Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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Excellent fishing when weather allowed

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We’ve had a month of mixed weather providing good results on days we could venture out.

Starting off strongly we had a good hapuka trip out to Mayor Island with a group of lads from the Taranaki. 

As we ventured out from the marina I was sure this would be a trip to remember with the weather and tides lining up nicely. The boys wanted to catch something they hadn’t caught before, so we skipped past the snapper and tarikihi spots that are always so tempting, straight on to the 200m grounds.

With a first and second unsuccessful drop you could feel the mood changing, but it was worth one more try before heading to the island. We dropped down and almost immediately one of the lines was buckled over with a nice hapuka and another two with a 20kg ling.

This catch had two hooks from different lines making for a bit of a healthy debate between anglers as to who caught it first. A few gemfish hit the deck as well before we headed off for a couple of hours sleep before day break.

Eddie Leog was among the happy fishers on the charter trip.


Over the moon

About 5am the engine fired and we were heading out in near perfect conditions. On the steam out we joked we only needed a bluenose and bass to make it a perfect trip – and that we did within the first couple of drops. All of the lads managed to catch at least one fish species they had never caught before and they were all over the moon. 

On the weekdays we managed a few amazing day trips hitting the snapper schools out at 50m. On one such trip people were catching up to three legal snapper – known as a triple header – at a time. The low tide change produced awesome fishing. We had our limit of snapper within 45 minutes so headed out deeper to some rocks that we haven’t fished in a few seasons.

One of these went off with lots of tarakihi and multiple golden snapper at one time. By the end of the day all bins were full and limits were reached and it was time to head home. With such quality, well-conditioned fish, friends and family would be reaping the benefits of one of the best trips of the season.

Overnight venture

Venturing out on overnight fishing adventures, we headed straight out to the 50m-60m areas looking for fish schooling around foul ground on the bottom. We usually find around the change of light that the smaller schooling fish are slow on the bite while the larger snapper become more confident in their feeding, effectively beating them to the bait.

Stopping for a quick fish on the way to Mayor Island is always good fun and puts some nice eating fish in the fish bins. Most snapper were between 1.5kg and 4kg. Once the fish come off the bite after dark, we continue on our way while the barbecue fires and the kettle boils.

Once at the island we anchor on a sheltered reef and berley up, picking up the odd stray snapper along with porae. The main target though is the bait fish in the berley trail for fresh baits the following day.

People crash out at different times during the night when they can no longer keep their eyes open. As the alarm goes off at 4am and engine checks and a quick walk around the boat are complete, you can see the keen fishos are back up out of bed. These are usually the ones that were still going in the early hours of the morning. A 30-minute steam out from the Island in glass-out conditions automatically increases everyone’s spirits.

Deckhand Shane Thompson managed his personal best, a 24kg bluenose.


Hapuka and gemfish

On the ground in around the 200m mark we drop the fresh baits and any ‘livies’ we managed to catch during the night. A few 8kg-12 kg hapuka and multiple gemfish come up. The only problem with the flat conditions is with no wind the drift becomes unpredictable. This causes a few tangles slowing down the day a bit.

Around the high tide we move off to the bluenose grounds dropping straight on top of the school, with every line on the boat hooking up, some with multiple bluenose. One of the hire electric reels brought up three 15kg fish at once. Deckhand Shane Thompson managed his personal best, a 24kg bluenose. After two bluenose drifts we have more than enough fish. We head home trolling along the way, picking up a few nice skipjack tuna and some albacore to finish the trip off nicely. 

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