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Hauraki Gulf 18 February

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The fishing excitement is palpable! With a great weekend of weather and a perfect time of year to get out to your favourite spot or venture into new fishy territory, the tidal current low, the moon is good, the wind speed is down – definitely time to go fishing. Out wide of the gulf, marlin. Yes even from Auckland a day trip is quite feasible – out to Cuvier, the back of Gt Barrier, the Mokes, these beautiful beasts are swimming ever closer. With a tuna lure out as well – the big day out could turn into a VERY big day out fish-wise.

Skipjack tuna – just into the gulf, patchy still but such an exciting fish to catch with their nitrous-like speed, incredible tenacity particularly on light gear.

Trolling and casting micro jigs are 2 great ways to target these silver bullets – a Lil’ Squidwings or even a bigger one (there are some solid skippies out there!) trolled is ideal and a tungsten Pocket Rocket micro (faster descent) is perfect for cast and retrieving them. Superb fun! Western side up past Flat Rock towards Little Barrier is the go.

Kingfish – half a chance these green meanies should be on your radar right now. Inner areas, marker buoys, rock ledges, headlands, baitschools western Rangi, the Noises/Ahaas, out from Waiheke workups, mid-Firth of Thames, midground workups and of course further afield like the Little and Great Barriers.

Kingfish are well spread and primed ready for a battle. With the low tidal current and smoother seas, floating top water stick baits should be the go! Jigs of all sizes and of course the Beady Eye Kabura in Rod Holders’ hands as you gently drift along targeting other fish can be an excellent ‘surprize’ kingfish, keep that initial drag setting light ready for the blistering strike and run.

Snapper – yes all around the gulf and harbours, although I would prepare for a softer bite with the conditions prevailing. Micros, smaller softbaits with the potentially short bite times (low tidal current) combine to make tentative snapper bites highly likely.

Adjust accordingly with slower gradual winds up off the sea floor and less fast aggressive movements. Out in 40m or more good microjigs have been the stand-out fish catchers.

Time to get your game-face on and make some memories, who knows what’s just around the corner.

This report is supplied by Grant 'Espresso' Bittle from Catch and Wave Dancer Charters.

For Wave Dancer Charters: Visit www.wavedancer.co.nz to make a booking

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