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Steve's Fishing Report - Wellington - December 23, 2012


Shore Fishing


Well it’s Christmas time, that time when the big fat man comes down your chimney, gives you presents, and drinks your beer. Lots of you must have been really, really good if the amount of fishing tackle bought by wives and girlfriends that raced out of the store is any indication. So those of you lucky enough to get fishing tackle, get out there and test your new gear, and work off that Christmas ham.

Jack n fish

Fishing is heating up! In the Harbour the Snapper are becoming a regular catch, though small in size. When releasing undersize Snapper take care how you handle them as these small Snapper are our future breeding stock. Elephant fish are being caught around Oriental Bay to Balena Bay with one notable catch being a 7kg fish caught on fresh squid bait. Pictured is keen junior Wellington angler Jack Tregidga with his nice Elephant fish he caught in the Harbour. Check out our Surfcasting Wellington Harbour link to get some ideas for fishing in the Harbour.

Night Owls have been catching good numbers of Mackerel and have cottoned on to some good schools of Warehou up to 4 kg in size. Bite time for these fish has been between 12.00 - 2.00 am! Kingfish are in too, fish up to 28kg + have been hooked and lost, and a few rat Kingfish have been landed, this is a positive sign for the upcoming months.

Up the West Coast there have been good catches of Snapper with anglers catching close to their limit, with the biggest I‘ve heard of being a lovely 8.5kg fish. Fish like these are worth targeting from now through to early April off beaches like Te Horo, Otaki and Santoff particularly on a rising tide in the evening. It is important to be aware of the swell as anything over 1 metre can make fishing really challenging.

South Coast (Red Rocks) right around up the East Coast to Castle Point has been fishing well for Gurnard, Moki and Rig. Wairarapa Surfcasting Club Members have been having some wicked Gurnard fishing from the Reef at Castle Point. This whole coastline is only going to fish better as the weather and the water gets warmer. Gurnard numbers should become even more prolific. While fishing these areas particularly Palliser Bay, make an effort to live bait for Kingfish using a slide bait method, or cast around some whole pilchards for the odd 20 – 28 pound Snapper that cruses these steep beach drop offs.

Steve and I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Patrick Sebile of Sebile Innovative Fishing lure fame. Patrick is one of the most passionate, humorous and knowledgeable fishermen we have ever had the pleasure to meet. He has fished in over 60 countries, has caught more than seven hundred species of fish, and holds over three hundred world records, and on top of that is an all round good bloke. We were lucky enough to see and try out dozens of his lures, many of which are not yet available in New Zealand. We are very impressed with the workmanship, engineering skills and knowledge Patrick applies to his lures. Check out this You Tube Clip in which another fish follows a Sebile Lure thinking it is another fish – Sebile lures are incredible.

Hope you all have a great Christmas and a fish filled New Year, bring on the warmer weather and a summer of great fishing.


Boat Report


Well it is that time of year when you break out the weed spray and throw away the paint brush, because there is simply far more important things to do! No 1 on my list is make the most of Summer and go fishing as much as I can. With the fishing starting to hot up all over the Wellington region you should make the most of it. Those fishos going on holiday - good luck, tight lines and be safe, the lucky ones staying in Wellington, check the weather, grab some berley and bait and go hard. Over the last few weeks the fishing has just got better by the day with customers reporting good catches of Snapper and Kingfish on the West Coast, along with plenty of Tarakihi.

West Coast

Most of the Snapper are being caught on the sand and shingle in 10 – 30 metres of water on Flasher Rigs with cubes of Pilchards and Trevally for bait, worthy of note is those fisho’s using berley are finding the fishing much more consistent than those that do not use berely. If you want to try for a 10kg plus fish, stray line with a 6-8/0 hook and big baits ie whole Pilchards / whole Squids or even fillets of Kahawai work well too. A magnificent catch was this monster 26lb Snapper caught on Wellingtons West Coast by local angler Vinnie Mennon.

James n fish

Kingfish are in good numbers at the Northern end of Kapiti, inside Kapiti, and Hunters Bank. Jig fishing is the most popular method, but for those not jig minded, trolling large bib lures works well try using a Berkley Monster Lure 18CM Rangger Lure, the larger the lure the better. Make sure you Leader up your lures with 30 metres of 100lb to 150lb mono, and if trolling or jigging isn’t for you - then live bait with Mackerel, Kahawai, or whole Tarakihi can work very well. Live bait under a balloon with 2 – 3 metres 100 – 150 lb trace line, or with a sinker, rather than a balloon, to get the bait fish down to the bottom. Other places to try over the next few weeks for Kingfish would be Boom Rock, Te Kamaru Bank just South of Makara, and the North End of Mana Island on the West Coast.

The Harbour

Just like the West Coast, the Harbour is starting to fire up with Falcon Shoal, the Wreck and Hope Shoal all holding good number of Gurnard, Elephant Fish and Tarakihi. While Snapper numbers are improving and there are a few being caught, you do work hard for them in the Harbour this time of year. Unlike the West Coast, the Harbour fishes better for Snapper February and March. That is not to say you won’t catch on or two this time of year, so don’t be too surprised if you do. Kingfish have returned and are mostly small and under size fish, but there are some chunky fish showing up among the schools of Kahawai so a live bait under a balloon wouldn’t be silly.

The South Coast

Out Wide on the South Coast Groper are starting to move in and are being caught in around 90 - 130 metres along with big Blue Cod and Tarakihi. In shore - Fitzroy Bay and Lyall Bay on the sand are fishing well for Gurnard, along with the odd Trevally. Western Ledge is fishing very well for Tarakihi and Blue Cod.

Three Place that are worth a try over the holidays are:

1. West Coast. Northern end of Big Bay with a rising tide. Anchor just off the rough ground in 12 – 15 meters. Berley is a must but bring your berley pot one third off the bottom so it will drift to the rough ground and around the corner of the Bay. Big baits on stray line rigs with as light a sinker as you can use to still stay in touch with your bait is best. Whole Squids or Pilchard is my favourite choice of bait and a very slow retrieve of your bait will improve your chance should you try here. Minimum line weigh on your reel should be 10 kg as there are some chunky fish here at time.

2. South Coast. Western Ledge for Tarakihi and Blue Cod is a nice easy place to get to and not too far from shore. It can be very tidal here so fish over the turn of the tide is best. Anchor up and use Flasher Rigs for the Tarakihi and Blue Cod, and as with most fishing berley will improve your catch. It is also worth putting a live bait out for Kingfish as there are some good Pinnacles here and Kingfish are lurking around this area this time of year.

3. Harbour. Falcon Shoal is always worth a fish for Gurnard trevally and Snapper etc. over summer. Like all fishing, berley will help draw the fish to you, along with small baits and light traces which will help as well. When fishing the Harbour I like to use spin rods or soft bait rod and reel sets as this adds to the fun.

Happy Christmas, and very best wishes for 2013. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your fishing