East coast swells have continued to hamper fishing all winter.
However, the weather seems to be starting to change, with the odd nor'wester now figuring - which is what we want.
Fishing in November is always good. What hapuku are left come in closer after spawning - but don't expect big ones in close anymore. Pup hapuku will be found in low numbers in the 50-85m rocks.
Tarakihi will also move in closer as the swells diminish. Snapper come in much closer to any rises such as the Ariel, Penguins, Charlies, South Rocks, and Whareongaonga. Species such as kingfish, kahawai, trevally and baitfish show up in November, too.
Westpac continues to produce tarakihi in good numbers, but the handiest spot, Morrisons (six kilometres off the Tatapouri ramp) has been flogged and shows no fish sign of consequence. Kells, Outer Penguins, Mid Gables and South Rocks will be the most reliable places. However, in a recent contest some fishers travelled all over the place for little return; others came in with the goods, but spent a lot more time shifting and trying.
We spent nine hours on the water with quite a few shifts. Very little sign was seen on the sounder compared with previous years. Commercial fishing pressure is a lot greater and the trawlers can be seen some nights working off Wainui, lighting up the area with their deck lights.
Our 'management' area runs from East Cape to the bottom of the North Island, and commercial quota is calculated on maximum sustainable yield, but this does not prevent localised depletion. If you try north of the city, such as out off Tolaga Bay, fishing improves remarkably. To make a catch you now have to travel further, try more places and put more time in.
Kingfish seem to be providing good fishing, especially when jigging in places such as South Rocks and the Penguins. In full summer, large numbers can be seen around the Ariel as well, although many are undersized. They provide great sport, and if interested in a world record, I reckon the right fish is off Gisborne.
Finally, some fishers in the latest contest had a great experience when two very large great white sharks were seen near their boat at Ariel Reef.
Gisborne by Alain Jorion
Ph 06 868 9588
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