Still lots of anchovies and small pilchards in the Gulf

There is a huge area of bait (anchovy and small pilchards) sitting about 2nm-4nm North Nor-east of gannet rock off the bottom end of Waiheke. What is surprising, is the dolphins haven’ found it yet (or as of Tuesday last week). We have been fishing the area for about a week and waiting patiently for the mammals to arrive and round it up. As the bait is widely dispersed and being marauded by the KY, the snapper are not concentrated, but also well spread out. For this reason we are finding the average size fish are only pannies with only a few larger specimens being caught. When the dolphins start rounding it up it should all be on!

I will be heading out this weekend to check on this area and really hope the bait is being rounded up and we have that perfect storm of raining gannets in a concentrated area! This bait appears to be moving south every time I come out and may be further down the firth now?

We have also found some larger specimens at a favorite spot of mine about 4-5nm away where there is no bait at all, but only the occasional small blip on the bottom. These fish are feeding on crustaceans and shell fish and are hard on the bottom feeding. Here are some nice fish taken on the Orange and Lumo 140gr Slider last week on a NZ Fishing News charter we did for the winners from the Boat Show spin the wheel competition.

When we are not chasing snapper I have been heading to an area of foul that is holding good numbers of Kingfish (yes that is right we still get good Kingfish in Winter). We had the Brooke kids out the other day for a fish (Zin Zan and Robins – Kenya, Denim and Lucas) and we managed 6 legal kings and lost a stonker that took us into the reef on heavy gear (60lb)! Very exciting stuff and POB’s all round!

Looking forward to the next couple of months to see what happens as this year is quite different with the late season being about 1-1.5 months behind!

See you out there!


Nik Key is a tutor, guide, lure tester and charter skipper


Cheers Capt. Snap (Nik)
021 596 074

Snap Fishing Ventures
“Nothing ventured nothing gained”

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