One of the best times of the year to be fishing the mighty Coro, as long as you’re not suffering from man-flu like I am at the moment.
Obviously, the weather has handed out more of a punish than usual this year, with higher rainfall and plenty of wind to make early morning starts harder.
In fact, just everything is hard fishing this time of year, catching bait is hard, getting fish up and moving on the bite is hard, and bouncing around in the big seas is the usual fun and games.
Good news is that decent fish are out there, and this is the only time of year you’ll get a few species, like the bluefin run that has started to come through.
Up from the east cape, the bluefin have already been caught in some reasonable numbers out the back of the Alderman rise now, so if the weather allows, get amongst with your tuna lures.
There was even a yellowfin picked up recently, even though that is a really late visitor by normal standards, you never quite know what you're going to pick up.
One of my major target species, kingfish, are certainly more difficult to get on the chew at this time of year. Their metabolism has slowed down with the cold and they often get a bit picky on the bite. For such big, aggressive fish they can sometimes be really precious and bloody frustrating to get on to.
Ideally, we like to have a couple of livies out, and then someone up the front jigging to rark them up a bit.
Anything to wake them up can help. Sometimes it’s jigs only option, as the mackerel and other livies we target in the harbour mouth areas are also tough to come by in colder months. It’s always good to get livies if you can, they are good for not only kings, but decent snapper and john dory also smash them around the reef structures.
There’s not really any particularly favourable area lately, Cuvier has been pretty quiet generally, we’ve picked the odd good one here and there around the Aldies, both on the deeper reefs and the shallower systems. It’s really a matter of trying wherever you can find some sign and being patient.
The puka season is pretty much now, and oddly enough they seem to be in real close at the moment, like 80 metres off the back of the reefs. We’ve been getting puka as bycatch targeting snapper even, so you don’t always have to head way out wide to catch them
Always mark on your sounder wherever you catch hapuka, as over the years you’ll build a valuable library, and often learn the patterns that make a particular spot fire.
Snapper fishing is always a staple in the Coromandel, and fat, well-conditioned fish are a bonus in winter. There’s plenty of snapper around the deeper pins off the Aldermans, and getting them on either baits or any of the popular inckiku or slow pitch style of jigs is pretty easy.
Right in close, the schooling snapper off the beaches are sparse compared to later in the year, but resident fish will always be holding in the reefs. A bit of current early in the morning is a good place to be with soft baits or stray lines the best way to tempt them out.
Fishing this way around the Red Mercs and the reef structures in and around the islands is a good bet, as is trolling a slow live bait or two for kingies.
If you want to head out and target your favourite species feel free to give me a buzz.
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