Just got off the phone from Pete, a very good Whangarei Harbour fisherman. In recent days, with a bad moon phase and wrong tide, he came home with six snapper around 400mm and one measuring 620mm. Snapper and kahawai are still being caught throughout the harbour and a few trevally, gurnard and kingfish. The snapper are travelling well up to the Town Basin area – anglers, fishing from the shore near the western end of our lift-up bridge, were recently seen with a substantial freshly-caught snapper. The Onerahi/ Limestone Island area has slowed a little but is providing reasonable snapper and kahawhai catches. Harbour shore fishing has also continued with good snapper and kahawhai.
A couple, recently walking our Whangarei Loop, stopped and looked into the water off the Canopy Bridge and saw large schools of mullet, a lot of eels and a very large flounder. This appears to show our harbour water is in good shape. During Easter, many anglers found harbour fishing a little slow (it was another bad moon phase) but those who fished around the entrance, along the Mad Mile and out in front of the Power Station in 16 to 20 metres, reported good snapper on bait and softbaits. If you haven't tried slow jigs, have a yarn to your favourite tackle shop - I have heard of several anglers doing very well with this method.
Further North, pretty much all of the beautiful, magic fishing areas are fishing very well, both inside and outside the harbours. Big trophy-sized snapper are being caught in good numbers amongst the better eating fish around the 400mm size, a lot of big kahawhai are around and some very impressive kingfish are being landed.
Sometimes forgotten, we have some good trout fishing in the north. The most well-known area is the Kai-iwi Lakes. All methods are legal here so you don't need to be a fly fishing expert but, at the moment, Rabbit flies and Booby flies with very short (8cm) traces fished right on the bottom, are working very well. These clean water rainbow trout are very good eating.
A tip: when fishing anchored in a current, rig up a softbait and cast it well out the back, then put the rod in a rod holder. If the current is strong, you will need a heavy jig head. This often produces a nice big bonus snapper/kahawhai or even kingfish.