The slow improvement in the weather has been very welcome.
Perhaps the best news is that snapper appear to be heading into the Bay. Wairoa surfcasters and kontiki exponents report they are starting to catch some good school snapper. Whakaki and Whakamahi are the best spots.
Unfortunately, the same area is still giving up unwanted quantities of spiny dogfish. These fish have been caught in almost plague proportions over most of the Bay in the middle months.
The end of the month saw the return of big baitfish schools. Consequently, kahawai numbers have increased, forming many a good catch bag for surfcasters and boat anglers alike. Most of these fish have been taken at the river mouths, where they're waiting to intercept whitebait.
Whitebaiters are reporting steady catches, but have not had the large hauls of some previous years. Still, early days yet, eh! The Ngaruroro and Tukituki Rivers have been producing the most consistently.
Ocean Beach took a particularly bad hiding from the sea over the winter, and it was hard to fish at times. However, it has started to settle and is now starting to produce some gurnard. Those using kontikis are doing very well.
The Pania Surfcasting Club held the last of its Brass Monkey series at Le Quesne Rd at the end of the month.
Despite the cold, a record number of members attended. Twenty fish, consisting of mainly kahawai and barracouta, were caught.
Boat anglers are still having to cover a lot of kilometres to avoid the spiny dogs. The Lachlans and the Oil Cap seem to be the main targets. Rewards have been good catches of snapper and tarakihi, with a few trumpeter and pup groper as bonuses.
Kontiki exponents will welcome the news that, once again, the Guns and Tackle Hunting & Fishing/Bay View Snapper Holiday Park Contest (surely the longest tournament name in the country) will be held on the Saturday and Sunday of Labour Weekend. Tickets for this increasingly popular event can be purchased from the sponsors.
Finally, many thanks to Kane Wrigglesworth, who filled in for me last month while I tried to sort out a wee spot of medical bother I'd got myself in.
Hawkes Bay by Bruce Basher
Ph 06 836 6113
- © Fairfax NZ News