Taranaki - November 2012
Surfcasting Challenge on againSHAY FAIRHURST
The opening of the new freshwater season has started well, and for the first few days most anglers reported catches of well-conditioned fish throughout the region.
Heavy rain after opening weekend discoloured the water and raised river levels. It could be a fair while before most waters settle again.
To date the whitebaiting has been consistent. Most rivers are fishing well, with a good proportion of the smaller rivers producing good amounts of 'bait. The larger rivers to the north and south - the Waitara, Onaero, Mimi and the Waiwakaiho rivers in particular - are still producing a feed.
Surfcasting and beach long-lining have had mixed results of late. Selected beaches around the coast, such as Fort St, George and Manihi Road, have been producing reasonable numbers of snapper and the odd spotty shark for surfcasters braving the conditions. In the north, long-liners should aim to hit the beaches as often as possible, as the bigger snapper should move into shallower water as conditions begin to improve towards summer. The popular 'Taranaki Open Surfcasting Challenge' competition is on again from November 7-11.
Right around the Taranaki coast the bottom fishing has been producing the goods. In South Taranaki Opunake and Patea are proving good hunting grounds for snapper and blue cod of 30-35m. Off New Plymouth the 50-70m depths over the foul seem to be the most popular areas to fish, however reports from commercial long-liners suggest the snapper are moving in over the sandy basins in 30-40m. This will only improve as they prepare to spawn in these areas. Locating schools on the sounder is time well spent and should almost guarantee a feed of fat, healthy snapper.
Most north Taranaki fishermen are doing well with gurnard and snapper, and should also look to target the 30-40m depth in the coming months. Directly off the Mokau River mouth is a popular spot with locals, and generally produces the goods.
Now is also a good time to dust off the dive gear and craypots, as reports of large numbers of big crays are coming in from around the province.
Taranaki by Shay Fairhurst
Taranaki Hunting and Fishing
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