Firing up the fishing

By: Connor Scott

The transition into spring is well underway with local fishers catching good numbers of snapper from just about every depth in Whangaparaoa Bay.

Those who choose to head out deeper in the Gulf are doing equally as well in the work ups off the top of Coromandel. The place has been on fire!

Closer in and along the 20m contour line around Tiri has been good too, with sporadic work ups, surface activity and plenty of hungry fish.

East of Kawau in 50m has also been pretty consistent with good numbers of fish being taken by charter boats and rec fishers drift fishing the deeper water.

If you’re going to fish this deep, make sure you upsize your lures to 80-140g and keep in mind that, at this depth, most snapper that are brought to the surface are likely to die if released due to barotrauma. If it’s legal, keep it.

Around Nelsons Rock in the early morning has been good too with the fish getting less and less active as the day goes on. Often you will find fish up off the bottom during the first few hours of light. This is when they are at their most active and is considered a bite time, so use this to your advantage and get out of bed a little earlier if possible.

Further out in the Gulf there are work ups and plenty of sea life to indicate where the fish are likely to be holding. East of Tiri and in about 45m is a good place to start having a snoop around. Watch for fast low flying gannets or circling gannets in the sky and dolphins heading purposely in one direction. Chances are they will lead you to fish. North of Gannet Rock about 6-10 miles is a prime area at this time of year.

Kabura’s, Inchiku’s and Micro jigs are pretty much the go-to lures for the Gulf these days and the colours that seem to be everyone’s favourites are Bruised Banana, orange and pink. Softbaits are also producing fish with the curly tails working well inshore and Paddle tails and Jerkshads going well out deeper.

The local river mouths have been producing the odd kingfish on stick baits too. The Nomad Chug Norris and the Nomad 155mm Riptide are good lures to start with. These too are built tough and have razor sharp BKK hooks.

Wenderholm, Waiwera, Orewa and The Weiti River are all worth a shot on the rising tide.

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