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Bay of Islands July 23

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After a good spell off the water, and a nice winter holiday, we finally got the boat back on the water all repowered and ready to go . The Bay is in full winter mode so the fishing is sometimes slow, and they can take a bit of work to get on the bite, but once you do connect and get it all right the fish are usually in excellent condition for both eating or returning.

It has been a mixed bag recently, with good fish out in the 40 to 50 metre area.

We’ve found the best fishing is around the small bait schools out in the middle ground, and our best results have come from using either micro jigs, or live bait.

Micro jigs are often underestimated for go-to fishing, but we have caught some real donkeys using this method, and they are also effective on a wide range of other species including trevally, kingfish and john dory.

There's some reasonable kingfish hanging on the reef edges, with some good snapper a bit further away from the bait schools feeding along the bottom.

Up in the shallows, the incoming tide has to be the better bite with good fish right up in the shallow water straylining and drifting, with the new Catch  black label soft baits are working a treat  .

Fishing around the outer islands, and drift fishing with big soft baits has worked really well too.

Either casting ahead of the drift or simply dragging along the bottom can be equally effective.

If you’re using the latter method, be careful not to hook the bottom once you get over the rougher stuff.  Over the sand, just leave the rod in the holder and adjust your drag back a bit.

Trying to get a tank full of live bait is sometimes a challenge at the moment, they are a bit patchy but over the Kemp passage there has been some good slimey, and jack mackerel schools a holding.

Out wider, these cold snaps will start to bring the puka and other deepwater fish out of the super deep and up into the shallower more easily reached depths.

If you are heading out wide be extra careful to check the weather as it has a bad tendency to  change very quickly.

Be safe out there, tight lines



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See Also

Suzuki Clean Ocean Project
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How to: Night jigging for bluefin tuna
Night jigging for bluefin has been a successful method for catching these fish when they are feeding down deeper at night, and gives you the option to double your opportunities once you've travelled all the way to the tuna, or when they are just not coming up to hit trolled lures. Here's a few tips on how they rig and the lures used overseas, that will absolutely work here in NZ, as proven by young angler Flyn Jack recently.
How to fly fish nymphs with an indicator
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Tom Rosenbauer discusses the uses of various indicators and how they are used to successfully nymph fish different parts of the water column for trout.
How to find trout in a river
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Here's an excellent 30 minute comprehensive guide from Orvis, with some great information relevant to rivers anywhere, on where to look for trout.
The Lateral Line: EP #29
The boys are on a 4 day fishing mission in a harbour they were land based fishing a month or so back. Milan managed to land a nice Trevally from the beach so the boys reckon they should have a tonne of fun fishing the harbour in the boat. The fishing was harder then expected so Milan comes up with a crazy idea to catch something different and ends up stuck in the mud.
The Lateral Line: EP #28
The boys are fishing in an area they have both heavily fished in years gone by. Both Nathan and Milan haven’t fished the area in over 2 years. This particular part of the Bay Of Plenty is about to become a marine reserve and the boys are super keen to fish it just one more time before it’s locked down to fishing. The dream being to land one last jumbo King Fish for old times sake. Excitement levels start peaking as multiple schools of Kahawai come to the surface to feed late in the afternoon. Top water lures are cast around the schools of feeding Kahawai trying to provoke a bite from New Zealand’s yellow tail King Fish.
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