November has had some great excitement as the baitfish have been plentiful in the Gulf area. From Pakiri Beach across to Great Barrier and down to Rangitoto, there have been schools of baitfish moving around. The workups that have resulted have been epic.
Anglers who have looked for gannets diving and moved in on these workups have experienced all the excitement that comes with this action. Whales, dolphins, kingfish, kahawai and snapper have all been part of the action. Even though spring brings all this excitement and action, every day does not guarantee a good catch, but that’s fishing.
Paul Musgrove managed to bag a 16 pound snapper off the rocks at Leigh.
As the snapper are currently preparing for their annual spawning, catches out in depths of 30m to 50m seem to be the way to go as most of the large males and females are out there waiting for the right moment to start the spawning process. This is triggered by the correct water temperature and can go on for days and weeks all around the gulf. Interestingly, this snapper (pictured) weighing in at 16 pounds was caught off the rocks at Leigh by Paul Musgrove during the start of the spawning season. I can only reflect on this by saying there are no rules when it comes to fish or their habits.
Kahawai, on the other hand, are not that well understood in terms of their spawning habits, and it is thought that this takes place offshore and near the bottom of the seabed. As they are pelagic (not living close to the shore), not much data has been collected. What is known is that they can live up to 26 years and can grow as long as 65cm. They have been around chasing the baitfish, but when the kingfish are around most fishermen forget about these and focus on the kingis.
For those of you who are not aware, Fisheries NZ and DOC announced decisions on a revised Hector’s and Maui dolphins Threat Management Plan. Hector’s and Maui dolphins are among the world’s rarest dolphins. They face a range of human-induced threats, including fishing, seismic surveying and the disease toxoplasmosis. As a result of these decisions, new fisheries measures took effect on October 1, restricting commercial and recreational set-net and commercial trawl fishing off the west coast of the North Island, and commercial and recreational set-net fishing off the north, south and east coast of the South Island. In addition, drift netting will be prohibited in all New Zealand waters. Please make sure you check out these new rules if deciding to put out a set net.
Anthony Roberts, Tackle & Outdoors