Hauraki Gulf

fishing report

Supplied by

Grant Bittle

Catch Fishing

Hauraki Gulf: October 4th 2023
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

The Espresso Report - The weather may not have put the fish off the bite but good weather is on the way. Here's what Grant's been up to...

The Espresso Report 5 October 2023

Fish just don’t seem to care! Wind, rain, hail - pfft, meaningless to those a few metres below the surface. So some inshore fishing has been the go, and many have been doing alright catching aji, squid, kahawai and some snapper, stray-liners doing rather well. Adjusting your fishing to what is available is key rather than doing the exact same thing, month on month, year after year, reducing and eliminating so much pleasurable fishing. There’re so many different species and ways to catch them, why not dare to try something out of the ordinary? Usually a lot of fun and adds another string to your bow at least.

With all this wind, and expect more, a simple solution despite strong winds is lining up a nice little possie, which doesn’t have to be far away, anchored or land based with that wind overhead helping align you with the tide current, habitat, and fish. Burley pumps up the mosh pit and further back there are usually a variety of fish coming through and around you for the next few hours, perfect. So in your vicinity, not necessarily all at the same time there can be snapper, gurnard, mackerel, squid, kingfish, kahawai, john dory and a few more. All within casting distance. Using lures while in a typical strayline setup can be exciting action packed fun – using all sorts of rod/reel combos, as well as tasty temptations especially soft baits.

Check out the what the ultra-buoyant Livie soft baits look like on a running ‘strayline’ rig, there’s a video up on the Catch Facebook page in the next day or so. It’s amazing to see how well they can be presented. The sinker used is intentionally highly visible – say either a Beady Eye or Freestyle Kabura. The main reason being that the huge eyeball, luminous, UV coated kabura head acts as an advertisement, an attractant to a fish to investigate at close range, and disco! A hapless, defenceless ‘live-bait’ (soft bait) wafting wounded, looking absolutely perfect to attack for a feed. Using say the big 10inch Livie version with a small 1/4oz jighead (like Stingaz ) the soft bait has almost neutral buoyancy, i.e. you can cast it way out the back where the bigger fish tend to congregate watching the baitfish feed on the burley trail, waiting for their opportunity. Cast this big beautiful delicious looking Livie that gently wallows around, only very gradually sinking down (great for the shallows). Or go heavier and have the jighead plant the softbaits head on the seafloor, but the inherent softbait buoyancy makes the soft bait come alive, looking like it’s feeding, or similar on the sea floor, again helpless and presenting itself perfectly for a strike.  Twin hook softbait rigs (just like you would straylining a pillie with a keeper hook) work well in this situation. Simply brilliant. Just keep using the same SB over and over, and you can change to different species of with colour, size shape, weight, o you can get strikes and hookup even when the fish aren’t hungry.

Livie  under a balloon!

Why not put a Livie  (softbait) under a balloon! It’s crazy good how alive they look – and they align perfectly where you want them, they DON’T keep swimming back under the boat/tangling the prop/hiding from that kingfish swimming around looking for exactly that – a livie bobbing, struggling under the surface – ready to be snaffled. Best to be prepared for this and go up in gear – not your lightweight set, a proper jig rod/reel would be ideal.

Legend@Lure_them_fishing, landbased  kingfish on Catchstickbait

So adjust the lure type and size, targeting different fish as they come through and see what new adventure sessions you can enjoy, no need to be grumpy at home exchanging endless txts moaning about ‘the weather’ or traffic, or politics. And when the wind drops as it will – you have the gear that really opens up your options for any day, whether anchored, drifting, jigging, straylining.

The choices you have with fishing are far and wide, it is merely a matter of adapting to your situation and throwing down the fish-gauntlet.

Enjoy Spring fishing, it’s on!

Grant Bittle


Stop Exotic Caulerpa!

Stop the spread of exotic caulerpa seaweed. If boating in the upper North Island, check your anchor and gear before moving location and if you find any seaweed, Bag it, Bin it! Legal controls are in place at Great Barrier Island, Great Mercury Island and Bay of Islands.


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