Fishing is patchy - but bites will come to patient

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 05/01/2013
Ryan Paice
BEN CURRAN/Fairfax NZ

FINE CATCH: Returning from a day of fishing, Ryan Paice, of Hamilton, with a tarakihi.

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Fishing can be erratic in the summer, with fish feeding only occasionally, but perseverance will yield rewards, says Waikato angling guru Chris Bungard.

"The fishing at the moment can be a little bit patchy so people need to have a little bit of patience.

"They will go off the bite for a while and they will come back and generally at this time of year the bite time is not as long."

People flock to the Coromandel for the fishing and Mr Bungard said the preferred method was bottom fishing with flasher rigs - hooks dressed with artificial coloured hair - and small sinkers.

"If they drop their flasher rigs and jigs through the bait fish the snapper are usually feeding underneath," he said.

Kingfish have been spotted off the rocks around Coromandel, so land-based fishers should stock up on heavy gear.

The West Coast at Kawhia and Raglan has been good and Mr Bungard said it was time for the game fishers to reach for the lures and sharpen the hooks for the season.

"In the Bay of Plenty there have been a few sightings of marlin already, which is great for those who like hunting game fish, and there have been a couple of marlin spotted on the West Coast as well."

Brian Hooker, from Raglan Charters, has 30 years' experience fishing on the West Coast and said the fishing was good between 35 and 50 metres.

He has spent plenty of time on the water over the summer, catching snapper up to 8 kilograms.

"I reckon the going is gonna be good right through to May," Mr Hooker said.

Marlin are in the area and schools of albacore tuna are moving into the 50 metre mark.

"They [marlin] are there and there are plenty of kingfish on the reefs as well."

The West Coast is known to get rough, with huge waves making it hard to get out on the boat, so fishers have to strike while the fish are biting.

Meanwhile, Thames-Coromandel District Council staff have initiated a massive cleanup on the Coromandel coast, where thousands of dumped snapper have washed up on peninsula beaches since New Year's Eve.

The dead fish are rotting and beginning to smell and the council is moving in immediately. The cleanup will focus on an area 100 metres either side of Granite Wharf, north of Colville, on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Anyone with information about the dumped fish can call the Ministry for Primary Industries fishing hotline, 0800 4 POACHER/ 0800 47 62 24.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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