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Hauraki Gulf Report

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Snapper are in full-on breeding mode the evidence is overwhelming some days with their gulf-wide typical behaviour i.e. much ignoring of you and your offerings at the end of the line, here there and everywhere despite fantastic sounder sign. However, when there’s a spark like a workup or fracas of some kind they can avert their attention long enough for a bite or three, and then the feeding can be voracious, generally shorter bite times and add that full moon into the mix, it can make for polar opposites in bite interest in a very short space of time.

This almost all or nothing bite is when the little things you present can make all the difference. Micro jigs and the trusted kaburas - the ones that have inherent in their design the lack of interest in mind, like wafting buoyant skirts with hidden hooks, using the lightest leader and braid, very slow retrieval.

Normally size or weight has little to do with choosing a kabura as there is little to no action in the lure, with a gentle continuous motion, little to no drag…feel a soft take or bite? Just keep winding at the same slow speed without striking until the pressure comes on, those tiny little lip hooks will set themselves – once hooked up, well you know what to do.

Maybe try this next time you’re out and things are slow, what may seem counter-intuitive put a much BIGGER kabura on. As you drift you don’t have to keep letting out line to stay within a metre or two of the sea floor out in the open areas.

The heavier 150gm Whitewarrior Freestyle Kabura is a favourite choice for this approach, slacken the drag right off so any bite and the fish will run easily, barely bending the rod – the rod of course is on the more than capable hands of Rod Holder, not yours.

The rise and fall of the boat/ski imparts a great action to the lure down below and can often account for the best fish of the day, even if Rod is hardly ever mentioned. A big heavy luminous kabura head – something like the genuine and original Freestyle Kabura or the new Beady Eye Kabura!? Have you tried that on the drift one wind up off the sea floor?

Inner gulf and harbour areas are a pretty good bet for snapper, this is the ideal time of year to use small water craft to nudge around the edges of all sorts of local spots as that’s where many want to be, warmer water for congregations each day not just on Sunday.

Out in mid ground north Tiri and over to northern Waiheke and out halfway to Anchorite when one of the various little workups explode it’s all on, if the snapper are close enough they are in fast food mode.

Some good workups have continued and the usual consistent areas that were showing a lot of promise last week with bait and all the signs but only intermittent attention i.e. north Tiri went into full-feed mode the other day, massive all-in style. Wow. Then_________ flat line on the sounder, home time.

John Dory – delicious oddly beautiful and they are out there! Some amazing specimens get caught in December, often with the approach described above so the Dory can ‘sneak’ up on the Kabura and capture it with its lightening quick mouth extension and inhalation of lure. So if you think you have a big lump of seaweed on your line – be very careful bringing it in, it could be the prize fish of the day.

Trevally schools have been out just north of Anchorite and over in the squiggles towards Little Barrier and surrounds, it sure is exciting to catch these intense fighting, soft mouthed silver surfers, a favourite for many reasons – taste, fight, tentative bites with small soft mouths at times, blistering runs, never give up attitude, sashimi extraordinaire, smokes amazingly well.

Targeting trevally? Try small tasty temptations, titbits, bite sized whether flappy bits like Waterwings on the new Beady Eye with lots of little teasing tentacles for instance or little silvery lures are the goto – micro jigs have been a very successful lure over several years now for Trevally. Micro jigs are just micro jigs right? No. A few options to suit conditions can significantly increase strike rate. Zinc alloy micro jigs, more flutter a bigger profile and slower to waft down, lighter to get taken along in a current like small baitfish. Or a lead microjig for most duties gives an ideal hang time, green maybe? Deeper water or big current and when the trev’s are low in the water – use tungsten Pocket Rockets, heavy, faster descent, dynamite on deep water trevally.

Plans are afoot everywhere for favourite fishing whether small game, medium game or big game – fishermen are all a chatter about the Christmas holidays and more time to fish.

Increasing tidal current brings good news from the near doldrum-like calm of the gulf last week, which should bring the kingfish into bite-mode along with many other prized fish species that’ll light up the eyes of friends and family back on shore as this full moon passes.

Have a great time and enjoy your summer fishing.


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