The interest in fishing around the Wellington region has quickly gathered momentum since daylight saving and better weather combined to give fishers increasing opportunities.
And the rewards have certainly been there, with many of the 'better weather species' coming on-stream for anglers to target. At the same time the deepwater fish - particularly groper and bluenose - continue to be prominent in anglers' bags. Out from south Ohau on the Makara coast, hundreds of groper have been caught, with up to 20 boats often visiting the same patch of reefs. Groper are also being caught behind Mana, Fishermans Rock and at The Trench, where bluenose have been in good numbers - but at specific locations.
While tarakihi and blue cod have been a bit hit or miss on the south coast, most anglers fishing the 100-metre line will tell you that you don't need too many for a feed. Further inshore, the gurnard fishing can be quite sensational either side of the harbour entrance, and there are big schools of jack mackerel in Fitzroy Bay - an ideal time to stock up with fresh, oily bait.
Harbour fishing for boat fishers has been good, with reports of plentiful trevally towards the harbour entrance, and big gurnard in the same locations, as well as back into the harbour. Tarakihi fishing has been excellent. Kahawai are patchy, but numbers are good around most reasonable-sized rivers in the region when the 'bait are running.
Surfcasters are at last getting into some reasonable blue moki fishing, but no big fish have yet been taken.
The south coast has been producing fish up to two kilos west of the harbour entrance, including a good-sized copper moki - quite a rare catch. Spotty shark fishing has been good along the Palliser coast, with the majority of fish being in the good-eating 2-3kg range. There are still plenty of red cod and small sharks being caught, and as usual for this time of the year, some really big seven-gilled sharks are patrolling the surf line. Weighing this species is hard if you want to release it alive, but a specimen of 65kg was weighed, and a much bigger fish was estimated at over 100kg.
Wellington by Jim O'Brien
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