Recent bottom fishing over the bar has shown marked improvement, with some anglers doing very well.
It seems to be a case of getting out there when the weather allows and playing the patience game - although on occasion the fishing has been fast and furious, with limits being caught in short time.
As was the case last month, the fish are still holding in 50-60m, with cut baits of skipjack tuna or squid on ledger rigs tending to be the most effective. The size of the fish being caught has also improved on average, with good fish in the 40-50cm range being caught regularly, along with the odd bigger fish around 7kg. The snapper are just starting to roe up, with the water temperature slowly starting to rise. On my last outing I saw the first trawler for the season, which is generally a sign that the fish have turned up.
Good numbers of gurnard are also being caught between snapper, with the size being much better than usual. These gurnard have been full of roe, so must be very close to spawning.
Kahawai numbers have been pretty thin out deeper, but there are still a few around for those wanting to smoke or use them for fresh snapper bait.
Anglers fishing in close are having issues with the sharks, but those out deeper aren't having too much trouble. There are a few barracouta out in 50-60m, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year.
Anglers did reasonably well in the harbour last month, generally being able to get a good feed when they headed out. There are some great gurnard to be caught at the moment, with the odd kahawai and snapper being taken as well. The fishing should improve further as we move through October.
Scallop season started not long ago, but few people appear to have been out and given it a crack yet. With less early pressure, it will be interesting to see if scallop numbers are better later in the season.
Manukau by Ben Francis
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