Spring is just a month away with all that it promises for the upswing in fishing conditions and snapper numbers, but right now it’s best to go small to catch the big one, whether you are land-based, or water-based.
Catching those hibernating big reds often requires a gentler more titbit tempting approach rather than offering a full 3 course dinner in one go. Easy eat items are generally accepted, so in terms of lures - microjigs , and even using smaller kaburas with nice light wafting skirts – those tantalisingly tempting tentacles with the all important hidden hooks or soft tentative bites. Right now is also when lighter leader really does come into its own – it can make the difference between getting a lot of attention and ‘no fish here!?’
Many anglers’ fish with 30lb leader, I suggest 20lb is plenty for the majority of the Hauraki Gulf year round, 10lb and 15lb are even better in winter.
Similarly lighter gear helps provide the right approach, better feel and more hookups with fish having those oh-so-gentle mouthing takes. Perhaps it’d be an interesting time to try new some new softbaits like eels – grubbing along in the mud slowly? Softly-softly catchy fishy.
Weekend weather is looking much better than the usual of late. If you are headed to one of the various mussel farms – that’d be a great place to be, just quietly lurking on the outside – casting a little Pocket Rocket microjig and drawing the fish out - hook up and enjoy the battles, micros work so well like this.
Gulf fishing further out – the wide open world of workups. Get your binoculars out and you’ll be amazed at what you will see that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Follow the birds and enjoy!
Deeper water should be good, if it’s not happening when you’re there, just drift with your smaller lures on and near the sea floor, you may not even see any sounder sign.
Tungsten micros are the go out here – easy money as they sink fast in deep water like the Pocket Rockets, the 45gm version is outstanding even with a bit of a quick drift on. Elephants do eat peanuts, and you will often be surprised at how big a fish these small jigs can handle. However, if you are getting plagued by juvenile snapper often trying a bigger jig with a large single assist hook will help filter out some better fish.
A few flicks once the jig has reached the bottom and puffed up some mud, but don’t forget the slow retrieval up 10 winds (approx. 10metres) out in 50m.
Or perhaps heading out well offshore chasing the huge southern bluefin tuna is more your bag baby?
And with a striped marlin just caught out off the Alderman’s this week – who knows what you could hook up! Only one way to find out, check the latest weather on a few different sites, and make your plan.
Lure fishing and coaching seminars are in full swing, it’s the perfect time of year to learn new and improved ways to enjoy fishing and catching fish. Last week’s seminar was at The Maraetai Beach Boat Club, a packed club with lots of like minded people sharing fishing information, new release of softbaits, different rigging options and techniques too.
There’re more coming so stay in touch, the next one is at Hunting and Fishing in Gisborne, be there if you have half a chance.
Enjoy your last few weeks of winter fishing.