Where's the fish?
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Springtime in the Coromandel means a few things change up. The awesome bluefin run has moved on up north to traverse around the top of the country, so attention now is firmly back on snapper, kingfish, and deepwater species, with a bit of diving in the mix. Gamefish action won’t kick off until much closer to Christmas, so until that fires up properly the outriggers will be stored away for a few months
It’s not yet red-hot summer action, but with the warming weather and daylight hours starting to get a bit longer, the fishing starts to respond with snapper and kingfish closer to their spawning times.
Snapper are now more likely to be found in closer, so small boat fishing, land based and kayak fisho’s will all appreciate that.
The inner reefs all around the Mercury Islands become more productive for straylining and soft baiting, as do most of the beach and coastal areas of the mainland.
Fishing off the harder to reach, north – east coast is always exciting, but from Matarangi right around the coast down to Whanagamata, fishing inshore for snapper and kingfish can be very rewarding.
It also heralds the arrival of scallop season, and this September we have already enjoyed a few good dives.
Our first attempts off Opito yielded some medium to good sized shellfish, and in pretty good numbers which is always nice to see.
Other places that are good for targeting the scallies include Home Bay off Great Mercury.
The commercial scallop dredges that typically operate around Kuaotunu and Otama etc are down to only a couple of boats or so now, and they are pretty easy to spot operating. If you do see them working, it can pay some big dividends to get in behind them, doesn’t need to be too close, and get your soft baits, stray lines or flasher rigs down. The bottom sand being churned up by the dredges draws the snapper in like a workup, and the fishing can be outstanding in the area as snaps get all heated up on the food kicked up.
Light gear is good fun, as these dredges are operating in only 20 – 30 metres and there is no foul.
Springtime brings on the topwater action for kings, and generally a more aggressive bite all around on jigs, and live baits alike.
Check out the monster bass we caught late August! It was in good company with a nice load of Hapuka and bluenose also in good numbers out wide.
Without giving away exact spots ;-) the bass was in 350 metres, but we have found great fishing in 250 to 350 metres. We naturally have our own marked spots where we take charter customers, but are constantly looking for new structures, or likely areas, particularly when out trolling for gamefish.
The fish do move around, and finding your own areas and getting some good results is a really rewarding experience, and can save you a bit of time next time you’re out there if they are holding to a bit of foul.
The kingfish action on topwater is a pretty niche sport but really good fun and becoming a lot more popular. We will either target foul close to, or breaking the surface anywhere around the Mercury or Alderman Islands such as Sugarloaf and McGregors, and moving into October may start seeing them around the offshore pinnacles busting up on the surface.
We will do a bit more diving now, and it’s been great to get a good feed of crayfish and scallops back on the menu.
Fishing Report provided by Tom Maxwell
MAD MAX SPORT FISHING NZ
Bookings contact: 0274 165 903