TopCatch Fishing Report 30.07.2020
- TopCatch Whangarei
There is some amazing fishing to be had in Northland this time of year, with big fat moocher Snapper hanging around virtually everywhere! We fished out over the sand Saturday with big Soft baits and light jig heads, with variable winds we were able to get away with ¼ oz jigheads and 7” soft baits. Casting out over the sand produced lovely fish up to 8kgs with a solid feed of fat Snapper, Kahawai and Trevally. Target early morning, long drifts and change up your colours until you find a colour that’s working. We found great success with Bruised Banana and Pink Shine.
- TopCatch Mangawhai
The Mangawhai bar has been safe to cross and fishos have been taking full advantage of it, with some really nice fat Snapper holding in close over the reef structure. Setting up at anchor with a big thick berley trail running back over the structure has been working well lately, with a lot of people running one Salmon berley on top and our potent Depth Charger berley halfway down in a wobbly pot. Unweighted baits seem to be key, or as minimal weight as possible as the fish can be really finicky on the bite and any sense of something out of the ordinary sets them off. The Softbaiting over the sand in the shallows has been firing well too, with natural coloured baits getting the more consistent fish and the odd big fish is falling victim to a nicely presented plastic. Huge amounts of Kingfish are hanging wide of Mangawhai, keeping an eye out for Petrel birds working on the surface is a sure sign of bait fish and hungry yellow tailed missiles below.
- TopCatch Clevedon
Things are slowly picking up in the gulf with a few more fish starting to come in from fishing the shallows stray lining big baits or flicking around softies, to using slow pitch jigs on structure out in the deep. The shallow water fishing has been a bit hit or miss as of late, areas like orere point have been producing some good quality fish but have only been fishable for short periods of time usually only getting a few hours of quality fishing then it dies. However, the deeper water fishing has been pretty productive, fishing pins and drop offs around the bottom end on Waiheke out towards the 40m mark, with slow pitch jigs, sliders, micro jigs, and also the gulp king shrimp pepper prawn and the gulp eels have been picking up some solid fish.
- TopCatch Beachlands
Fish are sitting in good numbers, with lots being caught between Beachlands and Waiheke averaging 40 – 45cm and fat as in great eating condition. We have found great fishing in 6-8 metres of water and out to the noises on an incoming tide, deploying a big berley and stray lining back whole pilchards lightly weighted has been the go recently. Wide variety of Sliders and Kaburas in orange and Pink are working well around shag rock at the bottom end of Waiheke in the deeper water, producing some lovely fat fish!
- TopCatch Halfmoon Bay
Fishing has been good for winter carrots behind Waiheke reported in by one of our locals, Scott and a few other locals have been sitting in the 30-35m mark east off Durville rocks and North off Waiheke using smaller 3/0 and 5/0 Tasman Tackle Flasher rigs and soft baits with fish over 40cm – 45cm for both snaps and Gurnard also being caught by Mark using the same but fished in 20m just north of Hakaimango Point. Land base soft plastics has been rewarding for three of our young locals who walk the footpaths along Eastern Beach with Kahawai, the odd snapper over 40cm and a couple of John Dorys. Slow jigs have been hot and cold but the baits have been consistent with fish being bigger during the last few hours of sunlight.
- TopCatch Whangaparoa
The landbased fishos are still at it locally with the usual army bay/Shakespeare area proving slow but steady. There’s still plenty of good fish being caught but numbers by now are certainly down. The northern coast up around Waiwera and hatfields is still going good for both snapper and trevally. Those surfcasting are finding pully rigs with shellfish for bait best when targeting the trevs, while the rock fishos are finding the typical big berley and stray lined whole baits best for snapper. When looking for a new land based spot the key things to look for is current, structure and baitfish. Generally speaking if you can tick 2 of those 3 things off, there’s a good chance it’s a spot worth fishing. Out over the mud there’s still plenty of gurnard kicking around. Same same for these fish. Small ledger rigs with bits of squid, mullet or bonito. This is the preferred time of year for targeting gurnard as by now there’s far less small snapper around getting in the way! The kingfish are hanging around Tiri again with a fair few fish being taken from the usual rocks. Shag and Shearers have plenty around the 8kg mark with a few better fish pushing a meter. It seems the hardest part is finding bait at this time of year. If your launching from Gulf Harbor try the 10m mark on the first point to the left of the ramp. If you can’t find any mackerel here, another reliable place to try is the yellow buoys on the shore side of the Tiri channel. Once you have a dozen or so you’re in with a shot. Big schools of snapper are still out in the middle ground. Areas of interest have been anchorite and the squiggles, Colville and Cradock channel and the 40m mark right off Takatu point. There are a few work ups around so keep an eye out for gannets heading one way. Kabura and Inchiku’s are still working their magic claiming the majority of fish over the sand. Softbaiting around Motoura and Kawau has been good with plenty of pannies coming from sub 15meters. There’s normally a few bigger fish up in shallow around this time of year so don’t be afraid to fish where you can see the bottom. This also counts for stray lining especially as those fish are only up in that shallow to feed. The waters about as cold as it gets in the gulf at the moment so it’s only a matter of time before it starts warming and those fish start feeding like crazy.
- TopCatch Westhaven
Well, it rained and was windy but the days are getting longer which means we are on the downslope of the dark winter and heading in to the SPrign work ups we all know and love! The spot of the week had to be the firth of Themes, with 45cm fish being pulled from there fairly consistently. Most charters seemed to be fishing around that far end of Waiheke, up as far as just north of gannet rock when the wind wasn’t blowing too hard. The gardeners gap area north of Rangitoto still seems a little patchy but the well versed can pull fish from there on the right tide…or day. Squid fishing is still going off all over the coastlines of Auckland. Orakei wharf is stained with ink as usual for this time of year, a good sign there is still Squid hanging around. Takapuna boat ramp and near the Harbour bridge on Curren street in Auckland city are also fairly easy spots to get to and fish ,try get out for an hour after work before they start moving back out, which will happen soon so get amongst it!
- TopCatch Coromandel
Having been slowed down with meaningless chores myself, I had to get a report from Tom Meyers (Coromandel fishing charters 0800267624 ). Although not having that many charters due to weather issues he says that the gulf is still producing a great many snappers with people very happy with his service. Pilchards and squid are norm the bait of choice however mullet also doing the trick on the last couple of trips. Around the 30mtr mark seems to be where the fish are congregating in mussel farms further down the coast. If your keen on some good eating fish give Tom a call and I’m sure you will be rewarded with a bounty of prime snapper fillets.
- TopCatch Hamilton Report
There really is no reason for tucking the boat into the back of the shed this Winter as not only is the weather pretty mild the fishing is outstanding. I can’t recall previously having a Winter period that has fished this good before. Sub 30 metres of water from down off Ruapuke Beach right up to the Black Rocks is performing on a consistent basis. The quality of the Snapper is also of a good size, I haven’t heard of much in the way of trophy fish but certainly nice fish up to about fifteen pound. The bycatch of Gurnard in the shallower water has been real good with a real nice average size, and what’s better is the Shark catch has been minimal. On the Sunday just gone we steamed up to Crayfish Point and set the anchor in 15 metres of water. The fish came on after about 10 minutes and we never moved, we pulled the pin and headed for home after 3 hours of easy fishing with a great feed of Gurnard and nice Snapper to 10 pound. Interestingly we passed quite a few boats on the way up the Coast who were anchored in closer than us so that is probably where we should be concentrating our efforts. Out deeper the local charter fleet is putting their clients onto some good fishing at the moment from anywhere between 50 to 65 metres and there have been some serious Snapper landed. If you’re not too concerned about wading through your fair share of Spiney dogs then the deeper waters are worth a shot. It’s hard to believe that we are already at the start of August, only about another 6 weeks or so and we will be back into another spring run of large West Coast Snapper, best you book your boat in for a service so you aren’t stuck at home on a variable weekend forecast! Good luck, see you out there!
Bay of Plenty
- TopCatch Tauranga Report
Well it’s great to have some good weather at last as lately the country has been taking a bit of a bashing! With the fishing truly in winter mode it can a little hit and miss but there is still some great fishing to be had Snapper at the moment can be a bit trying at times. But we are hearing that the boats in that 50-80mtrs are producing some good fish. Also those who are stray lining over the foul in and around Motiti with plenty of berley are getting great results plus a little further down like Town point and Pukehina are worth a shot. The Tarakihi have started to come on too mostly still in that 60-80mtrs but had a good customer have a great day in 30mtrs and got a bin fin(a couple of larger models ) off the side of Karewa and those local Mac Flashers doing the damage! Out wide the deep water species (blue nose,gemfish,puka)are worth a go as when you get some good weather it can be very pleasant just floating around trying to hook these tasty things. Most boats are in 350-450mtrs and around those Major knoles is still the main hunting ground but really any of those deeper areas where you find bait holding deep are worth ago! Using good bait like squid, coutta and our pick bullet tuna will improve your chances
Now to the Bluefin!
Its all on with the weather playing ball the boats have been able to get out and chase these amazing fish. With most of the fish been taken off Waihau and the Cape there has been reports of fish out the back of White island so they are starting to move up the coast so places like the Ranga’s and even Mayor are not out of the question? Like last past seasons most lures are working just keep in mind the size and that will run fairly straight, the Bonze Outlaw and Heat are a bit of a staff pick so you just need to find the bait and then the fish and run them over simple! Yeah maybe a bit more to that I think. Check the weather, check your gear and wrap up warm and get into it!!! As they will be here for a good time but not a long time, make sure you remember your ICE as these fish need to be killed ASAP and put on ice or it will all be a waste of time and effort and FISH!!! O and the Tauranga team would like to send out a congrats to Draydon Layne for the outstanding catch over the weekend 91kg SBT on 15kg !I’m picking there might some records to come!
-TopCatch Tauranga team
- TopCatch Mount Maunganui Report
Who didn’t get out over the weekend with this awesome winter weather and fishing! There’s been some good reports with the Snapper being hard on the chew along the sand in 15m to 30m with a bit of structure around. Our 3kg salmon berley an 2kg bullet tunas have been doing the job with 8/0 BKK octopus beak hooks stray lining big baits back in to the reef. Tarakihi are starting to move in closer to the shoreline reefs in good numbers. Beach fishing is still hard work still plenty fat kahawai to catch with spring just around the corner should start seeing snappers move in closer where the long rods will start coming out. Pop into the Mount Top Catch shop for your bait and burley tips!