Manukau / Auckland West Coast

fishing report

Supplied by

Michael 'Smudge' Parker

Manukau / Auckland west coast January 11, 2024
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

Fishing in the Manukau Harbour is yielding a mix of small and larger snapper, with kingfish and trevally also present, while offshore fishing shows promise for marlin and albacore, indicating a potentially good game fishing season ahead.

The Manukau harbour has its usual line up of small snapper just to keep us busy changing baits so we don’t get bored, but at least there are some much bigger fish amongst them. It isn’t hard and fast action at the moment but it is certainly worth getting out on the water. In the last week we’ve had 2 snapper close to 50cm, one at 58cm and one at 60cm. While the others came from the Papakura channel, the biggest was in only 7m on an offshore bank of the Papakura channel.

There are currently lots of anchovies in the harbour which are a great food source for all species. While there are gurnard around I don’t usually target them this time of the year in the harbour.

Anchovies in the Manukau Harbour

Other fish worth chasing are kingfish, which cruise around the channel edges or hang out around structure such as the Tripod, but if you are fishing there you probably want to be early.  A live nose hooked Jack mackerel on 15kg gear is all you need when fishing the channel edges. Put an eight ounce ball sinker on your 100lb trace so it sits right down on top of your hook and stick that rod in its holder with a very light drag and the clicker on. Just have a snapper fish while you wait for the strike. Kingfish can also be caught up near the heads on the northern side and they are a good shore based target.

Trevally are in great condition and can be found over the scallop beds, use a small squid or shellfish bait on a strayline rig. Use a small hook such as a 3/0 and keep everything as light as possible - 6lb braid, 1 ounce (or less) sinker, 15lb trace – that sort of thing.

Meanwhile out across the bar, snapper fishing isn’t as flash as it was in spring but limit catches of solid fish are still a reasonable expectation in 40m. We generally travel a little southwards after crossing the South channel. I don’t like the river bar, I don’t have enough horsepower on the back of my boat and you really need it there but generally the fishing there is also very good.

Marlin have turned up with some promising signs for the season ahead. The fish are bigger than what we often see early in the season and 100kg fish seem to be the norm. I’ve heard reports of sun fish also so once the blue water moves in a little closer it is quite likely we’ll see marlin in shallower water later in the month. There have been marlin seen and captured around the 120m mark so the signs are there for some good game fishing action this summer.

Skipjack are in at 60m but it may take a bit of searching to find them and there are some big albacore out deeper with 10 kilo fish not uncommon.

Make sure you are ready for your trip out on the water, both the harbour and the coast can be unforgiving places at the best of times.

Take care, Smudge.

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