Mid-Spring Coromandel update near the Mercury Islands from keen yak fisherman, Scott Macdonnell
Spring is one of the best times of the year to fish for snapper in the Coromandel.
When the typical windy spring conditions let up for a bit, you don’t have to go far to find plenty of fish.
There have been a lot of workups out in the middle ground between the Mercs and the mainland, with the full complement of dolphins, whales and gannets all getting in on the act.
The presence of the commercial longliners out there off Kuaotunu is always a sign that this is where the action is happening.
This area has been running hot during active bite times, usually when there’s a little current moving. There’s a ton of bait on the sounder and when the predators push this up towards the waiting birds it’s all on.
Anything from soft baits to dropper rigs is doing the job, it’s more about cruising around, watching your sounder and looking for bird activity. Alternatively a good berly trail will often bring the snapper to you if you are more a traditionalist.
Snapper are now feeding right in shallow, and are clearly visible on fishfinders anywhere from as shallow as ten metres. Soft baits from a kayak or small boat are deadly, but make sure you have a drift chute out when the breeze picks up at all.
Finding fish and dropping straight down onto them has been working a treat, with some good sized fish in amongst the pannies.
The continual offshore wind has also kept the swell down so beach fishing has been pretty easy, particularly early mornings.
There’s a lot of good sized gurnard about in roe currently, and they are particularly fond of dark green or natural soft baits fished hard on the bottom.
The Mercs are fishing well around most of the popular reef structures, and there are always kingies about that will react well to a towed livie. Dropping sabikis straight down onto the plentiful bait sign will usually fill the bait tank pretty smartly.
It’s not far away from gamefish season, and remains to be seen whether the forecast long, dry, windy summer will eventuate and what sort of a season it will bring.