Rain, wind and cyclones have battered us continuously over the summer months. What a rough month February has been. As I write it’s a glorious day of sunshine, and it gives me hope that the days going forward into autumn will be great.
Fishing reports have been few and far between as anglers have not had much time out on the water. But one fine weekday, saw more than 20 boats out at Flat Rock. The boys are desperate to get out there it seems. If you couldn’t find your tradie, then you know where he might have been.
It’s a good time to be out there. The Kaipara is producing some consistent good-sized snapper, with boaties reporting catching fish of around 50 to 60cm in length.
The East Coast has also fished fairly well. Snapper have been a mixed bag of sizes. The odd big snapper has been caught but, from reports, have been put back to fight another day. Meanwhile, there have been lots of smaller kingfish around, which always provide great sport on the lighter, soft bait setups. There are some larger specimen out there too, just harder to catch as the smaller rat kingfish are always first to grab any bait on offer. The trick is to still have bait in the water when the bigger fish feel confident enough to attack.
Although always around our waters, kahawai catches have been less prominent over the last month. The big ocean-going specimens in particular have not been around much lately. Also skipjack tuna have been a lot scarcer for this time of year. I can only put it down to the lack of pilchards in our waters. Currently, the bait suppliers have run out of New Zealand pilchards and are having to import them to supply local demand. This could well be part of the reason the tuna are less evident this year.
The good news is that autumn does bring better fishing as fish start to fatten up for the winter period. From March through to April, fish feed a lot more aggressively and fishermen can target the reef areas where food is plentiful.
There have been several game fishing competitions during February and early March.
These have not fished as well as the same time last year. Interestingly though, a Black Marlin of 198.5kg was caught off Kawhia Coast in 55 metres of water. This is the first time ever for a black on the Kawhia Coast.
Fisherman of the week: Dylon Bacher with the 21Lb snapper he caught off Leigh.
Anthony Roberts, Tackle & Outdoors