This year is turning out to be one of the most productive winter fishing seasons I have ever seen. There is lots of bait around and it is close to Auckland. What bait do you ask? Well just about everything is being rounded up at the moment. We have seen our fish spewing up smelt, krill, anchovies, pilchards and squid.
Yesterday we decided to try something different so we headed out early for a straylining session in the shallows (4 anglers). It was a SE wind (probably the worst for fishing – “South close mouth” and “East is for least”). We hid from this wind around the caves at the bottom of Waiheke Island in about 10mtrs of water and fished into a reefy area. Whilst the fishing was not red hot, it was comfortable out of the wind and we did manage some nice fish on the light gear.
As high tide approached we only had 10 fish in the bin so I asked if they would like to venture out into the 1.5mtrs to look for some birds and hopefully snapper. Well we did not have to go far and I found gannets diving and shearwaters working an area of bait (anchovies and pilchards), just east of Gannet rock. We dropped down 100 and 140gr Sliders and Jitterbugs hoping to maybe catch a few more before we went home and were pleasantly surprised by a good patch of angry/good sized snapper. In one drift through this bait, we had pretty much everyone hooked up at once on every drop and filled the bin.
The South Island boys who had never caught snapper before were blown away by our fishery to say the least (they had 1 hour of mayhem and I had to work my ass off netting and binning the fish like a conveyor belt).
Do not let this winter put you off getting out for some of the best fishing of the year…I won’t be!
See ya out there.
Cheers Capt. Snap (Nik)