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Hauraki Gulf 22 July

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Thunder Full Moon this Saturday, and the day is looking reasonably calm out in the local Hauraki Gulf according to the current wind forecast. 10kts of wind to start with, plenty of tidal flow, looking for some good fishing in the morning on that outgoing tide before the wind and tide swings in the afternoon and that big bright Thunder Moon rising later in the arvo…a good time to already be back preparing fresh fish for the family, BBQ’d fish under a full moon kind of evening on the cards? Might be some good squid fishing too, that’d go very well seared on the grill with some fish.

Big Bottle Nose Dolphins have been delighting land dwelling humans around the inner gulf and Waitemata harbour the last few days, right around the edges of Whangaparaoa Peninsula, North Shore Bays and Tamaki Strait hunting lunch, accompanied by a small devoted set of gannets looking for an opportunist meal.

So if you see a handful of gannets just circling, check out down below for some big dorsal fins atop even bigger dolphins.

Are there workups in winter? Yes of course! In fact they can be exceptionally intense, those warm blooded mammals just like you and I the dolphins have the same body temp of 36c but they’re in cold water, so they have to feed the need even more, and feeding there has been with good thumping action out in 50m of the gulf particularly the NW side and up further north of the gulf itself too, with several whales spouting off in amongst the rest of the workup crew.

Those big beautiful white gannets and more aviators should be in good health judging by the action stations out there.

Head for Great Barrier and just look for the sign on the way, either in the air or on the sounder for the tell tale.

Remember to go BIG with your lures when the winter bite is on (whether fishing workups or otherwise) if you’re after the bigger fish in the vicinity, in fact go huge!, Giant Squidwings, big 7 inch LIVIES softbaits on heavy deep water rigs (Power Pilchard is a go-to) like a big 120 or 150gm Beady Eye are winning tickets for big snapper, the Beady Eye has action and attraction i.e. ready to rock!

Have a look here at…

What about winter fishing softbaits in the shallows? Absolutely!

Throw those softbaits down and around. Hunting around mussel farms for instance in the shelter/lee of land (they’re all over the place) can provide some excellent winter snapper and kahawai, even the odd kingfish too.

Check the wind direction and you’ll find smooth shelter most days somewhere relatively near land with resident snapper looking for an opportunistic feed on a hapless softbait – try the 5inch smelt  LIVIES – easy to see even in murky water, and on the menu most days.

Winter fish, the tastiest? One good way to find out – get the right gear on, your fishing gear out, and be out there doing it..



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

For Wave Dancer Charters: Visit

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