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Steve's Fishing Report - Wellington - 29 September , 2014

Shore Fishing

Shore fishing is just starting to pick up slowly. The Wellington Surfcasting and Angling Club (WSAC) had their first shore fishing competition in trying conditions with a nice strong northerly kicking things off, then a strong southerly change about six o’clock. This pattern has been very common in the last months making fishing very challenging. Very similar conditions were experienced in comp 2 which was reflected in the number of fish weighed in. One fish of note was a live Fresh Water Eel which was weighed in and then released back into the stream it was caught in the next day. Nice to see a species under threat being released alive.

South Coast

Wainuiomata to Bach Beach has been fishing well for Blue Cod which is often not targeted off the shore, but Blue Cod can be around in good numbers this time of year. Target Blue Cod using a Long Cast Rig with a lumo bead and a strip of fresh Squid as bait. Blue Cod are a lovely eating fish and make great home-made fish and chips. The South Coast has also been fishing well for Rig, Red Cod and Gurnard which are just starting to fire up. Moki have yet to make an appearance in any numbers but won’t be far away from their return from their spawning runs. The Spiny Dog Fish have been noticeable by their absence which is great - touch wood!

East Coast

Richard Newton and some elepahnt fish

Castle Point to Palliser Bay is starting to produce good numbers of reasonable sized Gurnard with Castle Point and White Rock being the hot spots, try using fresh Trevally or Kahawai as bait on Two Hook Flasher Rigs, this seems to be the most popular and effective method among successful fisho’s. This method will also work well on all the Kahawai that are around hunting the Whitebait at the river mouths. Use White Flasher Rigs to imitate the Whitebait will give you the best results. Spotted Sharks and some big Tope Sharks are around on these beaches, also a surprising number of Elephant Fish are being taken on shellfish baits walked out as far as possible before casting out a Long Cast Rig. Pictured is Richard Newton-King with two lovely shore caught 5gk plus Elephant Fish. Burleying also increases your chances of hooking one these beautiful creatures. Be aware of the big spike that runs in line with their dorsal fin. These will cause some major damage if not treated with caution. Moki and Blue Cod should become a bit more prevalent on this coast, for those that target them fresh Squid and Mussel baits are the way to go.

West Coast

The West Coast is always slow this time of year. Having said this, there are plenty of Kahawai chasing Whitebait and a few Carpet Sharks and Red Cod hanging out at the river mouths. Snapper are starting to make an appearance around Wanganui with some massive fish up to thirty pound being taken. This coast is only going to get better as the weather warms up and the northerly winds push down some warmer water.

The Harbour

Harbour fishing has been hit and miss as of late with massive schools of Kahawai everywhere one day and nowhere to be seen the next. Red Cod and a few Snapper have been caught around Miramar Wharf and Shelly Bay on the Miramar Peninsula. The Gurnard will be moving in, in good numbers with the hot spots being Seatoun Beach, Seatoun Wharf and Miramar Wharf using a fresh bait on a Flasher Rig, or a One Hook Dropper Rig with a small glow bead above the hook, are the best rigs to use. Another spot that is often neglected is Camp Bay on the Eastbourne side of the Harbour. This is an excellent spot for Gurnard, Trevally and early season Snapper fishing, half or whole Pilchards will get best results.

In the next few months you should see the fishing getting better and better as the sea warms up. Make sure your gear is up to scratch for any planned fishing days off or planned trips away.

Tip of the month: practice bait presentation as this can often be the different between catching fish or not, along with using nice fresh bait. If you are unsure of have any questions feel free to drop by the store for a chat, flick us an email or ask us on Facebook.

That’s all from me for now, go hard - or go home! Tight lines


Boat Report

Well summer is coming! We have had some nice days out there and the weather is only going to get better from here on in. The boat is ready to go, my fishing gear serviced and the cray pots sorted. It is going to be a great summer.

The West Coast

Richard Carrington with a great gurnard

Fishing has been tough in most areas with the change of seasons moving out of winter, to spring- summer taking it’s time. Tarakihi have been the main catch for most fisho’s. Just like the South Coast, Gurnard are showing up and we have heard of a few small Snapper and the odd Kingfish, not in big numbers, but it is an encouraging start to spring as the weather gets warmer along with the water temperature. It won’t be long before the Snapper and Kingfish return. Pictured is Richard Carrington with a beautiful West Coast Gurnard.

Groper are starting to show up with most fish small in size at present, often the difference between catching the bigger fish is bait size and presentation. Groper eat whole fish and as there is no bait station or shop down below offering nice cubed bits of bait, don’t be shy on dropping whole Jack Mackerel or Tarakihi as they are part of Gropers staple diet.

Just like for all types of fishing, make sure your hooks are sharp and your trace line nice and clear. For Groper I prefer the circle type of hook and 100 – 150 lb trace line with my dropper loop short so they don’t twist around the back bone of my trace. You may even have to feather the spool (slowing the spool down) when you drop your whole baits so they don’t twist around.

The South Coast

The South Coast is starting to fish well with Gurnard showing up in good numbers with Lyall Bay and Fitzroy Bay both fishing well. When fishing for Gurnard try and find some tide or current as they love current! Flasher Rigs with strips of fillet bait size 2 – 4/0 works best. I sometime even fish with my sinker above the flasher so the hooks are hard on the bottom. It’s a bit like fishing in reverse. Most Gurnard fishing is best at anchor so try in 20 metres depth for say one hour, if no good then pull the pick and try twenty five or even thirty metres in depth. Sometimes you may only have to move two or three metres but that can make a big difference.

Just like Gurnard, Blue Cod and Tarakihi have been around in good quantities as well, with the numbers and size of the Blue Cod being the best in years. I have been out on the South Coast fishing some of the rough patches in 20 – 30 metres off the Western Ledge, and off Shark Tooth Point in thirty metres, and where Blue Cod and Tarakihi have been in good numbers. If there is one thing Blue Cod love, it’s a free feed so don’t be shy on the berley. Unlike the Gurnard, flasher rigs with sinkers on the bottom works best preferred baits would be squid or Trevally. Out wide the Groper are starting to show up but not in big numbers. Bluenose have been a bit slow but will get better. When fishing out wide make sure your hooks are sharp as rigs used on several trips the hooks will round off and can become quite blunt. So don’t be shy on sharpening those hooks, plus pay attention to your bait presentation, long and tapered works well and is the preferred option as it represents a bait fish.

The Harbour

Just like the South Coast, Gurnard are starting to move in along with some big Kahawai and nice Trevally, you do need to be patient when fishing the Harbour. Don’t be shy on using soft baits, or slow jigs as most parts of the Harbour are quite shallow, and this makes for good fishing at times. As with most fishing, berley will improve your chances and the Harbour more so than most places, as there are not many reef structures to berley onto. This means we are looking for underwater gullies or the inshore weed or rock ledges to drop our berley to take the place of reefs.

The best fishing is now ahead of us, with a bit of preparation there are some amazing fish to catch out there. Don’t forget the number one rule of boat fishing - always wear your life jacket. As well, keep your boat well maintained, let someone know where you are going, make sure the bait is as fresh as you can get, your hooks are sharp and the camera is ready to go!

Tight Lines