The Ngawi/Pukemanu Challenge had a good turnout, with fabulous conditions that only got better as the day wore on.
The fish were biting as well. Chris Tait and I had no trouble getting our limit of tarakihi and a dozen rays bream as well. They are delicious, put up a good fight on light gear, are suckers for jigs, and often grab baits on ledger rigs as they sink.
The 90m mark seems to be the best bet for tarakihi off Ngawi at present, but despite producing in the past, has yet to provide a groper this year. This could be because of consistent gill-netting. In closer, blue cod are about, but not as abundant as I would have liked to see. A feed is still easy enough to obtain if you move around a bit and persevere with berley.
The Tora Reef is still turning on some good fishing for blue cod, tarakihi and a few groper on the deeper marks, although by mid-June they will have mostly moved out deep. Haven't heard anything from Riversdale or Castlepoint this month, but easterlies have impacted on their conditions more so than Ngawi.
The Surfcasting Club weekend held at Ocean Beach was a ripper. A good turnout saw 59 fish of mixed species come over the weigh-station. Change of light on Saturday evening saw smoothounds come on the bite, with 19 weighed in, the best being 7kg. Most were taken on fresh paddle crab or crayfish. Some large kahawai were also caught, and all were released.
Freshwater has been very good, with mixed bags of rainbows and browns. One of the blokes at King & Henry told me a chap came in with a salmon of about 3kg that he'd caught on a spinner behind the dump in the Ruamahanga! I've seen two others that far up, one about 7kg that was dead, and the other around the same size, but very much alive, down at the 'Cliffs'. Every year a few get caught down at the Ferry.
Wairarapa by Graham Howard
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