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Steve's Fishing Report - Wellington - December 17, 2013

Shore Report

Fishing has really picked up with the great weather we have been having, and the occasional gale force winds just serve to ensure that when you can go out fishing there are lots of fish to catch. Already this season we have had some really hot, and mill pond smooth days where the sea has been like a sheet of glass.

The Harbour

Kahawai are around in good numbers along with a lot of rat Kingfish. Make sure you check the size of your Kingfish as Kingfish need to be 75 cms to be legal size to keep. Small Snapper are almost as common as Spottys at the moment it seems. Handle these with care when you release them so they can all grow into 20lb’ers!

Gurnard are around in fair numbers and are being caught along Seatoun Beach and Miramar Wharf and are in great condition, chunky and round. Trevally are also being caught in the same areas with most fish being 1 - 1.5kg. Whilst not big fish they are still a lot of fun to catch as they are very cunning and can be quite line shy, which makes them a fun challenge to catch.

West Coast

Due to strong north westerly winds, the fishing has been a bit tough from the shore on this coast. Those anglers that have got out for a fish on the days when the wind has backed off a bit have managed to clock onto a few small Snapper along with some Gurnard and Trevally. Low tide is the preferred time to fish this coast allowing you to cast out into deeper water from the exposed rocks, if you are fishing from Paekakariki south. Or if you are fishing the big beaches from Paekakariki north, then wade out to a sand bank and then cast out into deeper water to reach those bigger fish.

If you are looking for a spot to fish over the Christmas Holidays the coastline between Te Horo and Otaki would be worth a shot for a big Snapper, use big baits of half a Paddle Crab, and vary the hook sizes you are using. If you want to give your gear a big work out, it can be fun tossing out big baits for Sting Rays, and Eagle Rays. These monsters can put up a massive fight and really give your gear a work out. Releasing these beautiful creatures back to the sea afteryou’ve landed them will help ensure that other anglers can have some fun too.

The East and South Coasts

The South Coast has had produced some good catches and some not so good. Few Moki have been caught and of those caught none have been of any real size. Lots of Blue Cod have come in close with one angler catching fourteen in a few hours one morning. Trevally should also be around the South Coast on some of the more open beaches.

Wainuiomata Beach to Castle Point on the East Coast is fishing very well for Moki, Spotted Sharks, Gurnard and Kahawai. A surprising number of Elephant Fish have been caught at Lake Ferry along with a few Snapper which is pleasing. Still a fair few Spiny Dogfish and Red Cod being caught, which is not so pleasing. Tora would be well worth a fish this time as year as is Castle Point Reef.

Other Cool Stuff

Zac Livingston Gary Whitaker, Zeb Livingston and Craig Boyes

The last shore competition for the Wellington Surfcasting And Angling Club produced some great fish. Pictured is Zac Livingston Gary Whitaker, Zeb Livingston and Craig Boyes with their combined catch of Moki and Gurnard. Note the crayfish in the picture, the boys went for a free dive before the start of the competition to catch some Crayfish to use for bait, which was used successfully to catch some beautiful Moki.

The Moki 1000 fishing competition was a great success again, and well run as always. Chad Prentice was the winner of the heaviest Moki with a lovely fish of over 4kgs. Rumour has it that he also shot a nice Deer and was able to take home some nice fresh Venison too. Lucky bugger! Competitions like this are a great excuse to head out and about and have a fun day and night on the beach with friends and family.

And to finish off, the Wellington Flyfishers Club held another of their hugely popular Capital Trout Days on Sunday the 8 December. This remarkable club fund raises and buys in a truck load of Trout to stock their pond in Wellington City and allow hundreds of kids aged between 2 and 12 to fly fish and catch and keep a Trout! All for the cost of a gold coin donation on the day. This club really gets the importance of fostering a love of fishing and the outdoors in our future generations, and put in an enormous amount of time and effort to run several of these days every year. Well done to all the members of the Wellington Flyfishers Club, truly a great thing that you do.

If you need some ideas on places to fish, or some tips and information on how to catch fish over the Christmas break, check out our Tips And Information section on our website. or drop by the shop for the latest hot spots and some expert local advice.

That’s all from me, get out there, get fishing and enjoy the festive season. Merry Christmas and wishing you all a very Happy New Year. May your stockings be filled with fishing gear, and the coming year be filled with incredible fishing.

Cheers, Felix.

Boat Report

South Coast

Matt Dobson and Gary Whitaker with Gurnard

Gurnard are still fishing well inside Lyall Bay, and in Fitzroy Bay in 20-30 metres of water, along with some wicked Trevally just to spice things up. Pictured is Gary Whitaker and Matt Dobson of Black Pearl Charters with a couple of lovely Fitzroy Bay Gurnard Tarakihi and Blue Cod have been a little patchy overall so you might have to try three or four different spots until you latch on to a few fish. This time of year one of my favourite places to fish is 5 Mile Reef on the South Coast. Timing is everything here as the tide rips through like a river. A couple of hours before high or low water works best, anchor in 60 – 80 metres and fish with tough bait, ie Squid or fillet Trevally. Big Blue Cod, Tarakihi and one or two Groper will often make up your catch fishing this area.

West Coast

With the weather improving so has the fishing, Snapper, Kingfish and Trevally numbers are a lot more consistent than they were only a few weeks ago. South of Mana down towards Boom Rock is always worth a look for Snapper. Simple cut baits on Flasher Rigs works best with 3/0 – 5/0 hooks being my preferred size. Often overlooked is the humble Kahawai, which is one of the best baits you can use as it is tough and holds on the hook well. Always remember to ensure that the barb of the hook is punched all the way through the bait, ensuring the barb of the hook is visible to ensure the fish is able to be hooked. If you are trying to catch a mixed bag of fish i.e. Snapper, Trevally, Tarakihi, etc. 3/0 hooks are your best size. But if you’re on the hunt targeting Snapper 4/0 or 5/0 hooks will do the job.

Out wider, Hunters Bank along with the North End of Kapiti are holding good numbers of Kingfish, with Hunters Bank holding big schools of Trevally. Speed jigging is probably the most common way to fish here but certainly not the only way, as often trolling Rapala Lures work or even live baits can out fish jigs. If you want to target Trevally drop your jig straight down and slow the speed that you retrieve the lure, or use 4/0 - 5/0 flasher rigs above a jig and work it slowly on the edges of the Bank. Out on the Groper grounds Fisherman’s Rock and 78 Metre Rise are starting to hold good numbers of fish with several reports of fish over 30kg being caught. If there is one thing to remember when Groper fishing timing is everything. Two hours before a tide turn is always better than two hours after. The bigger the bait the bigger the fish in the case of Groper, Groper eat whole fish as their natural prey like Tarakihi, Sea Perch etc. So don’t be shy to use large baits like whole fish such as Jack Mackerel, Terakihi, whole Squid etc.

The Harbour

All the signs are looking good for a cracker season of fishing in Wellington Harbour with good numbers of school sized Snapper along with some great Trevally. Along Kaiwharawhara is always worth a try this time of year for school Snapper, along with trolling big Rapala lures for Kingfish. When fishing for Snapper a little berley will help improve your chances. Trevally at Falcon Shoal are worth a shot, but again berley will help along with using a Kiwi Tackle Squid Rig size 3/0 don’t be surprised if you catch a few Gurnard and some Tarakihi as well.

Over the next few weeks the Kingfish numbers will improve a lot, so try putting a live bait out at anchor or trolling large bib lures such as Rapala X Wrap or Berkely Monster Lures

Well as another year draws to close I hope you have all enjoyed lots of fishing, and wish you all the very best for 2014. Have a wonderful Christmas, catch lots of fish, be safe, remember those life jackets and always check the conditions before you leave.

Tight Lines and Hot Side Plates