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Fishing Report of 11 November

BY Alan Proctor

Mercury Bay | Thu November 13, 2014

The weather is offering us a bit of a mixed bag for now and the fishing seems to be headed down the same track. In recent weeks, the Puddle has proven the place to be with large numbers of adult snapper accumulating in this area in preparation for the spawning season. Typically these fish are of good size and in really good condition and most fishers have done well in this region, including quite a few of the commercial boats.

I have received a few reports this week though, suggesting it just got a little more difficult out there and although there are still fish to be caught, many may have started their move on to the spawning grounds. The website I am using did show a 0.5 degree increase in water temperature around the northern Coromandel this week and although we are still about one degree shy of what the snapper need to trigger the spawning event, this small increase in temperature may have been just enough to get the fish thinking about it anyway. Most of these fish will soon head around the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula to the northern Firth of Thames where all the activity will take place.

It’s not all doom and gloom for locals though, as many fish will still remain in our area. With estimates of between 40 and 60 million snapper in the Hauraki Gulf the numbers are all relative - after all we are only allowed to catch and keep seven each at the most.

Whilst fishing in the Puddle may have become a little slower, there are still snapper there and fishers are also catching gurnard on the sand. The best place to target snapper may be a little closer in with these fish generally seeming to prefer the shallower water at the moment. A couple of beauties (one over 20lb and one not much under) were caught a fair way further out, but still close enough to the rocks that you could almost touch them from the boat.

Further south within Mercury Bay, reports are coming in that fishing is very patchy.

Certainly some very good size snapper in fairly close along the north western edge of the Bay and a few john dory as well if you’re there at the right time. The odd very respectable snapper and trevally are also starting to visit the river, although still not in any great numbers.

Undulations on the seafloor caused by recent wave action have apparently hampered the efforts of commercial scallopers and I strongly suggest that if you are looking for a feed yourselves, popping over the side and picking them up is a far better method than dragging your dredge along the seafloor.

Tight lines,

Alan


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