Geoff Thomas
Geoff Thomas on fishing

Geoff Thomas: Snapper running out of season on Manukau

By Geoff Thomas

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

Winter fishing on the Manukau Harbour usually signals a change from snapper to gurnard as the popular quarry, but some unseasonal snapper fishing in the harbour has seen fish up to 5.5kg caught.

This fishing has been in strong currents, with a 20m trace, 10-ounce weights and bonito baits. Gurnard are also running well in the harbour, but the best fishing is around the small tides when the current is not so strong. The first hour after the turn of the tide, at both the top and bottom of the tide, seems to be the prime time.

On the east coast out of Auckland there are some snapper being taken around the Noises, and north of Whangaparaoa on the eastern side of Motuora Island there are a lot of birds but they do not always have fish under them.

Kingfish are providing some good action to jigs on the outer reefs such as Horn Rock and Flat Rock when fishing on the edge of the drop-off, and there are also kingfish reported along the eastern side of Waiheke Island.

Tarakihi, gurnard and small school snapper around 30cm are showing up in Bay of Plenty inshore waters, and bluefin and albacore tuna have been caught in good numbers off White Island.

Tarakihi are soft-mouthed feeders and small cubes of bonito or pilchard, or shellfish tied to the hook with bait elastic, will trigger bites. These are fished on ledger rigs or flasher rigs with small recurved hooks around size 4/0. Attaching sinkers to the bottom of the trace with light line will allow them to break off if snapped in the rocks, saving the trace.

Deep water fishing off Tutukaka and the Bay of Islands has been excellent for hapuku.


Anglers are impressed with the quality and size of trout coming out of Lake Taupo, and Turangi retailer Graham Wyman says the spawning runs are expected to continue well into September.

"We desperately need rain to trigger more runs, but the rivers have fished well this winter. At the moment the trout are stacked up at river mouths waiting for rain, and fishing at all the river mouths has been very good."

He said the lake was also fishing well, and a pair of anglers who went trolling brought back five trout all around 2.4kg.

While rivers were low and clear there were still a lot of anglers on the Tongariro River, and brown trout were still running which was unusual.

Wyman said one of the recommendations in the recently published review of the Taupo fishery was to allow youngsters to fish with spinning tackle at river mouths, which would encourage more people into the sport. Traditionally the area within a 300m radius of all stream mouths has been restricted to fly fishing only.

Bite times

Bite times are 2.15am and 2.40pm today, and tomorrow at 3am and 3.25pm. These are based on the moon phase and position, not tides, and apply to the whole country.

Tip of the week

Cooked rice makes a good berley for fish like tarakihi, and it can be mixed with regular berley then frozen. It makes the berley go further.

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

- NZ Herald

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