I haven't heard much from the boat-fishing brigade of late, but the Wairarapa Surfcasting Club had a fantastic club day, landing, weighing and releasing 71 fish with a total weight of 151.31kg.
The catch included lemonfish, kahawai, spiny dogs, skate, congers, wrasse, red cod and carpet sharks. Only a few lemonfish and a conger eel were kept for the smoker, with the rest released for another day. Carl Arnst landed 16 lemonfish up to 6.5kg.
The Wairarapa Surfcasting Club consistently has good turnouts each month, and anyone interested in extending their shore-fishing experience should join up, as the combined knowledge the members have is always happily shared. And don't forget the WSFC's annual Gurnard Hunt this month - a bit of prospecting from now on should pay dividends on the day.
I missed a couple of good weather opportunities to fish during the month due to family commitments. I personally like winter fishing, as you don't have to get up so early, and the hours between 10am and 3pm have usually provided plenty of tarakihi and blue cod, with a by-catch of rays bream. These last fish are usually found in mid-water in 90-100 metres off Ngawi. To target them, try a slow descent with a baited flasher rig. They are delicious eating and fight quite well; I don't know why I don't spend more time targeting them!
The reef at Castlepoint has been turning up kahawai for the rock hoppers, and a few hours up there on a nice day can reward with a good feed. Groper will still be out deep in 200m until Labour Weekend, when they start turning up in 50-100m.
Commercial cray fishers are flat out, and reports say crays are reasonably plentiful. Paua and kina are there for the taking too, and winter often gives better water clarity than the summer months.
I caught a fresh sea-run brown a short while ago, and expect that whitebait started early. September is the best month for 'bait, going on past experience. Rivers are quite high at present, but trout numbers are good, so opening day should provide some sport on smaller waters like the Waipoua, upper Waingawa and Waiohine - all favourites that fish well early.
Wairarapa by Graham Howard
Ph 06 378 6209
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