Off Ruakaka Beach and the area out from Waipu River mouth has been fishing well for snapper.
There are not very many big fish, but enough to head home with a reasonable feed. The catch rates have been best around the offshore patches of foul in these areas, with stray-lined baits working better than soft-baits.
Torpedo fishers have also been doing quite well in these areas; catches have mostly been snapper, but smaller baits have taken a few trevally and occasional kahawai.
The Hen and Chicks and Sail Rock are worth visiting; over the last month, when conditions have allowed, some good snapper have been caught in close using a berley trail and big stray-lined baits. A little further out from the islands, in water between 30-40m, some good snapper have been caught on ledger rigs with good-sized baits. Black Magic's Snapper Snatchers have been working particularly well.
At this time of year the succulent tarakihi start to show up in 55m off Kauri Mountain Beach. These tasty fish can be caught in this depth all the way up toward Tutukaka, and they should be with us until February next year. Black Magic Tarakihi Terrors and postage-stamp-sized pieces of shellfish, salted skipjack or pilchard all work well, although baby squid and/or mullet are favoured some days. It is also worthwhile putting out a couple of larger baits for small hapuku in these areas; I've caught quite a few pup 'puka on Tarakihi Terrors, but a bigger bait is more likely to tempt these tasty fish.
The Mad Mile is best fished at this time of year using a good berley trail and decent baits on stray-lined rigs.
However, if chasing the big trevally that frequent this and the harbour entrance areas over the colder months, smaller hooks and small oily baits such as skipjack work best.
The harbour entrance and down toward One Tree Point will normally reward an angler at this time of year. Use long traces (trace length about the same as the water depth) and a decent sinker to keep the baits right on the bottom; fish the first two hours of either the incoming/outgoing tides for the best results.
Whangarei-Tutukaka by John Vowless
Ph 09 436 2152
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