Although the weather over the past few weeks has not been the kindest, the fishing has been red hot. We have certainly felt the drop in temperature and it looks like the fish have too. This cold southerly we have had recently is exactly what fishers have been waiting for, as it will have sent the fish into full panic mode. As the water temperature suddenly drops, instinct will take over and the drive for the fish to put on condition should result in some insanely good fishing. The saying goes “there’s proof in the pudding”, and over the past few days we have had many fishers coming in talking about how productive their recent trips have been.
Land based fishers have been doing very well, catching lots of good Snapper and Kahawai around the bays at dawn and dusk on the incoming tide.
Small cut baits of squid and mullet are proving deadly, while the kayakers have been producing a feed of healthy fish using small softbaits just off the beach in 10 to 15m. There are still large schools of small baitfish around, so try matching the hatch with small micro jigs and softbaits to up your chances.
Traditionally this is the time of year a lot of people start targeting big fish in the shallows with bait and berley. Straylining involves using as little weight as possible to get well presented baits that look as natural as possible to the fish attracted by your berley. If done correctly, it is a highly effective way of catching a feed of fish. Find a piece of shallow coastline with a bit of current and deploy your berley. Try to match the wind direction with the way the current is flowing so you sit facing one direction. Float baits back in free spool until you get an enquiry and hold on. Don’t be afraid to fillet a Kahawai and throw a slab over as bait. If there’s a big fish around that’s how you’re going to catch it.
Although the fishing has been good, try and improve your chances even more by targeting the bite times. You can generally tell the bite times by the position of the moon. The fishing will be at its best when the moon is either directly above your head or straight below your feet. Try targeting dawn and dusk, as fish feel more confident in low light and are more likely to come up off the bottom to eat a bait.
Connor Scott is our new Fishing Columnist. He has been around fishing “since day one”, having been raised on the rocks of the far north with a rod in his hand. This progressed into fishing from boats as his knowledge and passion grew. As the new manager at Top Catch Whangaparaoa, Connnor says finding time to get out for a fish can be a struggle, but he does so as much as possible. “Targeting big fish inshore is a buzz with so many species to consider, however my favourite time on the water is long days offshore deep dropping, jigging or trolling,” he says.