Resident snapper are still to be found, but the inner harbour has slowed down considerably from what many have described as the best snapper schooling season for a decade.
Just what brought this on is anyone's guess, but most would agree that climate, water quality, food source and fishing pressure all played their part.
The local spots around Rangitoto - off the lava flows, the lighthouse rocks and the shelf at Narrowneck - are all producing fish, but the school activity on the channel banks and middle grounds has definitely thinned out.
There are school fish out from the eastern side of Waiheke at Oneroa Point and Matiatia however, and these schools have some good fish amongst them. The reefy corners around Crusoe Rock have fish too, and the northern side of Rakino is left alone by many for some reason, so stooging in there can be productive.
Now there's cooler water, head for the foul. Setting up the berley and working the tides comes into vogue, and the popular gut-ways at the Noises will come on in the upcoming months. It is not unusual to see some reasonable kingies in the berley at this stage of the season. A deep drift with the livies will continue to work on john dory and kingfish, but soon the 'snakes' will take up residence anywhere over 25m.
It is squid season now, and some nice inkies have started to show up on the inner spots. They can be very particular about the colour of jig used, so take a selection.
Kahawai schools are still in the inner gulf. I'm not sure where they all came from, but they have been consistent north of Rangitoto for some time. Trevally are showing up too, but seem to be a bit smaller than usual so far. With the cold weather they will get right in and spawn in the snags around wharves and jetties.
As the cold starts to bite - or 'nip' in the Auckland climate - we will find fish in the shallows. My pick is the early mornings, with berley, and fishing into a rock wash behind me. Pour a coffee, cast a bait, and settle in for a good run in the crisp, cool, morning air.
Southern Hauraki Gulf by Eugen de Bruyn
Mob 0274 937 997
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