Bay of Plenty

fishing report

Supplied by

Russ Hawkins

Fat Boy Charters

Tauranga 28th March 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

The local fishing scene continues to deliver excellent catches, from the surf to offshore, with Matakana Island being a notable hotspot.

The fishing locally continues to be great in all areas from surf casting to boats fishing in close and out wide.

Matakana Island on the ocean side has produce great results particularly on the change of light in the early evening combined with the change of tide or close to the change.

Fishing in only 7 meters very nice snapper up to 5kgs have been landed along with other really good pan sized fish and trevally and kahawai in the mix.

Tarakihi fishing in the 80 meter plus reef areas have  also been very good after a small search with good sized fish and as happened in past seasons on my own vessel we are getting some decent snapper in those deeper places along with pink mao mao, another top eating fish.

There are also a few nice king fish being landed on jigs and live baits (Koheru) off the Penguin shoals and Mayor Island areas, not huge fish but still great sport and of course top eating as well.

The harbour is still well worth a shot on the banks right in the shallows like 3 meters or less with a bit of burley and the right drift direction getting to sometimes actually see the swirling of the fish not too far from the boat with the main species being snapper and trevally.

Make the effort to check those tide times and in some cases moon phases as we recently had massive currents from the east 15 miles out where even with two 12 oz sinkers we could not totally hold on the bottom and of course to get the anchoring right along with the angle of drift made for very hard fishing.

We did find that a semi controlled drift worked a little better and landed a few fish.

For those with some time on their hands there are a lot of small skip jack tuna towards the penguin shoals areas from 45 meters and out further towards that reef.

These as you all know are perfect size for baits for all types of fishing and you usually get less waste with those smaller fish.

Again those who have been there and done that it is the best way to come back home with a face and arms plus boat covered in “Red Freckles”with that hi revving tail action of the skippies spreading their blood over everything.

Fast and organised action by the crew can minimise the mess with the fast shutting of the chilly bin and then with a few old towels covering the fish to dampen the effects.

Finally on a dismal note it is looking like perhaps a weekend of harbour fishing at best with strong south easterlies and a 2.5 meter swell from the east and on a brighter note next week is looking quite settled fromTuesday onwards for a few days.

Cheers Russ Hawkins

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