Some of the visiting international rugby players are enjoying our fishing as they travel around the country.

When the Fijian squad were staying in Whakatane before the tournament started, they experienced some good fishing for kingfish, and the Canadians caught some fish while staying in the Bay of Islands.

The Japanese and Tongans were expected to go fishing when staying at Paihia.

Although fishing has generally been slow in the bay because of cold water temperatures, some good kingfish have been taken at Wairere Rock and scallops are in good condition. Female crayfish are in berry, but packhorse crays are turning up in some catches. When weather allows boats to go wide, the hapuku fishing can be good as the fish are schooling, but it is a question of locating the fish. In another month they should move into shallower water to spawn, and young pups will turn up on the snapper grounds. There are still skipjack tuna off the bay and it is a good idea to tow lures when travelling.


A month of flat seas in the Bay of Plenty has allowed people to get out and snapper are not hard to find. Tarakihi and gurnard offer variety, while kahawai are reported to be in deep water, which suggests a lack of whitebait and other bait fish on the surface.

Around Auckland, the best action is out wide, but cold water is making the fishing very much a hit-and-miss affair. If work-ups can be located, it certainly helps, and there have been some small work-ups in Whangaparaoa Bay. Two men fishing just off the end of Whangaparaoa Peninsula had a surprise when a Bryde's whale surfaced right beside their small runabout.

The edges of the Rakino Channel and the northern end of the worm beds have produced a little activity at times. Snapper are feeding on small squid, so try a small bait or softbait with wiggly feelers. Snapper to 4kg are reported to be 20m off Pakiri Beach, with tarakihi at 50m.

Scallops are said to be in good condition, which is early.

Squid is the preferred bait for those anglers heading out off the west coast. The snapper are being fussy, so taking a variety of baits is always a good option. At this time of the year, the fish have short bite times as their metabolism slows down in cold water, so it is a question of striking it right. That can't be predicted, but time on the water is the only solution.

Whitebaiters in the lower Waikato River were smiling after the usual slow start to the season in mid-August. The river has been low and rainfall would help, but last week there was a good run of bait and catches of up to 10kg were taken from the stretch between the Elbow and the Tuakau Bridge.

The tiny fish attract predators such as kahawai and trout, and spinning with a silver lure while waiting to check the whitebait net is always worth a try.

Lake Rotorua is producing the best trout fishing at present, with brown trout to 4kg caught harling around Mokoia Island. The other area fishing well is the eastern shoreline between the Ohau Channel and the airport - the usual pattern at this time of year - where harling and trolling is always popular.

The trout are chasing smelt, and flies like a dark-red bantam pattern and green orbit with a long tail are good imitations of the large smelt. Trolling lures include the clown Tasmanian devil and tobies in silver, green and black.

The trout can be found on the shallow flats and slow-sinking fly lines work well, with deeper lines used at the drop-off.

The fishing in shallow water always seems better when the surface is choppy and waves are stirring up and discolouring the water.

More fishing action can be found on Outdoors with Geoff, 5.30pm on TV3, and on the internet TV channel at www.FishnHunt.Tv