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

Catch Custom IRT200 spin reel, Kensei 150 slow pitch rod, snapper on!

That regular monthly calm-day around the full moon is today, school holidays for many – might be a few days taken off the weekly work site, and off out to see the sights of the gulf. Good times.

Limited days of fishing for sure when there’re 60kt winds, yes even landbased has been very limited, and although some days of fishing coincide with a soft winter bite other days certainly don’t! Day trips from Auckland landing some superb spectacles in terms of workup wonders out wider in the gulf, heart pumping and adrenaline filled as always especially top of Coromandel way, and not too far outside the gulf winter hapuka no less.

The big muddy, no not the westie Manukau harbour but Waitemata and inner gulf with all the rain runoff discolouration, the water viz near zero. Once the water clears fishing should be better, past the full moon as well. Seabirds, terns and even solo foraging gannets have been cruising the edge of the muddy inshore water line and the clearer water over the past few days, sometimes close to shore – a good and obvious hint from nature. Fish the clearer edge of these water colour changes while the rain wanes and as the water clears.

Silver linings like mirror-skinned frost fish are being caught out wider in the gulf, but so are their shiny cousins the dreaded ‘couta. Not on the popularity list of many anglers, ‘couta cause havoc to tackle and tempers too. Avoiding bite offs with a short bite leader (6” or 15cm should do) of heavier leader PE coated stainless wire is a good option especially when using bigger jigs and lures. The cord is flexible enough (even though rated at 450lb) to be tied with a uni-knot, for instance, to the lure then to a swivel – ready for your mainline. When you reel in a ‘couta and it gets near the boat, do not put hands/fingers anywhere near them, take a moment and de-hook using equipment, they often shake their heads unexpectedly and the front teeth will shred your skin like wet tissue paper, it’s the infection that’ll get you, a bite from them can get nasty, fast. Warning, warning danger Will Robinson.

Winter fishing, yes less of it, but it can be highly rewarding when the calm comes – you just need to get out of bed nice and early and get out there in amongst it and experience it. A bit of preparation in the days beforehand can help beat the changeable weather. Typically calmer weather breaks move rapidly across this thin little island of ours, so still waters can arrive hours earlier or later than expected – being ready with a bit of flexibility goes a long way. Calm waters at the centre of low pressure systems are short sharp, but usually sweet! Fish on.

Revel in pure winter lure fishing.



Wild weather yet wonderful winter workups, then flat as a flounder, good snapper fishing though if you go…

and massive bluefin tuna being caught off the east coast – Waihau and already some big barrels out off eastern Coromandel.

Winter hibernation by humans is just that, the fish are ready and waiting out in the local Hauraki gulf, and the fishing has been very rewarding whether casting tasty looking little softbaits and microjigs in amongst the mussel farms or simply drifting out over open areas. Prime winter-conditioned snapper are ready and wating to be caught – with a simple, easy and highly effective method working well lately especially when the snapper are tentative/soft on the winter bite – watch in today’s Espresso Report video from onboard (Catch Fishing Facebook page).

Chase the dragon out in 40m+ (workups), stealth cast inner areas or simply drift with the technique shown and the winter chilly bin will be a snapper bin. Out of the gulf, those deeper drops have been very productive for bluenose and hapuka, when the wind drops so should those big rigs for big, incredibly good eating, fish.

WATCH the technique and simple method that’s working well in today’s Espresso Report VIDEO, have a quick look – and see the real deal snapper strike of a microjig! And enjoy some wonderful fishing.

Winter fishing motivation waning? Bitingly cold squally showers, hail, minimal daylight hours with a very sleepy snapper bite, doom and gloom…hang ON! Blinkered thinking (unlike fish) that fishing means snapper, a common trap. Snapper are but one of many fantastic fish out there ready and waiting. It’s rude to ignore apparently – so best we don’t disregard the delights of dory, squid, kahawai, kingfish, gurnard, trevally and deeper water fish like ‘puka, bass and bluenose! So how about avoiding the trap of just thinking of snapper, which can turn a stunning day with plenty of fish, fun and some sun into a ‘fail’ or even a no-go. Target other fish, and have something delightfully different for a meal or three. Give the home healthy budget a boost, make it fun with an island night – bright big bold and beautiful hibiscus flowered shirts (OK maybe over a sweatshirt to keep warm) around an evening BBQ, a big bowl of ‘raw’ kahawai in mouth-watering coconut and lime, crumbed gurnard fillets hot off the skillet, so many ways to enjoy a delicious variety of flavours with fish. Or how about a curry to remember!? Vindaloo even? Big fresh meaty chunks of fish in rich spicey sauce on white rice with a side of fresh warm naan, ciabatta, or leftover loaf rejuvenated with garlic warmed in tinfoil.

Full moon – tuna are on the prowl around the NZ coastline, and many anglers are also in hunting mode, pending weather, for big fish missions out from Waihau Bay – yes the first few tuna have just been landed recreationally. No doubt many anglers are spending many hours in preparation for the big winter tuna trip, night lights burning in sheds and the land of garage, getting the right gear together that can tame these mighty beasts.

This week’s waning gibbous moon as a result of the big bright night-light of a super-full-moon on Tuesday, and what a spectacular one it has been! Add in an incredible planet alignment that’s happening in our skies, and who knows what the bite could be, only way to find out – grab your bag of favourite and

most trusted lures and experience your next fishin’ mission.

What’s your favourite fish to eat? Some deep water species are top of the pops and here’s a NEW BIG-FISH RIG that really stands out from the crowd, made by Greg Tucker ( ) .  WATCH today’s Facebook video on Catch Fishing Facebook page showing in detail the deep water rigs and it’ll really spark things up…check it out.

Enjoy your fresh fish, whatever varieties grace your fish bin.


Winter it is! Frosty starts a tad south spreading north, no surprises – but with the big chill down comes reward, and the rewards have been excellent a bit further out in the Hauraki Gulf lately, wonderfully so at times and as the saying goes, the whole 9 yards. Epic eruptions of baitfish flying through the air with whales on their tails, dolphins managing the melee, all and sundry taking part in the frantic feast if they can, birds, fish you name it. The winter ‘slow down’ is imminent but in the mean time, slow it is not out there at the end of the rainbow(s).

The inner area action has been rather flighty, gannets and terns sitting waiting pre-dawn in an area, and after the feast – how ever long that may last from minutes to an hour or more – a vanishing act. Nothing to be seen. And the next day? Probably several kilometres away and a fresh start.

Big fat ‘ocean going’ kahawai have been notably up and around the Kawau side, massive line pulling specimens too. A great plan is to grab some for a big smoke-up and share around, wherever you’re fishing. As is or however you prefer these kahawai, such an exciting fish to catch and a healthy delicious dinner or two too. Treat them well and they will reward with exceptional flavour. Iki instantly they’re aboard, then bleed and ice ice baby. Absolutely primo!

Snapper out wider are in feeding mode, 45m+. Drifting with a few good lures presented well on light leader (20lb maximum, but 15lb better) should result in excellent pannies accompanying you home,  no workups required. A few big reds are likely so a little patience is required to land them on lighter leader, but with nothing to bust off on over most of the gulf, easy and enthralling. Softbaits are a reliable and effective go-to, especially in the inner shallower waters of <20m, but also further out. Just short of and not far past Anchorite drifting a lonely looking imitation baitfish about a metre (one wind) up off the sea floor – disco! Snapper city. In these depths of 50m (or m

ore) it pays to use much more weight to get your softbait down to where then snapper are, using a 3/4oz jighead your softbait may never reach them – drift speed, current, sheer depth. Using heavier jigheads, allowing them to smack the sea floor once or twice (a great sight and sound dinner gong to a snapper in the area) is the way to go. 2ounces and more are needed, particularly when using big softbaits, chasing big snapper. The boat motion is often enough to get the snapper interested, and provide and easily attacked and eaten ‘fish’. 4ounces in 50m, now we’re talking.

Product Highlight: There are many ways to rig softbaits for deeper water or when the drift is fast, check out the deep water/high current rigs Catch Fishing

has created. Impressive, effective, twin-hook options too – and see snapper attacking and hooking up on the softbaits in 50+m deep!! Definitely worth checking out, much to see and learn on the Deep Water Rig video just put up on Catch Fishing’s Facebook today !!>>>

Have a great weekend, short, long, or long-er. The weather looks good, the fishing will be great fun – just add you!


Solid Autumn style fishing abounds whether you’re in the shallows, or mid-depth and deeper. All sorts from trevally to kahawai, gurnard, snapper and kingfish, JD and a few more types of fish too, it’s time to get into ‘em…here’s some good oil.

The fight and flight of white terns over mackerel on anchovies is attracting the attention of so many birds, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals…you name it, they all can be in the midst of the melee or skirting around the edges following quite some distance away (100m+) from the hot spot of diving terns at the head of steam. Softbaits seem to be working well for snapper well behind the surface action. It’s worth trying a BIG softbait like 10inch on a small ¼ oz/7gm jighead – nice and gentle wafting descent and a sizeable meal for a lurking big red or kingfish. Whereas nearer the surface furore and hard charging action at the frontline microjigs are the go! Whether 20gm or tiny 7gm, the thrills and spills are pure, with easy casting on your lightweight softbait spin gear. Cast all around and don’t get fixed too much with the spearhead of the action – the bigger fish often swirl around over larger areas looking for stragglers, this is where you can pick up good sized fish lurking around. How about throwing out a tiny and easy to use 20 or 35gm stickbait like a Zingaz on your softbait gear?! Further out in the open gulf, similar scenes – with a bit more oomph, particularly when a larger pod of common dolphins round up a baitball, and the big girl (Brydes whale) comes crashing in and grabs a just a few thousand baitfish…the resulting chaos is truly epic to experience, whether you are actively fishing or just enjoying the incredible spectacle. If you are fishing the panic attack style – absolutely enjoy lighter tackle if you wish, but perhaps start with heavier gear to make that fish-bin look right i.e. fish in it. Then change out to lighter gear for the sheer enjoyment of fishing. Good times.

How to fish even better with lures 100% baitfree at your local?

The new ‘normal’ means I can now present in-person seminars with clubs, tackle stores, interest groups, companies, ladies only nights & more… The primary aims are to hands-on demonstrate highly effective lure, softbait and jig fishing techniques, how you choose the best lure for where you fish, easy-learn slow pitch/jigging/softbaiting techniques in an interesting and memorable way.

Also showing exactly what the fish see with water-tank demos along with unique underwater footage never seen before, fish attacking lures, real EYE-OPENERS that will change your understanding of how fish strike, for the better. Keen?

Get in touch: or or private message via Facebook:

Grant Bittle Capt. Espresso.

P.S. Lot’s of really good chatter around about the famous Hutchwilco Boat Show in a few days time too, I’ll be there on the Catch Fishing stand – do come and say hi!


Good fishing mid-week (yes Murphy’s Law), both near and far! Near – just off the North Shore Bays, the Rangi channel, and many more mid-inner areas around the gulf, good snapper to 50cm, good tidal flow, good surface/bird action particularly those easily spotted terns for at least a temporary hot Spot X, good solid snapper feeding well. Kayak, ski, tiny tinny, trailer boat, launch – you name it can be a short trip whether before, during or after work. Far-out ‘workups’ with whales, gannets, dolphins, baitfish, and bigger fish are very good too, intense fishing. And general farming over the open paddocks of the gulf i.e. drift fishing nowhere in particular, no particular Spot X but catching the plentiful pannies out grazing the open sea floor, good times and good looking fish bins at the end of the day or sooner, whether there’re workups near or not. Good shallow/landbased fishing right now especially when terns are working over the anchovies in in the general area – turn of tide on daybreak has been magic to watch, salt water fly, light spinners, micros (like a 7gm Pocket Rocket), drone fishing…it is definitely all good.

Good news for the Hutchwilco Boat Show! It’s been a long time. Time to be reacquainted, people, tackle, boats, practical stuff and all things bling, with everyone looking forward to making time to see the entire show, because you never know, until you go. It’s what we’ve been waiting for, good times, extra good.

Good excuse to go fishing? How about this! In the stunning Bay of Islands the G.J. Gardner Homes 48hr Summer Classic, June 3rd-5th with the @PioneerFishingClub. Good company, good fishing, good venue and lots of sponsor goodies too! Sounds like a good way to enjoy a weekend, whether away for a couple of days, or it’s your local area.

Colder southerly quarter winds may not be conducive to early morning fishing enthusiasm, but the water temps trending down is very good for fishing. Making good tackle choices is easy – start with your sizeable ‘baits’ in terms of slow pitch and inchiku particularly for snapper, their extra action, extra flap – extra good for the extra-big reds.

Thump, thump…thump!! All good.