Rising water temperatures and lighter mornings are key for successful early fishing, with great results using various lures in areas like Middle Ground and Whale Rock, while kingfish remain elusive but can be found near the Cavalli Islands and Cape Brett, and the approach of summer promises excellent game fishing opportunities.
With water temperatures rising and the mornings getting lighter earlier, it's key to get out early. Increased boat traffic means that fishing during the change of light can make the difference between a great morning and struggling to get a catch. Although there are large numbers of baitfish in the middle, there seems to be less bird life accompanying them. However, drifting through these areas with the variety of sliders, jigs, and softbaits available on the market has yielded great results.
Popular spots like the Middle Ground, Mitas, Whale Rock, and areas around the 42-metre mark on the sand and mud are teeming with fish, although there are fewer than in past years – everything is just a bit late this season.
On the kingfish front, they've been somewhat elusive, but for those willing to travel and if conditions allow, the Cavalli Islands have been productive around the 100-meter pins. The area around Cape Brett, down Net Rock, and the 71-metre reef are also worth trying with jigs. However, be aware of the 'tax man' (sharks) in large numbers; if your catch is taken, it's best to move on.
Out wide, there are still good puka and bass catches. With summer just around the corner, many will be preparing their boats and gear for game fishing, which offers a great break from inshore fishing. With sea temperatures nearing the ideal 18 degrees, we're set for a great summer once the fish really start coming in. Just remember to enjoy yourselves out there and have fun.