Lately we have been finding vast areas of anchovies and filling up the bins with KY and even the odd legal Kingfish or 3. Even more recently we have been catching Skip Jack Tuna among the mayhem (anchovy bait balls getting harvested by birds and bigger fish)! I believe this is due to the El Nino weather patterns and extremely warm weather and therefore warmer than usual seas. The northerly winds have also added to push the bait and predators even further into the Hauraki gulf. Yesterday on the way back from a charter out wide, I saw skippies being harassed by a marlin east of Tiri, and more feeding on anchovies off Rangitoto Island.
We found casting Zman 4-5inch softbaits that look like anchovy and winding fast on the surface where the skippies are breaking the water worked very well. This fish was taken on 4kg softbait gear!
We have found a few successful methods to catching these marauding predators. Match the hatch seems to work and we have used the Blue/Silver Jitterbugs with a red skirt and found it lethal on the KY and Kingfish in the workups (looks like a bleeding baitfish). Simply drop to the bottom and wind slowly 5+ winds to see if there are snapper present and then fast wind to catch a KY or King. We have also been casting them into the action with good success
Fast retrieved jigs like the Lime pickle seems to get them as well (also this colour hooked another JD who was hanging around under the bait – I have caught around 8 Johnny’s on this lure now)!
I would not be surprised if a Marlin gets caught in closer soon (A Big 300Kg black was hooked and played for 2-3 hours at Anchorite a couple of weeks ago)! Not stupid to tow some bigger lures around this bait if ya see fins etc!
See you out there.
Cheers Capt. Snap (Nik)