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Steve's Fishing Report - Wellington - January 25, 2013

Shore Fishing

Happy New Year to all!

Fishing Wellington Harbour

Gary's harbour kingfishAnglers have been very active fishing all sides of the Harbour from Eastbourne through to Seatoun. Whole Kahawai have been a dominant catch of late, Kahawai are now giving way to Snapper up to 12lb, as well as a few Kingfish and Gurnard. There have been massive schools of Kahawai seen in Oriental Bay, Evans Bay and as far around as Worser Bay, a sight not commonly seen in this area. If you see birds working the schools of Kahawai, spinning with a lure is by far the most effective way to catch Kahawai. If there are no birds to be seen, tossing out a whole Pilchard under a balloon or a float works too, and you may even catch a Kingfish.

Wellington Surfcasting and Angling Club member Gary Whitaker caught this lovely solid 11 kg plus Kingfish from Oriental Bay during a Fishing Club social fish. Evening fishing around the Point Halswell area has been productive for Tarakihi and there is always a good chance of a solid Snapper around this area.

South Coast Fishing

Palliser Bay has had large schools of Kahawai being pushed almost up the beach they were in such numbers. Spotted Sharks have been fickle in this area; however there are some around so still worth a shot. There are still a few Red Cod being caught, using flasher rigs with oily baits is working a treat.

East Coast from Cape Palliser to Castlepoint

This area is fishing very well for Moki, Gurnard, Kahawai and even the odd Snapper, with one solid 10kg plus taken off the high top (the top ledge) of Castle Point Reef. The East Cape is a huge area and well worth sussing out as there are kilometres of untapped beaches and rocks with huge potential. Crab, Mussel and oily fish bait are worth using on Kiwi Tackle 2 x Longcast D Crabber Float Traces or 2/0 Steve’s Fishing Shop Flasher Rigs.

As the water temperatures rise, anglers are reporting increased activity on the West Coast with big schools of Kahawai pushing right up to the beach at Paekakariki. And some lucky enough to be clocking on to numbers of Snapper, and the odd Kingfish from the Makara area.

kids at work There are large numbers of kids out there fishing Wellingtons many easy access fishing areas, and if you are one of the many less experienced fishing parents out there that need a bit of advice or help check out our tips for fishing with kids for some ideas, or just get in touch. We are big supporters of getting kids out there fishing.

Hot Spot for shore fishing at present would be the deep waters off Evans Bay, with no one spot being better than any other. Fish with a one 3/0 hook ledger rig with nice fresh strips of fillet bait such as Trevally or salted Mackerel. Because it is such deep water you can fish here during the day as well as the more popular change of light times. You have a good chance of catching a decent Snapper during daylight hours.

Get out there, get amongst it, have fun and hope to see you out there doing it.


Boat Report

Well, the next 4 – 5 months are when Wellington fishing shows its true potential, with all Coasts starting to fire up. So if you own any fishing gear, dust off the cobwebs and make the most of summer and get out there doing it!

Wellington Harbour.

With so many Kahawai around and plenty of bait fish, it’s no surprise there are Kingfish and Snapper showing up. For the boaties that want to have a crack for a Kingfish, one of the most effective ways would be to anchor where there is some tide, and berley up like you would for Snapper or Trevally. As the Harbour is mostly fairly shallow lift your berley well off the bottom so as to cover more ground. If the tide slows right down lift berley to the surface so it gives good coverage.

This way you can fish with light traces for Snapper, Gurnard, etc. on a ledger rig, and live bait at the same time. Again, because the Harbour is mostly quite shallow, use a balloon to support your live bait as this helps keep it under control so it doesn’t get tangled around your other lines and berley pot. Small Kahawai or Mackerel are the best bait here, and they won’t take long to catch in your berley trail. Don’t make your trace too heavy or too long, 4 -6 ft. of 60 / 80 lb. and a 6 or 8/0 hook. We wait a long time Wellington for the kingfish to show up and with plenty of great fish being seen, now is the time to have a crack.

South Coast

In shore reefs are holding big numbers of Tarakihi along with Blue Cod as usual for the time of year. There seems to be more Tarakihi around than Blue Cod. Try lifting your berley pot off the bottom more than usual to allow the berley to drift back and over a wider area. This will bring schools of Tarakihi into the berley trail, also wind your rigs off the bottom to be in line with your berley. It will also stop you catching all the small Cod and Parrot fish etc. that hang close to the bottom. Larger Blue Cod will leave the bottom for your berley so you will still catch them. Small flasher Rigs with strop baits work well here.

If you have a spare rod and reel set, try sending down a live bait for Kingfish, whole Blue Cod or Tarakihi are just the trick as a great live bait. Use a running rig with 80 – 100 lb. trace with a 6/0 or 8/0 hook, and about an 8 to 10 oz. lead sinker to get the bait down. Just like last month, out wide in Cook Strait Bluenose are still fishing well with Groper being a bit patchy at best. Bluenose numbers have been a real surprise with many reports of good catches. If you are going to fish out wide it is also worth trolling for an Albacore Tuna as well, when looking for some ledges to drift up those baits for Bluenose or Groper.

West Coast

Snapper have shown up in big number from South Makara north, with many fisho’s reporting bag limits each time they go out with even the kayak fisho’s doing well. Most of the fish are between the 1-2 kg mark with the odd bigger fish thrown in. When the kayak fisho’s are catching good number of snapper it tells us you don’t need to go too far off shore to catch them. One of the key ingredients for catching Snapper is berley. As the water is getting very warm don’t cut all your plastic off your berley bomb as they won’t last. Just cut a few strips out of the bait. It appear almost any sandy headland near a reef on the west Coast an you have a good chance of catching a few snapper, to catch number of Snapper Kiwi Tackle Pink Lumo Squid Rigs work very well, or for large fish stray line baits.

A serious kingfishGroper have slowed down compared to November when it was crazy down South Makara. At times there were more boats down there than you see in a boat yard, but Groper are still being caught at 76 Metre Rise, The Bumps and south of Hunters Bank all holding fish. There are many more spots for Groper on the West so if you find a ledge, a hole, or a patch of foul ground, give it a go. A worthy catch recently was Murray Davis’s 30kg+ Bass caught out in Cook Strait. Kingfish are like the Snapper, all over the West Coast with Jig fisho’s doing well at the usual spots south of Plimmerton down to Ohau Point holding good numbers of Kingfish, and it is well worth a troll with lures, or better still, a live bait when at anchor Snapper fishing. Check out this magnificent Kingfish caught spear fishing near Kapiti.

# News Flash #

Just in - we have had reports of Albacore tuna being caught out off Hunters Bank and behind Mana Island. Not yet in big numbers but good sized fish 10 – 12 kgs. I can’t wait for the chance to get out and catch a few!

Good Luck, Tight Line, hope to see you out there!