Although this time of year, fishing can be tough, the experienced, the clever, and the very keen anglers are catching a feed.
Torpedo fishing can be very productive; John Franklin showed me a photo from a recent torpedo trip he went on with Ossie and Sue Rokstad. Ossie and Sue are very knowledgeable torpedo fishers and know the Glinks Gully area (where the photo was taken) well. They set their line up to 1km out and have 25 hooks baited with mullet and squid. The main species caught are snapper, kahawai, gurnard, and school shark. The line is usually set for only 20 minutes, which reduces the chance of a shark sensing the caught fish and becoming caught when eating the struggling fish. A caught shark can do considerable damage to the line. If seals are around, there is even more chance of sharks being present. If the current is strong, it can sweep the line back toward shore, reducing the catch. In these circumstances, Ossie will move his reel/trolley down the beach to compensate and to keep his baits out in the 'catch' zone. As the photo shows, this method can result with very good catches.
Fishing in Whangarei has been tough but the anglers I mentioned in my first sentence are getting a feed. Another experienced and clever fisherman I know, dragged his net in Whangarei Harbour and caught piper - possibly the best snapper bait. He went fishing in the outer harbour and caught his limit of nice snapper in very short time and repeated this the next day.
A few snapper and occasional gurnard are being caught in the outer harbour around the channel bouys. Out in Bream Bay, similar catches but more gurnard. Some good gurnard catches are reported out off Bream Head and at the Fairway Bouy area with a few snapper also being caught. All areas are returning kahawai at times with some very big specimens being taken.
A few anglers have fished the Hen and Chicks and, again, a few snapper and kahawai are being caught and anglers who know the spots have caught some succulent terakihi.
Onerahi lure maker Doug Wakelin has been using his own flies at the Whau Valley dam and catching some good rainbow trout. These fish are in very good condition and are very good eating. They are great fun on light gear - some anglers are using small softbaits or small lures on spinning gear. Doug reports he catches trout virtually every trip. Too rough to take the boat out? The dam could be well worth a look.