Geoff Thomas: Hot fishing includes surprise kingfish

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The harbours continue to produce hot fishing, and one angler in a kayak under the Auckland Harbour Bridge hooked a kingfish while fishing for snapper with a chunk of cut bait.

The powerful fish gave him a tough battle, but after 45 minutes he managed to get the king into his kayak, and it later pulled the scales down to 18kg.

The Waitemata Harbour is more consistent in the upper reaches than the Manukau Harbour, which is running hot and cold, with some people struggling to find fish while others do well. The better results are coming from deep channels, using heavy sinkers, with snapper running to 3kg.

The Motuihe and Rangitoto Channels have fired up again after the full moon, and with this week leading up to the new moon at the weekend it is one of the best times of the month to get out on the water.

Some good-sized snapper have been taken in the channels, and charter boats are doing very well in the Rangi channel in the evenings.

Fishing along the edge of the foul between Browns Island and Motuihe has also been good.

Fishing close among the weed along the East Coast Bays is also working well, both for shore-based anglers surfcasting from the rocks and those in small boats, with the evenings producing the best action.

Those using soft baits drifting from Matiatia to Crusoe Rock are also doing very well, particularly with brown lures like the pumpkinseed version. It is also a good idea to vary the size of the lures to match the varying size of bait fish.

Further afield, kingfish to 20kg are coming from Gannet Rock, and big snapper and kings are being caught at Channel Island. Live baits such as kahawai can be lip-hooked and slow trolled, or dropped with a sinker on to the pinnacle inside Gannet.

Live piper are also one of the best live baits for kings, hooked through the wrist of the tail and dropped down under a sinker or under a balloon. The important thing is to use a hook which suits the size of the bait, not the quarry. A small, strong live-bait hook will secure a large kingfish, but too big a hook will kill the livie.

The top end of the Coromandel Peninsula and Channel Island will be popular with anglers in the annual Clevedon Hotel contest tomorrow.

The Firth of Thames is reported to be full of fish, and kahawai numbers are good everywhere, as are ratkings.

Game fishing off the west coast continues to fire when conditions allow, and one angler had a quadruple marlin strike in only 60m of water, successfully tagging one of them.

Another who was fishing for skipjack tuna on 15kg tackle had a marlin come up and grab a skippie almost at the boat, only to lose the marlin after four hours. Skippies are also running in the Hauraki Gulf, and while only small fish they make excellent bait when cut up fresh. There are few birds around the skippie schools so they are not easy to find, and it is worth trolling a small red and white feather lure while travelling.

Trout fishing in the back country is still restricted by discoloured high rivers and streams and with continued floods through the summer it will result in reduced fish populations, producing bigger trout next year.

On the Rotorua lakes the stream mouths on Lake Rotorua continue to fish after an extra hot summer, but the quality of trout is deteriorating as the fish have been restricted to those parts of the lake with cold water.

The Waiteti and Ngongotaha Streams are holding brown trout, but no double-figure (in pounds) fish have been reported.

Lakes Okataina and Rotoiti are the prime lakes, with booby fishing in the mornings and evenings working well on Okataina, and deep jigging during the day.

The Hinehopu end of Rotoiti has started to fish well, with fish up to 5.4kg taken deep jigging.

* More fishing action can be found on Outdoors with Geoff, 5pm Saturdays on TV3, and on the new internet television channel, FishnHunt.Tv.

- NZ Herald

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