Geoff Thomas
Geoff Thomas on fishing

Geoff Thomas: Go deep in harbour for fatter snapper

Snapper. Photo /  Brett Phibbs
Snapper. Photo / Brett Phibbs

People are reporting unusually good snapper fishing in the deeper parts of the Manukau Harbour, like the Papakura Channel where it is more than 20m deep.

While the numbers of fish caught are not great, they are impressive in size, with one angler bringing home snapper of 4kg, 6kg and 7kg. The key is to use small baits, and successful anglers are using dropper or flasher rigs with small chunks of mullet. One rig is fished conventionally with a sinker on the bottom, and a second rig with a sinker at the top and a hook on the end where the sinker usually goes.

On the day, one rig will work better than the other. A bycatch of gurnard and kahawai is also welcome, and gurnard fishing has also been going well in the harbour.

While berley is often left at home during summer because it attracts sharks and rays, at this time of year it is a must. Trevally also turn up occasionally to add excitement to the fishing. Netting mullet in the lower Waikato River is also going well.

The other area that has been fishing well is off Waiheke Island, following work-ups on the 40m line. It is a matter of cruising around until you find the birds, then snapper and kahawai can be caught on lures or jigs, or by dropping baits on flasher rigs.


Although the trout-fishing season has closed on the main Rotorua lakes, there is still plenty of winter fishing. Lake Waikaremoana provides excellent fishing for brown and rainbow trout, either trolling or fly fishing at stream mouths. Another lake which does not receive much angling pressure is Lake Waikareiti, a 45-minute walk through the bush from Waikaremoana. It can be fished from dinghies hired from Aniwaniwa, or from the shoreline with spin or fly tackle.

Bite times

Bite times are 10.35am and 11pm today, and tomorrow at 11.20am and 11.45pm. These are based on the moon phase and position, not tides, so apply to the whole country.

Tip of the week

When fishing work-ups, a pair of good binoculars is essential for finding the birds.

More fishing action can be found on Rheem Outdoors with Geoff, 5pm, Saturdays, TV3.

- NZ Herald

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