Nothing grabs a Hawkes Bay surfcaster by the 'pay attention' parts than the arrival of some horse snapper!
With the first appearance of these fish made, most beaches sport good numbers of eager surfcasters with high expectations. The biggest of the month was caught by James Benge fishing at Mahia and weighed 13.4kg. An 11.78kg fish was caught at East Clive as well.
Napier kontiki exponent Warren Nichols decided to compete with the constant trawling activity off Northshore and Le Quesne Rd beaches, and on a long set scored two 9kg-plus snapper. Residents of both beaches report that not only is there constant trawler activity, but gill netters have also decided that this spot is the place to be. Little wonder most recreational anglers are having a slow time.
Prime beaches such as Mahanga and Ocean Beach have been slow for surfcasters, but good for those setting kontikis. Best catches at both are fat gurnard, along with a few kahawai for good measure.
Kane Wrigglesworth found some good gurnard surfcasting at Waipatiki. Kane used fresh kahawai for bait, as he was also catching big spotted dogfish. Pania Surfcasting Club member Mike Percy scored a club pin gurnard at Le Quesne Rd on the first Field Day.
Napier boatie, Hayden Lamb, took his boat to Mahia and fished just off Snapper Rock. No snapper, but he wasn't disappointed with a good catch of fat gurnard.
Kahawai schools have dropped away over the month, but those caught are in great condition. Most have been feeding well on whitebait.
Whitebait catches have been steady throughout the season so far. The odd big catch has been taken, but the average appears to be two or three cups full.
Quite a few of the winter species have remained to date. It's not too hard to catch a red cod (although I can't imagine why you'd want to) almost anywhere. Spiny dogfish have stayed on too, and appear to be in big numbers, especially at Whakaki. Big tope up to 20kg have been caught at Whakaki as well.
Boat anglers have been finding gurnard occupying the sandy areas, and are the main catch at present. Areas such as The Razorback line and Pania Reef have yielded some good catches of tarakihi.
Hawkes Bay by Bruce Basher
Ph 06 835 0646
- © Fairfax NZ News