John Dory would be one of my favourite table fish. I love the firm white fillets and their subtle flavour!
Whilst John Dory is a great by-catch when fishing the workups and bait schools out wide, and in the middle ground of the Hauraki Gulf, they can also be targeted in close. As you will see below JD are attracted to Jitterbugs and we seem to catch more of them on the Lime Pickle lure than any other we have tried (not sure exactly why)?
In closer we target them using a dropper rig with a 10/0 hook half way up the trace on a loop and a 6oz sinker on the bottom. Areas that we target them are along the East Coast bays, around Rangitoto, the bottom end of Waiheke Island, Pink Beach off Omaha to mention a few. They are crazy for small snapper and often you will catch one on a dropper/flasher rig by mistake (they go for the caught snapper). Also when there are a lot of small snapper around say in December there will usually be JD’s around hunting them (a good time to target them with live Yellow Tail Mackerel). This JD grabbed a snapper on Bruce’s flasher rig on Sunday at the bottom end of Waiheke Island.
We also find that an hour either side of the low or high tide is best where there is lots of current running. Apart from Yellow Tail Mackerel, Blue Cod is another favorite of the JD, while small KY are not (maybe they move too fast)?
So next time you are out and catching lots of undersize snapper, get out your Sabiki rig and try a YT Mackerel livie for JD. I think you will be surprised at the outcome (also far more sustainable than catching lots of small snapper and upping the mortality rate)!
Cheers Captn Nik (Snap) snapfishingventures.com