Last month, schools of snapper were largely replaced with tarakihi.
The change was progressive, although at the end of the month some good catches of snapper were still being made by those who persisted with berley. Reportedly, snapper could be seen in the berley trail of those fishing the late afternoon in shallow water of 5-6m. This type of fishing is exciting and rewarding, although not always on offer.
Waihi anglers report increasing numbers of tarakihi supplanting snapper in areas such as the Taupo, Steeles and Petleys, and one snapper taken from Steeles Reef was apparently better than twelve kilos.
Some schools of tarakihi, while looking good on the sounder, contained numerous small snapper. John dory were consistently taken on soft-baits around these schools.
The Whangamata area was also notable for the increase in tarakihi. Some anglers struggled with short periods of good fishing; then, when they moved, they found the school again 30-50m away. These schools were much more stable when a bit of current was present.
Folk who spent time drift fishing early in the month were well rewarded by gurnard, kahawai and snapper, but returns diminished as the month progressed. Dogger Bank produced particularly well on the north side, with snapper to 6kg, along with red snapper and good-sized pink maomao. Some anglers fishing and berleying over the deeper structures from the high point of the Dogger had an outstanding afternoon's fishing.
Slipper Island was reported as hit and miss, with good fishing at times and an apparent absence of fish at others.
Further offshore, the Aldermen Islands provided good shallow-water fishing, especially on the southwestern corner, with snapper, kahawai and some kingfish - although the best of these usually broke off in the foul before the angler could stop them.
East of the Aldermen, some hapuku, bass and gemfish were taken on the patches of low foul, while a number of hapuku and gemfish were found on the steep drop-off.
The southeast reefs consistently provided red snapper, tarakihi and pink maomao, but there were no reports of kingfish taken from this area.
Waihi and Whangamata by Llew Jones
0274 978 136
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