Fishing in the Tauranga area has been mixed, with calm sea conditions, some tarakihi and golden snapper, and increased activity of marlin and sharks offshore.
The sea conditions around Tauranga have been generally favorable, with calm winds and minimal swell, leading to an increase in fishing activity. Despite long days that include charters and administrative tasks, the overall experience has been positive, with most clients being great company.
The fishing itself has been somewhat inconsistent. Fish are visible on the sounder, but they've been somewhat reluctant to bite. Client feedback has been positive, even on days that seemed average from a fishing perspective. In the 80-meter areas off Motiti Island, catches have been sparse, mainly consisting of a few tarakihi and golden snapper, but lacking in substantial snapper.
An increase in blind eels (hagfish) and school sharks has been noted, particularly around the Pinnacles, leading to some challenging situations. Traditional fishing spots ranging from 67 to 87 meters have been unusually quiet, though this could change at any time. For example, a spot off Mayor Island recently yielded excellent tarakihi fishing in 67 meters.
Striped marlin catches have been reported further offshore, near Mayor Island and the Aldermans, with a notable 220kg blue marlin catch. A recent deep-water trip to 600 meters, gradually moving to shallower 350-meter areas, initially saw limited interest from fish. However, success was eventually found in shallower waters with a catch of a hapuku and four gemfish, much to the relief of the anglers and the captain.
There haven't been recent reports of Yellowfin tuna, but that doesn't rule out their presence in the area. Water temperatures have risen to around 20.5 degrees near Mayor Island, accompanied by strong northern currents, which could be beneficial for fishing.
Longline and Kon Tiki fishing along the coast down to Pukehina has been hit or miss, with bronze whaler sharks frequently interfering with catches.
That's all for this week from Russ Hawkins of Fat Boy Charters Ltd. Enjoy your time out on the water!
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