Southern Hauraki Gulf - February 2012
Top harbour fishingEUGEN DE BRUYN
Top harbour fishing
Plenty of coming and going boat traffic filled with holidaymakers and day-trippers indicate most are making the best of some indifferent weather conditions.
Fortunately, there has been a bit of a snapper phenomena over the last week around the more sheltered inner harbour. In 22 years of chartering, I have not seen the inner harbour fishing as well as it has been recently. It has not been uncommon to score over 50 snapper above 40cm for parties, sometimes in only an hour. Some of the fish are up to 5kg.
They are schooling in unusual places – just 100m off the Tank Farm and also 200m up from the Harbour Bridge! The charter-boat fleet is a bit of a giveaway of the hotter areas.
The inner harbour does have its nuances; there are a lot of areas closed to anchoring, so check your chart.
The harbourmaster is issuing warning notices and anchored boats may be only metres into the safe area. The other gremlin is the strong current, which can limit your technique. I try to work over a slack tide to get the tide window right.
The reports coming from out further have been a bit scratchy, a result of dealing with a lot of southeasterlies lately. The shallow reefs out from Pakatoa and the bottom end of Waiheke have had a good smattering of snapper, and some nice kingies have shown up, too. The work-ups further out at Gannet Rock are still producing school snapper, but to be honest, you can do as good in the harbour at the moment. There have been some reports of skippies out from the Noises and off Whangaparaoa.
During the upcoming month you should find snapper in the inner harbour holes such as Kauri Point, Stanley Point and Bean Rock. In the evening or morning some bigger fish will be up in the shallows, so a line thrown in under the Harbour Bridge or at the Tank Farm will be amongst them.
Chasing kingfish around structure or setting live baits down deep around Crusoe Rock may be a good option, too.
Southern Hauraki Gulf by Eugen de Bruyn
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