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Hauraki Gulf January 2020

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Snapper are AWOL no more! The general bite returned well over the New Year handover, a welcome change from the tentative feeding just prior. Snapper, kingfish and most species seemed to get with the New Year cheer and provide excitement, thrills and spills for the majority of holiday fishing. Sunshine and some calm days, what a fabulous start to 2020 we are experiencing.

Have you got the wheels to get out after the tuna?

The inner channels of the gulf and Waitemata can be rather productive even during this peak holiday season, the key is to find where the snapper are holding at the time. Snapper will be found alongside say a bank on one side or area of a channel, and not the other, and it changes as they move around during the day.

So a bit of prospecting when you arrive can go a long way to provide fish for the day. A classic example is the Motuhie channel – it can seem to be a barren, over fished, snagged ledger rig filled, busy boating place at times – yet with a little drift here, over there, or further up and over there – disco! Find them and you’re on. Re-drift and repeat 😊.

Over towards the Flat Rock side of the gulf most fishing has been consistently good, surprisingly so for this time of year.

Drift fishing between Tiri and Flat Rock mainly to the west of the no-go zone has been a great way to spend a few hours, and put several good fish in the bin. Similarly out in 50m the simple drift fishing approach has been rewarding and productive.

The mussel farms of the inner areas of the Firth have also made for some pretty easy pickings at times lately, snapper and kingfish if you get lucky.

The gurnard have been feeding in numbers and gracing fishing bins, many are being caught out in the 40m+ depths, an eye catching and excellent table fish too. A great fish to target when the snapper bite is slow.

Snapper are following lures well up the water column at present, so if you are out in say 50m do a slow to medium paced wind up 15m from the sea floor (approx. 15 full winds of the reel handle) you may well only get bitten after a 10m chase by a snapper – typical at this time of year.  So keep a steady even retrieve with a skirted lure like a Beady Eye, or Lil’ Squidwings and get ready for hook-ups when others may be just scratching their heads and wanting to go find fish, a high steady retrieve is an excellent technique to be using right now to catch snapper.

Enjoy your fishing whether you are on holiday, or AWOL yourself, the bite is back on. And if you are keen on Yellow Fin Tuna or Striped Marlin – out the back of Gt Barrier could be a good place to be when the winds blow favorably.



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