While I am a big fan of winter fishing even I have to admit that it has been pretty tough over the last month or so. The good days will come. I hope. As they say that’s why it’s called fishing and not catching!
If you do manage to get out, there will be some snapper and gurnard somewhere in the harbour but it will take some patience to find them. Kahawai though are pretty easy to find just about anywhere and a little berley on the surface will soon bring them to your boat. When fresh they are great eating.
Due to the weather there have been few opportunities to get out off the coast but snapper are getting harder to find. Going out wide to 50 or even 60m is your best bet but be prepared to move around to avoid the unending supply of sharks that seem to turn up out there every winter.
If you’re a boat owner now is a good time to service your boat rather than save it until the summer when all the boat shops are busy. While you’re at it get your fishing reels serviced too. I try to do mine every year and replacing the line is something you should also consider if you’ve put in a big season.
With not much happening on the fishing scene to talk about I just want to mention a little about bar crossings. River bars can be particularly unforgiving and that can be hard for people to understand when they’ve only seen them at their best. They can change very quickly, with an out going tide behaving completely different to an incoming tide.
The swell, tide size and wind direction all play a part too. Local knowledge is very important and you need to understand the factors that can make the conditions change. Of course harbour bars have their own challenges too, don’t make the mistake of thinking they all behave the same way because that isn’t necessarily true. The old adage of ‘if in doubt, don’t go out’ is a good one to live by.
Take care, Smudge
CAPTION: Catches like this are easily achieved on a good day in the harbour. The 30cm snapper shows just how big the gurnard are.
CAPTION: Stu with a pannie snapper from the West Coast.