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Manukau & West Coast Auckland

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We often only get very small windows where we can get out across the harbour & river bars. Under the covid restrictions we’ve had to face, there have only been 2 or 3 opportunities to get out for a fish. I’ve only been able to get out there once this spring and the mighty west coast once again delivered in style, last Saturday we were watching the forecast on SwellMap.

Click for live Swellmap here:

We look for a swell on their Boating forecast at the Shelf Break of no more than 1.5m and a chop of 0.7m or less. We take

into account the tide size and once we’ve considered all that we make a decision about making the trip.

Everyone has their favourite forecasting app, and I’ve found if you find one you like that’s consistent then stick with that app and keep note of the conditions.

Good apps include Windy, and Predict Wind.

Saturday 16th had been showing the signs of being a good day for a week before hand and we weren’t disappointed. Conditions were great.

We headed south west of the harbour bar out to 60m.

I dropped down a prospecting bait while I tied an orange 80g inchiku to my jigging rod. Within seconds the first fish was on and at 35cm it was the only small fish of the day and it was put back into the ocean.

After that Arron and I fished jigs and they were getting hammered pretty quickly. With no baits in the water the fish tend to disperse a little so we decided to put some baits down again after a ‘quiet’ patch of about 10 minutes.

The fishing picked up again and an hour later we had a great catch of fish from 3 to 7.5kg.

All baits seemed to work and we fished the baits on our light gear but changed the 80g jigs to single 9/0 recurve hook dropper rigs with 6oz sinkers. With only two rods in the water, tangles weren’t an issue for us.

The gear we used were loaded with 10lb braid and 20lb leaders. When we changed to bait fishing we kept the 20lb leaders but attached the 80lb traces dropper rigs. We caught no sharks and only two kahawai and a baracoutta. We always anchor out there even when jigging or using softbaits.

Meanwhile back in the harbour, it’s very much about being in the right place at the right time.

Snapper, trevally and gurnard are all still readily available. The biggest issue is avoiding little snapper. If that’s all you’re catching then it is time to move. Two metres to 19 m on the edges of the channels is my pick of places to be. Feel free to let me know if you have had success otherwise!

Scallops are in prime condition and if you want a good trevally catch, pop in behind a boat dragging for them and drop down a strayline rig.

Fat healthy scallops - yum

Likewise there have been some massive whitebait runs on the river. Just had a lovely feed of them tonight thanks to rugby legend Alan Dawson.

Thanks big Alan!

That’s it for now

Good luck out there and stay safe.

Smudge.

This Manukau / Auckland west coast report is supplied by Michael "Smudge" Parker and supports the Counties Sportfishing Club​

For more information on the Counties Sportfishing Club visit its website here.

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