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Hauraki Gulf - 01-11-19

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Workup warriors have had good solid dose of their favourite pastime, chasing and enjoying the sights sounds and successes associated with most workups, without having to travel to the other end of the gulf from Auckland central. Exciting adrenaline packed action stations at the right time and place alright.

Here’s just a few pointers for fishing near workups, we’re all out there to experience a great day of fishing and a few basic guidelines does go a long way to enjoying the day to the max. Arriving slowly helps a lot, the workup itself comprises birds, dolphins and baitfish – none of which are on the menu. Best to avoid the boiling pot. Also kahawai are usually much thicker in numbers the closer you get to the baitschool under attack, if you are targeting fish other than lots of kahawai, like snapper and the surrounding kingfish, fishing away from the actual workup can pay big dividends.

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Kingfish are usually spread over the general area, they can swim fast and cover a lot of ground - they can be hounding the baitfish in close but they are also programmed to hunt kahawai at any opportunity, one kahawai is worth many anchovies for instance. Kingfish can be targeted well with a speeding mechanical jig, many kingfish can be holding well back eyeballing the proceedings and going in and out of the battle. When they are hanging back and not actively chasing prey they can become ideal targets. Of course you can try a bet both ways with a slow pitch or inchiku – but go big here, not little 100gm lures, 150 – 200gm for most of the gulf and even the inner areas. Hotspots like the upper Firth and Happy Jacks this week are prime examples of when and where to use this approach.

Similarly, particularly if the workups have been in an area for a few days, the bigger snapper may have fed well and no longer closely follow the workups, they can remain in the area but quite some distance away, where the workups were, not are. These recent past areas are worth noting and fishing, you may wish to try this technique say after you’ve had a bit of excitement among the workups, let yourself drift well away from the heated action or even purposefully drive away, it certainly can mess with your head. Drive away to where the workups came from, then comes the fun part. Choosing the lure. What size, shape, colours, technique – all are up to you to decide. Also worth considering is throwing down a BIG lure just off the bottom – say a 250 – 500gm monster approach (a Giant Squidwings for instance). Just gently bobbing along on the drift one wind up from the sea floor, in the rod holder, drag set lighter so the fish can bite and run taking line putting a bit of a bend in the rod (which will set the hook), but letting the fish run on sudden strike without snapping the line. While you leave Rod Holder to do his famous (but hardly ever mentioned) job, get hold of your lightweight softbait gear with much lighter braid and leader and let loose a tiny tidbit, a tungsten micro jig, a little 25gm inchiku or hybrid Lil’ Squidwing….cast well ahead of your drift and wave your wand, it is simply amazing what you can catch when it seems like the place to be is elsewhere. The participants in the workup action spread over vast areas at times, well away from the throng of birds, dolphins, fish, bait, and boats. Other very worthwhile species also hang back here, John Dory and Gurnard for instance, always welcome aboard!

Island eyes – within easy eyesight of the islands has been a great place to be catching snapper under the watchful gaze of gannets, southern Kawau area, southern Tiri, Southern Moehau range/Happy Jacks and general Firth of Thames zone, also good solid snapper in amongst Motuora area but with only a few birds in sight. The inner city areas may even start to perk up this early.

This is the time of year we have been waiting for, the moon starts to fill (first quarter), the time has come for all things fishing.
Maybe I’ll see you at a seminar in Wellington, the Waikato or Auckland sometime over the couple of weeks?

Enjoy your fishing


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