Fishing - Bumper benefits of lockdown

By: Anthony Roberts

What a bumper of a summer we are having. The fishing has been great, as well as the weather. This is the first summer where everybody has caught good fish during December and January. In past years, once the spawning season ended in November, it has been quite difficult to catch snapper. Most holidaymakers complain that all they are doing is feeding the small fish. This year has been totally different, and I can only put it to the lockdown we had in April last year.

As most of you should recall, once we could fish from the side, some great snapper and kingfish were hauled in after the lockdown moved to Level 3. The rest the ocean got during that month must have been a contributing factor for better catches. Now I know what you locals are thinking – too many people and too many boats. But this year there have been more boats and people than ever before.

Alec Brewis, 73, speared this specimen around Takatu Point.
Alec Brewis, 73, speared this specimen around Takatu Point.

For those of you who fish in the Kaipara you also can attest to some good catches especially snapper. There have been some huge kingfish around and here is a photo of our own Alec Brewis, 73, who speared this nice specimen around Takatu Point. You’re never too old to get out there and have a go at fishing or diving. He is living proof.

Having said that, sharks have been pestering divers lately, and they seem to suddenly appear as soon as you fire that spear gun. The sound of the gun going off means an easy dinner, so make sure you get your fish out the water on to the boat as soon as you can. And always dive with a buddy.

For the diesel burners, the warmer water has come early this year, and marlin have been caught as close as the Mokohinau Islands. Normally we only hear of catches further up north around the Cavalli Islands in December, but this year marlin and yellowfin have been around our waters early. The annual Warkworth Gamefish Club’s tournament has been moved forward to March this year. It’s usually held over the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June, but the water has been cold then, and in past years it’s been difficult to get good catches of gamefish. Hopefully, this year will be a fruitful tournament for the club.

Anthony Roberts, Tackle & Outdoors


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