Fishing with Smudge – February 2017
I guess the big news at the moment for Auckland’s west coast are the large numbers of striped marlin being caught. The hotspot over the last week has been around the 120m mark well south of the Manukau bar. Generally the marlin have been big with the biggest crossing the scales at Te Toro so far this year at 154kg. While there are also big schools of tuna in the area they are very small but, hopefully some bigger fish will turn up as the season goes on. Albacore tuna are a very tasty fish and we’re always grateful to get the chance to put a few in the bin.

Snapper over the west coast can be hard to find but there are certainly some good ones to be had when you get into them. A friend recently fished in ten to 12m a little south of the harbour entrance and was rewarded with a great catch of gurnard and snapper. The biggest fish was 18.5 old fashioned pounds—what a great snapper!

The harbour continues to fish well, a mid week after work trip for us saw 17 snapper in the bin which made us pretty happy for a couple of hours on the water. The fish were all between 30 and 35cm which aren’t big fish but they were all great eating. While we were only fishing in 5m, another boat fishing in deeper water off Big Bay a few days earlier managed three snapper between 8 and 9lb, now those are great fish for the harbour!

Kingfish are still in the harbour and are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. They are a great target from both the shore or from a boat but your gear needs to be up to scratch as they will give you no favours at all. They are tough critters that demand respect.

Meanwhile the good people at Counties Sport Fishing club are working hard to put together our two premium events; The Fish’n Chicks and the Counties Classic. Entries for the Fish’n Chicks are closed but we are still taking entries for the Classic. Visit our website at for more info.
Good luck to all fishing these competitions. I’m sure you will have a great time. Good luck also to everyone else who heads out onto the water to try their hand at catching a few fish for tea.
Take care, Smudge
Photo 1:  Arron Parker with a little bronze whaler shark that swam away unharmed.

Photo 2: A lovely 35cm snapper for Don and Saint, they caught this while surfcasting at Te Toro.

Photo 3: A lovely 35cm snapper for Don and Saint, they caught this while surfcasting at Te Toro.