Russ Hawkins of Fat Boy Charters highlights promising fishing conditions in the BOP area, noting an increase in tarakihi and snapper, and offers recommendations for the upcoming Labour Weekend.
There's not been much activity, but the phone's starting to ring more frequently with enthusiasts eager to book trips, even looking ahead to next year.
With our new government, it seems someone might be assigned a "Hunting and Fishing" role within parliament. This could be promising, given some of the questionable upcoming decisions about restricting vast ocean areas well beyond the Hauraki Gulf. This mirrors past decisions in our immediate areas, which, in my view and that of many locals, won't boost fish stocks due to the lack of sheltered areas for vessels. The absence of public consultation, even acknowledged in the press, remains a sore point, especially when the benefits to the ecosystem seem negligible.
On the brighter side, recent fishing trips have been encouraging. Areas that showed scant fish presence a few weeks ago now display healthy numbers. We're seeing mostly tarakihi and a few snapper in deeper waters, between 60 to 85 metres, especially between Motiti Island and Schooner Rocks in the "80 Metre Area". The coast continues to yield decent snapper in shallow waters, from 6 to 15 metres, with soft baits. Some catches have been around 5 kilos, accompanied by the occasional trevally, which is heartening. I don't have current information on harbour fishing, but I'd wager there are some decent trevally near the banks of Rangiwaea Island and Hunters Creek.
Interestingly, a recently caught snapper, weighing around 5 kgs, had a sizable paua, approximately 75mm, halved in its gut, with no shell visible.
Apologies for the brief report, but things should pick up soon, especially with the appearance of the "red tides", which I believe are phytoplankton.
On a positive note, the upcoming Labour Weekend forecast for our BOP area looks promising, with what seems like a steady 10 knots of wind from Saturday through to next Wednesday. Enjoy and stay safe. Given the favourable forecast, I'd recommend Mayor Island for Kingfish or quality snapper straylining. Alternatively, consider deeper drops for bluenose, gemfish, or Hapuku.
Facebook: Fat Boy Charters Ltd.