Northern Hauraki Gulf - October 2012
Snapper migration anticipatedRICHARD & BILL BATHURST
October marks the start of the male snapper run into the gulf.
Large numbers of males tend to lead the females into the area, and feed up in preparation for the imminent spawning.
There are three main pathways for snapper returning to the Hauraki Gulf: the Colville, Craddock and Jellicoe Channels. As they move through, they will stop for a feed, but are not intent on feeding all the time. They are still on a mission to get to the Inner Gulf's rich feeding grounds, where they can fatten up fast.
The best way to describe how they move into the Gulf is like the wildebeest on the Serengeti. They will graze just like the wildebeest and are continually on the move, with each bit of foul feeding the concentrations of fish that come through. To get onto these fish, it's all about timing.
The pilchards are coming through in better numbers and are being herded to the surface by all manner of predators. Kingfish start to make their presence felt and are bigger than we have been encountering of late.
Trevally, which have been ever-present over the winter, are intent on getting amongst the krill, along with the kahawai. Snapper will be underneath most of the work-ups throughout the Outer Gulf.
One of the more prominent spots to try your luck would be the Mokes. Although not producing the numbers of late, this group of islands and reefs is the first stop for many fish entering into the Inner Gulf.
Great Barrier, especially through the Colville Channel, is another early-season spot. Traditionally the western end of this channel has produced better fishing, as the snapper split to either enter into the Firth or head further west towards Auckland City.
Craddock Channel will produce some very nice fish as they migrate into the middle ground.
Jellicoe Channel has not produced great success for me in the past, but brings fish through. I have had better results as they head around the Kawau and Flat Rock area.
The middle ground will be alive with bait, birds, kahawai and snapper. Even though this is a huge expanse of water, work-ups will become easier to spot over the coming months.
Northern Hauraki Gulf by Richard & Bill Bathurst
Ph 021 940 229
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