Hauraki Gulf

fishing report

Supplied by

Grant Bittle

Catch Fishing

Hauraki Gulf: August 24th
Note: If map is showing it is created by LINZ / New Zealand Hydrographic Authority and made available by Creative Commons 3.0. Maps should not be used for navigation

Firstly, HUGE Congratulations to CASEY on Stiker Charters landing this awesome SBT on a Catch Double Trouble jig! Amazing! Winter fishing, and HOT tickets – with super deep water softbaiting. Some of the best table fish bar none are caught in winter, and to those who know and have experienced it, a clear winter day’s fishing is truly hard to beat.

And it pays to make the most of your time out there, here’s a brilliant way to catch deeper water fish (whether snapper, kingfish, bluenose, gemfish, hapuka, bass), by getting a big live-bait look-a-like down in front of a deep water fishes face. Luminous fish-adverts seen from further away, perfect bite-inducing action, and useable over and over again. Brilliant. Imagine you’re a big ‘puka say, and a ‘Livie’ struggles nearby somewhere, sending out it’s ‘eat-me’ vibe, the big ‘puka feels it, swims closer to investigate this potential opportunity for a meal, getting closer it can now see the illuminated fish in it’s death throes, helpless, hapless and all tasty. Smacko, get in my belly!

So what is this rig? So easy and yet highly effective, the big 10inch LIVIE softbaits, with a 500gm or 750gm Squidwing (with or without the Squidwing skirts). A simple, yet so effective setup for fishing deep waters and high currents, with soft baits. Get the edge, the advantage and see for yourself. Also – how else and where else could you fish big rigs, combinations, adjustments to your territory and the day itself. The fishing world is literally your oyster – how are you going to adapt and enjoy.

The Spring rush is coming fast, every year catching us out with repairs and maintenance, BEFORE the inevitable bust-offs, lost fish, fish of the day getting away, you know the excuses we have.

Is your gear really in fish-fighting condition? Reels with dodgy bearings and grabbing drags, old weak mono, and rusty hooks in with good ones, stinkin’old rags/towels making for seasick pax, the list goes on, missing out on the prime fishing days coming up due to the various things that didn’t get sorted BEFORE Spring. Do it all now. BTW great bargains are to be had in many tackle stores, a perfect time to get those things that really do make life that much more enjoyable out there in our chosen passion.

Hot flask, EPIRB, sea anchor, how’re those rods guides – have you actually looked (a magnifying glass is great – a big cheap kids one). Actually opening up the tackle box(es) and throwing out those nasty old, rusted, never used/never will, ragged gear, donating some maybe. Get hold of a few new-tech lures, softbaits and presentations like better suited hook rigs, jigs that are actually for where you fish (use my ‘Rule of 2’ i.e. 2 x depth of water in metres = lure weight in grams e.g. 50m deep, x 2 = 100gm jigs, easy).

A well sorted tackle box (rather than one full of rubbish you don’t want and don’t use) cuts down on space, weight, frustration and adds to your fishing pleasure and leisure. Get on and do it, your future self will be very happy with you and thank you immensely. Look after yourself and your fishing. Pliers that aren’t nearly locked solid from rust, a wide-mouthed net that works well and folds away out of the way, gaff sharp secure and ready for the BIG ONE.

Kingfish jigs – those assists in tip top order or ragged, dulled point and generally unappealing?

Slow Pitch and mechanical jigs 100% ready to tempt the trophy sized? Old mono on board (how many seasons of salt sun coupled with the normal degradation of PE over time). And how’s your last 30m of braid looking on you rline, a bit frayed?

Waiting for the big disappointment break? Perhaps a properly suited rod/reel combination that actually matches what and where you fish (or will be fishing) i.e. time/tech changes over the last few years have been massive and for the better – find out what you’re missing out – like SOMANY people at seminars, it’s not what we know and are catching, it’s what weare missing e.g. the game changing twin hook Stingaz system for softbaits Catch introduced.

Coastguard’s busiest time of year is coming up, when you me and everyone else heads out for great days on the water…don’t be one of ‘those’.

*Wheel bearings – a regular let down and drama creator


*Old fuel and/or fuel filter with water in it - triple check

*Favourite reel – you can give it a basic service yourself, clean, spray…but any dodgy-ness, get it fixed NOW before you’re about to go out. Or like many things, it may be better to get a new reel/rob combo to suit your fishing. Live a little, enjoy a lot.


Then you’re ready to head out – especially if you’re chasing the dragon (workups) out in 50m+ which is a great place to be for them the last week or so and right now. A few whale shave found some good food supplies and they’ve been feeding, creating some epic spectacles and fast ‘n furious fishing. Almost to Horn rock, between Anchorite and Pigeons areas with so many Gt Barrier gannets pounding the water to whitewash. There’s till some action back down in Firth of Thames, and I suspect the whales and workup action may push over east towards the top of Coromandel over the next few days. And there’re a few good keen anglers heading out even further chasing tuna and deep drops around the top and out of the gulf. A good moon now, leading up to the full, absolutely ideal to get out and get into it.


Enjoy your fishing, whatever your preferred style and fish.


Captain Espresso


For Wave Dancer Charters: Visit www.wavedancer.co.nz

Free oil and filter with any 4-stroke outboard service.

Free oil and filter with any 4-stroke outboard service. Any make, any model at any Suzuki dealer during July or August. Limited to the first 200 services nationwide. T&Cs apply.


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