As anticipated during an equinoctial period, strong winds and rough seas (with only short periods of ideal conditions) have restricted fishing opportunities.
I am always surprised by those who go fishing in conditions which I consider really unpleasant. Often I have returned to the harbour, thankful to be tied up to the wharf, only to see a small tin boat leave with occupants not even wearing life jackets. It appears boat manufacturers should be congratulated for so many intrepid fishermen being able to return home - with or without fish.
Those who made the most of the calm were well rewarded. Mayor Island produced good snapper at most spots, although the standout was between Western Bay and Honeymoon Bay, as well as just south of the western edge of the reserve.
Tarakihi were numerous on the drop-off southeast of Elephant Bay, although it is reported to have fished well only when a current from the south was evident. The Twenty Six was productive for pink maomao and tarakihi, with a number of john dory also caught. Fish there were in tight schools, requiring accurate anchoring to obtain best results.
One report from a charter boat was of limited success on the Mayor Knolls, catching bluenose, bass and reasonable numbers of gemfish.
In the Alderman Islands area, most of the recognized spots fished well. One report had good snapper taken from the wash at the southwestern side of the passage in early evening. Three anglers landed 11 fish from water only a few metres deep in just over an hour.
Locally-caught whitebait is for sale in shops at Waihi Beach, indicating good catches from streams in the area. Streams further north have produced whitebait, but not in remarkable quantities.
Petleys Reef, north of Waihi Beach, was a rewarding target for those fishing out of Bowentown. Spots to the north of Petleys and Whangamata produced good tarakihi, along with an abundance of small snapper and barracouta during the day, and good snapper making an appearance as light diminished. Ngapeeta was the best tarakihi spot.
With improving weather and warming water, fishing and diving will become even more attractive this month.
Waihi and Whangamata by Llew Jones
Ph 0274 978 136
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