Where's the fish?
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It was rather fitting that the first day we were allowed to fish from a boat in weeks, the weather really put it on for us. The coast was flat, bar conditions were good and the fishing out there was spectacular. While most chose to head out to between 50 & 60m, I’ve heard of good snapper caught in as close as 12m from a boat and from torpedoes set off the beach.
Whitebait are currently in good supply and it’s as if the world has suddenly returned to normal. Unfortunately, it hasn’t and there are rules about gatherings. I’m not going into that here as that knowledge is widely shared and I’m sure you will find the rules if you look for them.
As is often the case when the west coast is flat, there are easterly winds involved. On the morning of our first Wednesday of semi-freedom, the harbour looked like glass and the wind was probably only 5 knots or less, by the afternoon that was more like 15knots making the harbour rather choppy at least on the southern side of the Papakura channel.
The boats that took advantage of those good early morning conditions reported mixed results. Plenty of kahawai for most but the wilier anglers did well on snapper and trevally also.
While it’s so tempting to get out on the water, please make sure that your boat is ready, you understand the weather and sea conditions and if crossing the harbour or river bars, that you do your homework first.
It’s no place to be when all of a sudden, you’re committed to a bar crossing and realise that you’ve taken on much more than you expected.
Learn the ropes, do some training then go across with an experienced person you can trust. Once you’re out there, you may have had the easiest crossing but you still need to get back in.
Here’s a great video from the NZ Coastguard on how to cross a bar to get you started: WATCH VIDEO
If you don’t understand the dynamics of how bar conditions can change throughout the day then you shouldn’t be out there.
It’s more than just having a nice sunny day with no wind.
Anyway, do it right and generally you’ll be well rewarded at this time of year.
Good luck out there and stay safe.
This Manukau / Auckland west coast report is supplied by Michael "Smudge" Parker and supports the Counties Sportfishing Club