Fishing Report - Issue 960

27 Jul 2021

With water temperatures in the Bay dropping to 11°C and the recent rainfalls causing a lot of fresh and dirty water close in, the fishing was not too favourable. There is also quite a lot of debris and logs floating out and around in the Bay after the heavy rains, so be careful when heading out as most of these are semi submerged.

Live bait is there, but scattered and a bit  further out in cleaner water around the 18m mark.

Off the wharf - There is plenty of parore close in. These these fish are quite an underrated eating fish (but only when prepared properly for eating). Use small hooks (2/0) and slithers of fresh mussel bait, and use light gear with 8lb braid/trace.

Parore are bottom feeders and normally eat weed and algae, but they will take mussels or pipis and are normally found in calmer water around structures such as pontoons and wharfs.

When filleting parore, it’s best to cut the gut cavity out completely (including the black gut lining) as it will taint the fillets if you don’t.

While at the wharf, put down some size 12 sabikis to catch live baits. Keep a bucket handy and use the same light gear with a 7/0 hook through the nose of the live bait to attract john dory. Don’t forget, parore and john dory will nearly always head into structures to escape, so you have to be quick once you hook them on.

Keep your baits off the bottom, otherwise you have a good chance of hooking up one of the resident stingrays down there.

Last light or first light is the best time for doing this, although night fishing off the wharf in Whitianga is exceptional especially at slack tide. Remember your size and catch limits, fish sustainably.

A bit of wharf courtesy - if you have a line in the water and a boat comes in to berth, make sure you lift you lines out and stay clear unit the boat is tied up alongside. The boat can’t manoeuvre around your line. It’s easier and safter for you to wind in and then reset you line once the boat has berthed. Often skippers won’t see a line in the water as they will be concentrating on their approach to the wharf.

Out wide - Southern bluefin tuna are migrating north through the Aldermens (and eventually heading up past Red Merc and off Cuvier) with some impressive catches coming in daily. We would expect to see these fish out beyond the 12nm marks and in deeper water (1,000m plus) although they have been known to come into shallower grounds (550 - 750m).

When heading out, remember the fuel rule - three times a  third, 1/3 of a tank to get out, 1/3 of a tank to get back and 1/3 in reserve.

Night fishing - The commercial scallop season has commenced with boats operating off Great Mercury Island. If you are fishing at night, please ensure you have your lights on so crew and skippers of these larger commercial vessels can see you.

For those kayakers heading out in the early hours of the morning or out late evening, it’s important for you to understand that is very hard to see anything low on the surface in poor light. Even vessels fitted and using radar will often not pick you up until they are very close. A good quality 3M reflective tape is a good idea to use over and under your kayak. It makes spotting you a lot easier and of course a white light is a great idea. Headlamp LEDs work well - one on the front of the head and one on the back as well. They are cheap, durable and  lightweight.

Keep safe out there. Watch the weather and if in doubt, don’t go out.

Tony Marsters
Warfish Charters
Phone (021) 298 5750

Pictured: Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club member, Blair Harkin, with a 94.6kg southern bluefin tuna
he weighed at the Whitianga Wharf on Wednesday last week.

The Informer Fishing Report proudly sponsored by Mercury Bay Marine.