Fishing has been difficult through the early part of the year – mostly a lack of fish, rather than all the bad weather.
The snapper fishing over the bar hasn’t really been up to its usual standard for this time of year; only those with patience are being rewarded for their efforts. The best advice seems to be to get out there early or for the last hour or two of the day, when the fish seem to be coming on the bite. Anglers are finding that from about 6.30-8am has been the best, with the bite often shutting down after this. There haven’t been any numbers of bigger fish caught, with snapper in the 35-40cm range being usual – although these are best for eating.
However, the numbers of kahawai at times can only be described as ‘in plague proportions’ from 20m out to 60m, with most of these fish being in good condition. There are also quite a few gurnard being caught – a tasty by-catch of snapper fishing. This year the gurnard seem to be bigger and fatter than usual, with many full of crabs and small flatfish.
On the game fishing front it has been a case of the dropsies for many boats, with multiple fish being hooked and lost. A few fish have come to the boat, ranging from around 100-160kg. The 100-120m mark seems to be the most commonly-targeted zone, with nice blue water. In saying this, there has been a lot of bird activity and baitfish in around the 60m mark, with skippies in as close as 40m. Hopefully we will see the marlin coming in closer and feeding on kahawai, as they have in the past.
There has been little information on what has been happening inside the harbour, but from what I have been able to gather, this too has been a bit difficult. The easterlies in the past couple of weeks might have allowed easy bar crossings, but they’ve made things a bit unpleasant for those wishing to fish inside the harbour.
However, there seem to be decent numbers of snapper starting to come into the channels and, as usual, there are always the gurnard and kahawai to be caught at this time of year.
Manukau by Ben Francis
Phone (09)-817-7745 • Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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