The pilchards are being pushed in hard against the land by large KY schools. When this happens the fishing can be intense as the bait has nowhere to escape and the mammals are not actually required to herd up the bait, as the KY do a fine job. There have been mainly pan sized snapper under these workups and big KY, but also some rather large winter kingfish! We have been using both Jitterbug and Slider Kabura jigs around 100-140gr with great success even in this shallow water!
Another area with some very intense workups over the last couple of weeks in close to the land has been the bottom end of Waiheke Island. Again we have been using the 100-140gr jigs in 10 – 30mtrs of water in close with great success and this area has been producing larger snapper. We are finding that the bigger snappers are up the water column in these intense workups trying to get closer to the bait and hit the lures like big KY or Kingfish! This is some of the most exhilarating fishing we have had ever!
Please be considerate of others when fishing these workups and don’t race into them at high speed, but come in at a slow speed and fish the edges where the current is moving all the burly (what we call the exhaust). This way both you and others will catch more and bigger fish. Also don’t race off to the next workup if you are only getting KY, as the snapper often come on after at the end part of the drift when there is less KY present. Once you find the snapper come back on your drift line and fish it again rather than racing off.
Western side of top of Coromandel is one of my favourites places for big snapper and there always seems to be heaps of bait in this area. Even if the workups are not happening, if you find the bait and wait until bite time you will be rewarded for your patience!
Here are some of the snapper we have caught with no workups but heaps of bait on the sounder and maybe a 2-3 hour wait until the bite comes on.
The green and red lures seem to be nabbing the bigger snapper during the day while the orange colour comes into its own on dusk/late afternoon. The current and wind can be quite strong here and we use 2 parachute type drogues to slow our drift down. Most of the bigger fish seem to be more attracted to and hit the lures when they are straight up and down (or at least within a 45 degree arc).
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)