Fishing with Smudge September 2017 report

Spring Snapper

It isn’t easy to write a fishing report when the weather and other factors prevent us from getting out but then again it’s important to remember that fishing reports are usually about how the fishing has been.

Who cares about that? We want to know how the fishing is going to be! I always look at previous years and while there is usually a pattern, of course there are always plenty of variables involved to keep challenging us.

The variables can be due to weather patterns, offshore water temperatures, prevailing winds and just the random and unpredictable patterns that our fishery and waterways can go through. I think it’s always best not to over think it all, it’s a much better strategy to just go out there and give it a go. Of course having a little heads up on what to expect can really help to make for a successful day on the water.

So this is how I expect my local area to be fishing over the next couples of weeks:

We will get a few opportunities to fish the harbour with snapper making a comeback, especially in areas around the Papakura Channel through to the harbour entrance. The Manukau Harbour has very strong currents and bigger snapper are wary fish. It is important to rig your baits so they sit naturally in the current rather than spinning around like a mad thing. No decent snapper is going to hit a bait that doesn’t look like it should be there.

Gurnard will still be in good condition and there should still be good numbers of them around. Keep your baits small and hard on the bottom. We should also see trevally making a welcome appearance and while mostly they will be small and around the kilo mark there are always bigger ones around if you put the time in. My favourite rig for trevally is a small sinker directly down onto the hook, keeping baits very small. Squid pieces and small pilchard chunks work well. Scallops will be well worth the effort too but please stick to the rules.

Now that the days are getting longer, one of my favourite times to fish the harbour is coming to the fore. While I avoid big tides there is one time when I do fish them and that is during the full moon stage from slack water until twilight. Full moon tides have a midday high (on the Manukau) so six hours later is low tide and that is the time to hit the shallow water.

The coast should produce some great catches of snapper once conditions allow. My pick would be to fish in depths from 40m out to 60 or more. Spiny dogfish will still be in plague proportions in places but it will be getting easier and easier to avoid them as we move further into spring. If you are fishing a two hook dropper rig and the hooks are getting smashed off then just fish with one hook. Two big snapper having a tug of war on the end of your line often results in the bigger fish swimming away.

With all the rain we’ve had there are only patchy reports of whitebait being caught but once the weather clears I’m sure that will change.

Take care, Smudge.

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