How often do you pull up a yellowtail while snapper fishing?

It happens often, and smart fishermen keep it for bait. This is just one of many tips and ideas we come across. In the spirit of sharing, a selection is offered for your edification.

In Waitemata Harbour in summer the best fishing is on slack or small tides. Tide flows are stronger inside the harbour because it is so narrow, and big tides also stir up mud so fish can't see the bait. With traces below a sinker the rule is, the stronger the current the longer the trace. Conversely, on slack tide switch to a ledger rig.

Don't lift fish out of the water with your rod. It will likely snap. With sinkers - use only as much weight as is needed.


If sharks are a problem when bottom fishing try mussels as bait. Salting for two or three days toughens them up.

Change baits at least every 15 minutes - fresh is best and old baits lose smell.

When starting it is a good idea to use a ledger rig and a running rig with a trace. Often one works better than the other.

For larger fish use fillets or whole butterflied yellowtail. You'll get fewer bites, but bigger snapper.

When eating soft food like pilchards, snapper swim around holding it in their mouth. They'll expel the food then take it in again.

This emphasises the need to give fish time to nibble a bait and swim a short distance away before striking.

Check potential fishing spots by looking for guts and channels in reefs, and rocks with feed like kina or mussels.

Snapper love oysters. To keep it on the hook empty a tea bag, slip the oyster inside and thread it on the hook.