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December Bay of Plenty

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There is plenty of buzz in the Bay of Plenty right about now in regards to the upcoming gamefish season, already there are reports of Marlin being spotted in nice and close to the shore. Other reports getting circulated are of schools of Yellowfin tuna busting up on the surface out from both Mayor and White Island. With Mahi Mahi, short bill spearfish and Yellowfin tuna already being caught in other areas of the country, it surely won’t be too long before the Bay sees some of this action. Here’s hoping for a cracker run of Yellow fin tuna this year.

Snapper are moving into full spawning mode and are nice and fat, carrying incredible condition

They are gathering up in numbers around Mayor,particularly near the drop area where it drops from 20 to 45 metres of water, so if you find them you can have a great session,but a lot of the fish have cleared out of the usual haunts.

Big Kahawai areschooling up around Astrolabe reef in good numbers too, so these could attract bigger predators moving forward.


Kingfish are in really good numbers at Mayor also, and are also building into spawning mode. There are also plenty of kingfish showing up in the harbour now too.

They can become really aggressive at this time and for this reason jigs and stick baits are working really well. Only issue is the big numbers of kingfish have attracted a lot of sharks, some places are proving to be un-fishable at times with big Bronze whaler sharks eating every decent fish hooked.

Only thing you can do when this happens is drive away and hopefully find another patch of fish without the sharks in attendance.

Last weekend the Mount Maunganui sport fishing club ran its annual ham tournament, there were some massive John Dory (over 3kg),big kahawai (again over 3kg), good sized gurnard, trevally and some good snapper caught.

We targeted the trout section of the tournament and the Rotorua lakes were on fire, jigging in 30-40 metres with either pat swift fly rigs or swapping out the flies with pro lure soft plastics doing the damage for us and we even won a couple of nice hams for our efforts.

Our best trout fishing was in lake Rotoiti, with the fish hanging quite deep 30-35 metres of water.


There has been a lot of talk down here lately aboutthe new proposed marine protection zone around Motiti Island.

Recently the court of appeal ruled that regional councils are able to use the RMA to control fishing to protect biodiversity. Inthis case it appears the areas surrounding Astrolabe reef, Schooner rocks,Plate Island and Okaparu could soon be designated as no-take zones for a minimum of 10 years.

See link below for news story.

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See Also

Slide Baiting
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How to troll live baits: Yamaha School of Fish Hauraki Gulf
Trolling live baits is a great way to target kingfish. The same techniques applied here can be used anywhere, so check out Yamaha School of Fish with our mates at Family Boats and Yamaha Marine NZ.
Yellowfin Tuna Top Tips
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Check out some gold tips from the experts at catching yellowfin tuna. Luke from Yeehaa Fishing Tackle takes us through top lures, how to run them, and has some great advice if you want to target these fantastic fish.
Horizontal Jigging
If you're familiar with vertical, or 'mechanical' jigging for kingfish, did you know that the same technique can be applied to working mechanical jigs both from a boat or from shore? Here's a quick breakdown on how it works from the Aussie boys at AdriftByNature...
Catch Deep-V Slow-Pitch Jig
The Deep V is a versatile lure for catching kingfish, XXL snapper and many other species. It combines several design features to present a lure that is irresistible.Here's a slow pitch jig that can either be mechanically jigged or slow pitch fished to save your energy. Check out the new Catch Deep V
Fogdog Beer Batter
To hell with the diet, there are times when fresh fish just screams for a light, crunchy beer batter. If you are looking for a fool-proof, instant, mouth-watering golden batter that cracks like a potato chip, makes you look like a master chef and pleases any crowd, then get yourself down to your nearest supermarket and pick up a packet of Fogdog.
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