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Steve's Fishing Report - Wellington - February 15, 2014

Shore Report

Wow the year is flying by, already nearing the middle of February! In general the weather has been tough with reasonably strong southerlies one day and then a stonking northerly the next.

The Harbour

Despite the tough weather the Harbour has been fishing very well for Kingfish, Snapper, Kahawai and Elephant Fish. Most fish have been taken in Evans Bay and Oriental Bay using light 30 – 40lb one hook trace for the bottom feeders, and a 100lb live bait trace for the Kingfish. Pictured is Bernhardt Schiftner of Kiwi Tackle fame with another nice live bait caught Kingfish. Bernhardt Schiftner Whilst there are a lot of fish caught in these two areas it’s well worth fishing the Eastbourne side of the Harbour too, as there have been a number of Kingfish caught and some big Snapper lost to the kelp and rocks. Kahawai have been schooling up throughout the Harbour in big numbers at times so it is well worth always carrying around a spinner in your kit as you never know when a big school will pop up.

Delighting Wellingtonians have been several big pods of Dolphins in the Harbour, with traffic in Evans Bay coming to a standstill to watch big numbers of Dolphins frolicking close inshore and ducking and diving around the Kayakers and small boats in the area. It was however disappointing to see a jet skier repeatedly running over the top of the spread out pod. While most people enjoy close encounters with Dolphins, Dolphins should always be treated with respect and not endangered by reckless and thoughtless people.

I also watched a large pod of Orca Whales cruising down Wellingtons South Coast, and to the delight of onlookers they actually swam through the narrow channel between Island Bay and the Island it is named for. Orcas are occasional visitors to Wellington Harbour and also stop traffic when they cruise close inshore looking for tasty basking Rays to snack on.

South Coast

The South Coast has been fishing well for Moki in the early hours of the morning west of Devils Gate, with good numbers of Tarakihi being taken here too. Pencarrow to Cape Pallier has also been fishing well for Spotted Sharks, Kahawai and a surprising number of Snapper in the 2 – 4 kg range. This, according to locals in the area is due to weed beds and shellfish beds being uncovered as a lot of slips on the coast have been controlled, therefore there is less sediment covering the shellfish / weed beds.

Cape Palliser to Castle Point is fishing very well for Gurnard, Moki and small Spotted Sharks, favoured baits at the moment is Prawn or Paddle Crab. There have also been a few Kingfish taken at Castlepoint on live Kahawai. If you look to be adventuresome, try live baiting some of the other rock ledges along the East Coast, such as White Rock and Flatpoint.

West Coast

The West Coast has been tough to shore fish with the strong northerlies and southerlies we have been having. However there have been a few good catches of Snapper and Kahawai north of Waikanae, this area is only going to get better and better over the next couple of months.

Hope you all had a great break and a good New Year and that you are looking forward to some of the best fishing months ahead.

Cheers, Felix.

Boat Report

The Harbour

Large numbers of Kahawai have made their presence felt, making it hard to catch much else at times. When you can get past the Kahawai there are still good numbers of Gurnard around, along with the occasional Elephant Fish. Due to the number of Kahawai around, there are some good sized Kingfish to be had as well. Live bait at anchor or use poppers and stick baits around some of the reefs and marker poles in the Harbour are well worth a try. Snapper are around but numbers are patchy though it will get better with April and May usually the best months. As is the case with most boat fishing, berley is your best friend so take plenty of berley on your harbour venture.

West Coast

The West Coast is fishing well with Snapper and Kingfish around in good numbers. Pictured is Vinnie Menon and Mark Pandelidis with a couple of really nice West Coast Kingfish. Vinnie Menon and Mark Pandelidis With the wind holding us back for nearly all of January, February and March should be fantastic on the days you can get out. Berley up for Snapper at the Bridge between Mana Island and the main land and or south down to Makara is also proving well worth the trip down.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Bridge at Mana, it is actually a shallow underwater bank that connects the island with the main land and depending on the tide can be as shallow as only four metres deep. In the days of the early settlers legend has it that sheep and cattle were driven across it at low tide.

Personally I have found fishing shallow water in fifteen metres or less is where it's at for the good fishing. We have seen a lot of Kingfish as well when we are at anchor, so it’s well worth a troll around the reefs or put a live bait down when Snapper fishing. Along with the Snapper we have had some very good Trevally fishing as well. If you want to have crack for some Trevally make your baits a lot smaller and use lighter sinkers. This is me with a nice Snapper I caught while fishing in perferct condions. Out on the water on day like this makes you feel lucky indeed, and a nice fish is a bonus! Snapper Steve

Albacore Tuna are showing up with many reports of fish between 8 and 10kg. They are a bit patchy due to the southerly winds dropping the water temperature however with a few good warm northerly winds it will soon warm up again. Those Jig fisho’s out there have had a feast while jigging for Kingfish, with Hunters Bank / North End of Kapiti and the North End of Mana all fishing well when the weather allows. One of the hot lures at the moment is the feathered Boon Tuna Treat in Hot Pink Pictured below is Felix Wenzel with a nice West Coast Albacore Tuna. Felix Albacore

South Coast

With the wind blowing its, well you can use your imagination for the appropriate word, most of the time, it has been hard to get out. For those lucky enough to have been out Bluenose are still fishing well, along with Groper out wide. Inshore Blue Cod have been a little patchy along with the Tarakihi, mainly due to the wind making it hard to get out and actually catch them!. On a positive note due the weather of late, most of the inshore reefs should be holding plenty of fish. Like the West Coast, Albacore Tuna can be caught on the South Coast so if you do plan a trip out wide it could be worth a troll for Albacore Tuna.

Hoping for the wind to slow down and stop ASAP! Tight lines, and enjoy your fishing despite the challenging summer weather.