop your jig to just over half depth to avoid the snapper and target kingfish in the top half, 2/3rds only of the water column 😊, and hang on tight! If you tow a diving bibbed vibrating lure targeting kingi’s whether open ground or near structure, try adding that trolling 200gm trolling Squidwings further back. The Squidwing be skimming the surface sending up it’s fish attracting spray, but with an easy-eat stable running option, makes good use of a rest from snapper fishing workups say. A bite to eat and a coffee as you troll along at a smooth pace, with the clicker on, ready for that strike – sounds ideal. Mix up your approach out there, it is the time to experience new things.

Do you want to fish like a pro, or simply catch better fish? Keen on Softbaits and Slow Pitch jigging? Save yourself a LOT of time, money and effort finding out the hard way – coaching seminars on how to, where and why are on…this very weekend in Taupo – The Encore Softbaits and Slow Pitch Saturday 22nd 10:00-11am Trev Terry Marine, also the North Shore Kayak Fishing Club Softbait and Slow Pitch seminar 26th October 19:30-20:30, one in Tauranga in November (details TBA). Make this summer’s fishing THE ONE TO REMEMBER! 😊

Water temps are climbing and so are the snapper numbers keen to feed – it is time to go fish hunting with big expectations from bigger lures and more aggressive fishing styles and actions, helping to attract the big reds, with a few big green machines (kingis) thrown in for good measure. Tidal current is calming well down – making for calmer surface conditions with any given wind. Enjoy.



Early birds ‘n bees alright – and snapper, here, there and everywhere!?

The influx of Spring action is well underway, yet traditionally it isn’t until sometime around these first 2 weeks in October that workups and snapper start appearing more regularly closer to Auckland itself, yet for the past 4 weeks or so this type of action has already been underway. October is normally the windy month so we have a truly mixed bag of fishing factors going on right now.

Productive workups have been all over the show, from thumping action out past Anchorite to more spreadout style with smaller pods of dolphins and groups of gannets closer in around the 40m mark off northern Waiheke, but surprisingly also right down into the Firth, although somewhat fewer snapper naturally enough at this stage of play. Even the bottom end of Waiheke not far from ever popular Auckland ramps has been seeing it’s fair share of snapper action. Kayakers have also been having a good time close in under the radar, some good reports of not having to go far to find good fish.

These workups especially the smaller ones popping up all around the gulf are a great sign of fish activity below that otherwise we may not cotton-on to, so if you see any group of birds, actively feeding or just waiting – definitely check the area out with an exploratory cast or two – ideal for that little microjig  whether zinc alloy for a slower fluttering fall, the solid performing allrounder of a  lead 20gm or the faster falling heavy yet smaller tungsten micros. The water temperature is on the incline, so over the next few weeks expect even more excitement especially with snapper. The usual variety of lures at hand is still a good idea though, there may or may not be a good bite going on when, and where you decide to go fishing, and it can shut down quickly for hours. Small, medium and large lures adjusting to the bite are the go, but also important is the action you impart from an aggressive high lift softbait action, to a just-moving slow wind (of most lures), flicks the strike switch ON when otherwise there’s no rod bending going on.

Expect 4 seasons in a day, and similar bite intensity, prepare accordingly and you will enjoy those hookups and all that follows including beautiful fillets of fresh fish, you caught. Bliss.


Increasing your lure fishing knowledge, technique and application of your fishing skills are on! Last weekend’s event in Whanganui was EPIC. What a night with so many people learning and sharing real world fishing knowledge with the simple mutual aim of catching better fish, 100% bait free. There’s a quick video summary on this weeks’ Catch Fishing Facebook page and my personal Facebook (Grant Bittle Capt Espresso) and more – yes it was GREAT! More seminars are coming, with an encore due to popular demand in Taupo on Saturday night of labour Weekend (October 22nd), North Shore Kayaks on October 26th, open days at Fish City Hamilton and KP Marine Wellington after that, there’s also a Hibiscus Coast Ladies competition on 11/12 November. With even more lure fishing seminars are in the pipeline!

…is YOUR club/store/trade group/business after some great practical fishing information for novice or seasoned angler, with a bit of entertainment for good measure? Contact me asap so you don’t miss out this summer.

Have an enjoyable and productive time either fishing or enjoying your preparation for the next big fishin’ mission under that big bright night light, full moon Sunday!


The rumble in the jungle of Spring snapper fishing is good, very good. Planning to be hot on the heels of some snapper? Well here’s a few hot snapper setups that’ll help your day go to plan – watch the video on today’s Catch Fishing Facebook page and see for yourself as we get ready to head out… Lot’s of excitement out there, near and far, even inner 10-15m depths are having some great excitement in the evenings this week. A few days of recce by various combatants like smaller pods of dolphins cruising through one day, some terns, then a few days later everyone got the email, it’s on! A gannet vortex of dive bombing, rising back up, and diving again. Underneath baitfish bedlam. And where was this, out past Gt Barrier? No. Little Barrier/Anchorite? No. Mid ground, no. Within good eyesight/easy bino of people nestling down and preparing dinner for the evening along the Auckland north shore, and the Coasters too.

Here’s the link to the ‘How To Fish Inchiku’ mentioned in the video!

(15) How to fish INCHIKU jigs. – YouTube

The time has come.

Enjoy your fishing.


Spring snapper start?

Wild and dramatic changes typify weather in Spring, hail to sunscreen

and back, similarly the fortunes of fishing. Snapper fishing is warming up, it is a process with both epic days and temporary setbacks – however the early signs are superb.

Several whales in the outer gulf are feeding on krill but others and larger pods of common dolphins are hunting high-energy baitfish – an absolute bonanza for Spring fishing when the big hunt is on. These epic workups move around a lot, so one day here, the next over there, maybe 20nm away in any direction. Expectations are high for continued action around the outer channels, the Colville, Craddock and Jellicoe where there has been some very perky fishing scenes this past week, a good place to be and keep an eye on. Out over the open grazing snapper fields closer in, the middle ground, there have been some temporary gulf inhabitants like the amazing looking frost fish. It’s a slower bite fishing the middle ground right now, but still good pannies are to be caught with a slow drift and a slow steady retrieve. The pale, white almost mushy flesh of some snapper compared to others is generally a sign of poor nutrition and subsequent condition, nothing wrong with eating them.

Bigger slow pitch jigs will come even more into their own as Spring progresses, more fish and more competition for food can mean very aggressive fish feeding. So when the bite is on, forget about the mild mannered Freestyle Kaburas (ideal for when it’s a slow bite but can be counter-productive when the amp is turned up) go for good hard metal lures, and well designed slow pitch jigs like the BOSS , Double Trouble or Deep-V  the strikes are intense and the fish size impressive. Combined with either the Kensei150g or the new upsized Kensei250g Slow Pitch rod the next level of fishing adventure and enjoyment is here.

Tick tock the Spring clock and with it the thrills and adventures of fine weather fishing are upon us, sure not every day but the good ones are increasing, preparation is key.

Whanganui Hot Spot! If you’re if the area on Sept 30 – great news, a 100% lure fishing seminar is ON! Marine Services Whanganui, Sept 30th, 6pm. Whether you are a novice or experienced angler – there’s always plenty to add to your fishing knowledge about how and where to use slow pitch jigs and softbaits for kingfish, ‘puka, snapper, cod. Come along and see for yourself what the different jigs and lures look like when you move them in the jig tank i.e. what the fish actually see, and 50m down as well – a real gamechanger! It’s free too. Half a chance – see you there.


The Espresso Report 25 August 2022

Crystal clear, cool and calm clear winter fishing days are the best, bucket list stuff, awesome in every way, sure there’re a few days to recover between them

Prime winter snapper, Pocket Rocket jig and 100% bait free fishing, awesome!

but when they arrive – it’s game on! Clouds of yellow pollen wafting around making some beaches look like more like sulpher-sand, pine trees mainly – but a sure sign of the season and pending Spring, in just a few days time, believe it, or not. Father’s Day shortly – a great time for some fishing presents whether hinted at to family members, or self-bought ‘cos you can! Crank up your fishing expectations, your time is now.

Watch what’s going on out in the gulf, heads up on action stations, and having an absolute definitely worth a watch…see today’s Catch Fishing Facebook page for the Espresso Report video >>>



Downtown brown town, Muddy Water blues indeed, wild weather continues

Muddy water – make some noise! E.g. the Tuning Blade added to this baby mackerel softbait hanging off the jighead.

and massive rain run-offs bring a mixed bag of fortunes for fishing. Yes lots of potential food in the salt water as a result of the fresh run-off, problem is zero visibility, nil, nada, not a sausage – especially inshore, and with winter slow down, what to do to catch some fish?

  1. Come on make some noise! Sound/vibration are the main hunting modes for fish, add in zero viz and the combo screams for things like rattles, blades, highly luminous lures, highly erratic and splashy lures, but also the slow-to-no jig…to let them feel, find, see and strike…quite a process, help your fish find your lure. See the blade added to the softbait above – adding extra flash and rattle to the baby mackerel softbait, a good thing in the near opaque water.
  2. Clear(er) water – relatively speaking. Whether it’s near an estuary, stream or simply tidal currents swirling the mix around, try the clearer waters – where fish can see your lure, struggling and alone, defences down. Don’t forget your inshore baby 20gm stickbaits !
  3. As this murky water clears, especially with a good wind drop…get your motor running, head out on the highway, looking for adventure…good fishing usually. Out and about in the deeper clearer gulf waters should be some great fish-action stations, with the food chain all perked up and ready to rumble.
  4. Estuaries, streams, rivers, tidal flow areas…prime targets for fish to feed, and for you to hunt with a prospecting approach wandering along the edges (hopefully with wind helping your softbait or microjig cast from behind), or take up temporary residence and bring fish to you with burley.
  5. DANGER! Logs, trees, all manner of detritus and barely or completely unseen hazards lie in wait for kayaks, boats and skis. Just last week I managed to find a solid log while underway and BOOM! The resonating sound of hitting a solid object at speed with a piece of sheet aluminium just a few mm’s thick…not a good recipe.

**Are you near Taupo next Friday, August 5th?

Treat yourself to a free 45minute demonstration and presentation on how to catch snapper and kingfish on lures, improve your current success, learn new things and more… Click Here:  Evening with the experts at Trev Terry Marine 5th August 2022 – YouTube