The weather and the moon seem destined to influence fishing over the Easter weekend. A full moon on Sunday will be viewed by many anglers as negative, particularly trout fishermen. But the biggest moon of the month always seems to bring fine weather, which is why the big moon can be seen so clearly at night. So early morning or fishing at night may be the answer. The influence of the moon is one of the perennial questions which splits opinions when debated around the coffee table. Some experts maintain it brings good fishing while others argue the fish all close their mouths. A rising or falling barometer does affect fish, which they can sense through their air bladder - tide is the other main factor at sea.
This weekend does not see particularly large tides, and a 3.1m high tide on the Waitemata Harbour, for example, will bring strong currents in the harbour but they won't be so fierce in the channels further out.
There are still plenty of fish around, whether putting a long-line off a beach like Muriwai Beach or Kariotahi Beach, or casting from the breakwater under the Auckland harbour bridge. Off the west coast it is not just snapper which attracts anglers, as there are still marlin being caught off the coast.
In Auckland, the channels are still holding plenty of snapper, but small fish are plaguing boats that drop anchor. Work-ups are firing up along the East Coast Bays, on the worm beds and from Whangaparaoa Peninsula to Kawau Island, with plenty of kahawai working in schools. Whether there are snapper under them is another question. Flat Rock has been consistent, and there are kingfish at Shearer's Rock, as expected.
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Fishing on the reef around the Ahaaha Rocks is picking up. Kingfish are still in good numbers at Crusoe Rock, but bronze whaler sharks are a real problem as they love taking kingfish off the line, leaving only a head. The Pakatoa Reef is another reliable spot for kingfish, with a yellowtail or kahawai set under a balloon.
We are in between summer and autumn fishing, but until a period of cold southerly conditions arrives the snapper should stay well within reach of small boats. Then they will move out into the Hauraki Gulf and it will be a question of venturing out to look for birds and work-ups.
The Firth of Thames continues to fish well and, like many areas, it has been a standout summer of snapper fishing all through the firth. Whether surfcasting from the shore or dropping a flasher rig in the mussel farms, the fishing has been superb. Kingfish love to hang around the mussel ropes but are impossible to catch among so many wires.
The entrance to Tauranga Harbour has been firing at night with local fishermen commenting it is the best snapper fishing they have seen for many years, and fishing around A Buoy has picked up just recently.
FreshwaterThis is always one of the best holiday weekends for trout fishermen, but the downside will be the full moon. It seems to affect trout on the lakes more than fish at sea. However, trout will be moving up rivers towards tributaries prior to spawning, and in the lakes they will be hanging around stream mouths and at release points like the Landing and Rangiuru Bay of Lake Tarawera. Fly fishing at these spots has picked up in the past week, and fishing at night may be a good option in the bright moon. Smelt are in close along the edge of the weed beds and a killer pattern like a Kilwell No 1 fished slowly on a sinking line works well. In spring, flies with a yellow body are preferred but at this time of year a red body produces better results.
Small stream mouths do not fish well in moonlight, but deep water like the bay at the Log Pool on Lake Okataina and the delta of the Tongariro River and the rip at the Tauranga-Taupo Stream mouth can fish well on a bright moon.
Harling or booby fishing will be best at dawn and dusk, then fishing the depths with lead-core or wire lines, or jigging, will offer the best chances during the day.