Geoff Thomas: Wintertime and the fishing is pleasing

By Geoff Thomas

Despite low cloud and sub zero temperatures, Graeme Hughes enjoys some winter fishing. Photo / Regan Hughes
Despite low cloud and sub zero temperatures, Graeme Hughes enjoys some winter fishing. Photo / Regan Hughes

Wind is usually the curse of fishermen in this country, but for the past week the lovely calm conditions have allowed people to get out - and they are finding fish.

The Manukau Harbour has been fishing well for gurnard, one party of two anglers scoring 32 big gurnard in two hours. They key is to plan the outing around the small tides so reaching the bottom in deep water is not such a great challenge.

In the Firth of Thames the best results are in shallow water, which goes against all normal patterns. Fishing around the mussel farms is hard, but after trying in 10m out somewhere down the coast without a bite except for small sharks, two Thames anglers had a last try in 5m just off the sailing club.

"[The snapper] have been there all year. There must be plenty of food for them, and we took home 16 good fish around 40cm to 45cm." They were using light tackle and casting lightly weighted baits away from the boat. It's also important to use Berley.

Bluenose and bass are coming from 400m off Great Barrier Island, with hapuku in shallower water. Tarakihi are in shallower water off Little Barrier Island, and in 35m to 40m off Tauranga. Gurnard are running well off Matakana Island and Papamoa Beach. An undulating sandy bottom is key to finding gurnard.

It's the fringe season for targeting kingfish but they can be found around offshore reefs and islands, persistent anglers casting surface poppers picking up the occasional fish. But live baits are still the best approach.

Bite times are 3.45am and 4.10pm today, and tomorrow at 4.30am and 5pm. Based on the moon phase and position, these apply everywhere. Avoid shiny tackle if hunting kingfish or barracouta will savage the gear.

Find more fishing action on Rheem Outdoors with Geoff, Saturdays at 5pm on TV3.

- NZ Herald

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