This last month the weather has definitely not played fair. Feedback has been scarce as there have been very few days where the wind has not blown or it hasn’t rained. Nevertheless, some of the more hardy have gone and had a fish. There have been some reports of good-sized gurnard being caught off Pakiri beach as well as in the Kaipara Harbour. Winter always brings on some real good gurnard in the Kaipara. Reports on snapper catches have been mixed. Some good-sized fish have been caught off Flat Rock, however this spot gets hammered both for kingfish and snapper.
Out deeper, at depths of 40 and 50 metres, no reports have come in boasting of catching larger fish. I managed to get out for the first time since coming out of lockdown, and fishing in depths between four and six metres, we only caught one fish that was undersized throughout the day. That was interesting as usually a lot of small snapper get caught as they are always the first to grab the bait.
We put back a number of larger snapper, including the solid kelpie in the above photograph. You can see from the dark colours of the fish that it is living and feeding amongst the kelp. Using mullet strip baits on a strayline with no sinker produced the results.
Bluefin tuna are still moving up the east coast and a few local boats have gone to the back of Barrier Island to see if they can snag one of these monsters. Hopefully, I can give some positive feedback on their trip in my next fishing column. Waihau Bay has been plagued by excited bluefin anglers again this year after the ramp was temporarily closed due to Covid restrictions for a period. This year it has been respectfully asked of anglers to only take one bluefin tuna per day.
Squid are also still being caught along the coast and boy, are they tasty when they are so fresh. As these animals are ambush hunters, they like to hide along the side of rocks and kelp beds. This is where you have the best chance of snagging them. The best time to catch them is in the evening with the change of light and later on in the night. They are more active in the dark.
Anthony Roberts, Tackle & Outdoors