Autumn is the best time to target bigger snapper around the Wellington coastline.
This month has seen plenty of action from both boat and shore fishers, with catches of big (but not super-big) fish by more northern standards.
Surfcaster Steve Foreman was rewarded for his frequent hikes around remote coastlines with a 10.12kg fish amongst a catch of four snapper. On the Makara and Kapiti coasts and in Wellington Harbour, fish between six and nine kilos are frequent catches. To target these bigger fish, try increasing your hook and bait sizes when fishing a berley trail. One frequent large snapper catcher uses 7/0 hooks and a large slab of kahawai.
Other catches by boat fishers include consistent kilo-sized tarakihi on the eastern end of Wainuiomata in 80-100m. Further inshore, gurnard have been caught in reasonable numbers in Fitzroy Bay. The best blue cod fishing appears to be taking place in the Cape Terawhiti area. The deep water has been patchy, but bluenose and hoki are hanging on at the trench, and some groper are also being caught.
The many shore-based fishers of Wellington Harbour have had a bonus month, with schools of adult kahawai following the baitfish into the harbour, and spinning rods and reels have had some serious workouts.
Coast-wise, it has been a good month for both moki and tarakihi, with the western beaches of the south coast fishing well. Moki size is not big, with fish in the 1-2kg bracket and a good number of fish under 40cm being returned.
While southerly swells have been frequent, the calmer spells have seen some very good-sized spotty sharks taken from the Palliser beaches. The cooler weather is also starting to throw up red cod and the usual number of spiny dogs.
Wellington by Jim O'Brien
Ph 04 589 1425
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