The west coast is still fishing well but as the water cools the fish are less keen to spend a lot of energy and are not so interested in big meals. Fish are being caught at all depths but 10 to 30m is where I would be trying before heading out to deeper waters. Berley deployed right down on the bottom can work a treat. Not only will it draw fish in but the smells are likely to ring the dinner bells and start them feeding. Eventually of course it will draw in kahawai and sharks, but that can be limited by getting your berley right down on the bottom.
I have a metre long rope tied to the top of the anchor chain so if a big shark has a go at the berley bag I won’t get my anchor rope bitten through. That has never happened to me but it does happen! Gurnard are also abundant off the coast and there are still kingfish hanging around. Torpedoes and kites are doing well off Karioitahi and I’ve heard of snapper up to 15lb.
Snapper numbers are falling off in the harbour and gurnard numbers are slowly creeping up but in both cases the fish are fat and healthy. Trevally are also around in numbers and kahawai schools are easy to find, as they are feeding on whitebait. Look for terns dipping down into the water and you will find kahawai. A small lure cast and retrieved will get you all the kahawai you need. The smaller fish are particularly tasty and served up freshly cooked will get the chef plenty of compliments.
The next big fishing event locally is the gurnard only 2017 Grunter Hunter. In its seventh year, it just gets better each time. This year it is on 11 June. For details on how to enter visit our website www.csfc.co.nz
Because this event is now so popular we will be cutting off ticket sales on Friday 9 June at 5.00pm. Please don’t leave things until the last minute! Only red gurnard can be weighed and while you can fish off the west coast, traditionally the biggest fish are generally caught in the harbour.
There is a $2000 first prize, $1000 for second $750 for third and some great product prizes for fourth through to tenth. There are also lucky draws, a significant prize for the average weight fish, raffles and a free BBQ. Gurnard are easy to catch, use a flasher rig, choose your lucky spot where it’s not too deep and wait for the big one! See I told you they were easy to catch. It’s a great day out and I’m happy to hand out a few pointers, feel free to ask. You’ll find me on Facebook.
Good luck to all those brave enough to fish the cold months—it is a very rewarding time of year.
Take care, Smudge.
ABOVE: Clare Bray will be hoping to catch some more gurnard like this for the Grunter Hunter competition.
ABOVE/BELOW: Waiau Pa local, Grant Sharman (seated), was recently able to go fishing in New York, under the Statue of Liberty. The fish is a striped sea bass. Grant is also a keen Manukau fisherman.
ABOVE: These guys were very happy with this nice snapper caught off Big Bay recently.