Finally, it’s starting to feel a bit like spring, and when you can get out to sea the fish are mostly playing ball. The kingies are perking up around the western side of Tuhua Mayor Island, and stick bait fans will be getting the gear up and ready to go.
This is the time of year when the squid schools start to appear, and when this happens the kingies go nuts and can be easily caught when they’re in the feeding frenzy.
The mutton birds are a critical clue to finding this action, so keep your eyes pinned to any movement from them, or hang about with those that are sitting around on the water looking for a feed.
This activity usually fires from around now until the end of October.
On the way out to Tuhua there’s some good terakihi and pink mao mao fishing if you take a slight right-hand detour to the Penguin Shoals, with more than a good chance of picking up kings here as well.
This area of reef comes up quite high and has huge dropoff towards the sand that hold a lot of fish, and with a bit of current and tide moving the conditions are often great for most of our popular species.
There’s some good snapper fishing off Papamoa beach now, with solid 6kg fish being commonly caught from land, inshore small boats and kayaks, and trailer boats drifting in around 20 metres.
The harbour is yet to really fire up for snapper, with the warmer weather and spawning migration still a couple of months away. There’s always resident fish about, but better chance of picking up a good trevally at the moment.
We normally look forward to scallops this month, however, the prohibition for recreational and commercial fishing of scallops overrides the normal scallop season which traditionally starts on 1 September. There are a couple of small windows where scallop harvest is allowed, so check for more details and updates on the MPI Facebook page:
Out deep I have to say it’s been pretty challenging, and the last trip we did 61 nautical miles for two gemfish, not a great return for effort ratio at all.
Fishing around the 290 with five other boats for company, it seemed that we were not the only ones burning fuel for naught.
To my knowledge the commercial long liners no longer fish this area so it will be interesting to see if the once plentiful stocks come back.
RUSS HAWKINS ...OWNER/SKIPPER FAT BOY CHARTERS
PH 5755986 OR 027 2863638