With the first month of winter on us, Wellington anglers' fishing patterns are changing to match the new species arriving off our coasts.
For surfcasters, this is a time when even novice fishers will succeed, as the bio-mass of fish frequenting our close-to-shore south coast waters is quite huge. Early season red cod and kahawai - in prime eating condition - are the main targets, with lots of by-catch in the form of small sharks, skates and more small sharks. From the same beaches anglers can also target the good-eating spotty shark, with most success coming at night time.
For boat fishers, winter can be a good time for catching good-sized groper on the deeper and far-from-shore reefs. The windless days you get in winter months can mean quick and sure travel to remoter destinations such as Fishermans Rock, Hunters and the Cook Strait's many bricks and reefs.
A good by-catch in these areas can be warehou, which tend to shoal 30 or so metres down. It's worthwhile setting up a flasher rig above a jig and having it ready to deploy at quick notice.
While most of our prime-eating fish disappear during the winter months, tarakihi do not, and fishing around the moderately deep reefs will often see fish in the kilo-class caught.
The last month has seen the tailing off of a great snapper season that would have to rank 'as good as it gets'. While several fish in the 10-kilo category were caught, the majority of fish were the good eating 1-2 kilo size. Another prominent fish being encountered towards the end of autumn was trevally, which the quiet kayak fishers excel at catching. Blue cod and tarakihi have been prominent catches, and several john dory - more than usual - have been caught. Surfcasters have been doing well on kahawai, with some big harbour runs of mixed sizes of fish occurring. More shore-caught snapper than usual have been taken, as well as some good harbour catches of tarakihi.
Wellington by Jim O'Brien
Ph 04 589 1425
- Email email@example.com
- © Fairfax NZ News