Sheltered spots all the way down the eastern coastline are starting to fish well in close for snapper, with some nice sized fish of very solid average size and condition being caught from shore by surf casters, drone fisho’s and kayak fishermen, best either at change of light or on bite time either side of the tides.
Boaties have more option to pick their spots and can do a quick prospect in close to see if anything is developing on soft baits, and if not can shoot off to the Mercs or more southern island groups.
Snapper are hitting hard out deep between 50 to 80 metres off any of the reef structures outside Whitianga. Get a 120 to 150 gram kabura-style lure, or try a slow pitch jig and you may also snag a decent kingy.
Traditional bait fishermen are doing very well with the old flasher rigs here too.
If lures are your thing though, there’s a lure-only comp coming up on the 12th and 13th, entry details HERE:
Off anywhere from Kennedy Bay to Kuaoatunu there are usually really nice fish around if you are patient enough, and a few kingfish cruising about now which is always nice for a bit of action. Try slow trolling a live bait for the best results on the kingies.
It’s often hard to catch mackerel, but trolling small spinners or soft baits in really shallow to the beach will often score a small kahawai, and these are awesome baits to troll for kings that will last all day.
South of Ohinau is also worth a go with snapper, john dory, trevs and kingis all present here at this time of year.
There are some good trevs about most sandy areas in spring, and they love small lures. If you want to target them, micro jigs on the drift is the number one way to go, followed by a small soft bait cast ahead of your drift.
The water around the Mercury Islands is still a bit cold, but there are certainly fish to be had there holding in the structure and a few schoolies now appearing out over the sand that can be targeted drifting with lures.
Casting into the wash areas with lightly weighted bigger soft baits is often a lot of fun around the steeper foul areas in the Red Mercury group.
Terakihi fishing out a bit deeper is good when you can locate a patch on your sounder and get the wee 1/0 dropper rigs or flashers down to them.
Teri’s often move around but can hold in certain areas for a few weeks at a time, so when you do find a school there’s no guarantee they are there for long so make the most of it.
The Forty Four, an area of foul situated just south of the Aldermans (look for the 44 metre peak marked on any of the charts such as Navionics) traditionally starts fishing well for snapper and kings from about now until end of summer, and you'll get the odd nice tarakihi here as well.
As far as kingfish action goes, it’s firing out at the Alderman’s and the pins are producing some really good fish and in good numbers and condition too.
It pays to spend a lot of time finding fish on the sounder and working hard to hold position just above them
When you find good sign, don’t muck around, get your jigs straight down to the right depth and get into it. Heavier gear that is capable of working a big fish hard is often needed as the sharks are always about, and often that won’t be enough to get the fish back in one piece.
The great thing about fishing this coast is that there’s plenty of shelter and good fishing in almost any wind all year round, and spring is a solid time to target most species apart from the real summer game fish.