Southern Hauraki Gulf - November 2012
Snapper schools moving inEUGEN DE BRUYN
We have kicked off the snapper-schooling season with a good start from some of the traditional grounds out in the middle areas of the gulf.
The 30-metre foul out from the Noises has had some consistent work-up activity over the top, and snapper have been regular amongst this action. The other area of note has been west of Rakino in about 25m, with huge shoals of jack mackerel congregating over the top of some fairly extensive snapper marks. It is very early for this amount of sign and bodes well for another bumper inshore snapper frenzy.
The big boys are still around, and it is common for November to produce some really large male snapper from shallow water. The 8.5kg specimen taken recently in only five metres at the Noises is one of many similar catches. Closer in to Auckland we are catching good bags in some of the local spots. The hole at Bean Rock has been the best pick, but the other patches of light foul around the edge of the Rangitoto Channel can be holding fish, and the school sizes are improving all the time as water temperatures rise. I did get a report of a 72-snapper bag taken by a party boat on an afternoon trip just around the corner at North Head.
If the bite is hot, a voluntary minimum size relative to the fishing action is a good practice; we often fish a 40cm minimum.
The kingies are still a bit slow and hard to find, but we have seen a few around the piles Downtown, and the land-based guys at Stanley Point and Torpedo Bay have tangled with some nice ones.
The kayakers will be getting into the action when it heats up inshore; the channel drop-offs out from Tamaki Drive are popular and so are the flats out from Narrowneck - nice areas in a westerly. But remember to respect the shipping lanes and ferry lanes, as well as the cable area out from Takapuna to Tiri'.
Over the next month it would pay to keep an eye on the birds and, probably (and predictably), for the charter boats, who are often attuned to the current movements of the fish.
Southern Hauraki Gulf by Eugen de Bruyn
Mob 0274 937 997
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