Fishing Report - Issue 943

06 Jan 2022

It’s that time of year when our local towns and villages’ populations swell significantly as people clamour to enjoy our beautiful beaches and sunshine. High on the agenda of many is to get out and fish in some of the best fishing waters our country has to offer. Around Christmas and New Year, these efforts are often frustrated by strong winds and this year has been no exception, with southerly quarter winds prevailing up until New Year and now consistently strong easterlies making offshore fishing uncomfortable.

As usual however, some people are having a pretty good time of things in spite of the conditions. One of the great benefits of this part of the country is that there is plenty of shelter on offer and those areas do tend to offer fairly productive fishing - certainly enough for a feed.

This time of the year tends to favour fishing over the sand using drifted baits, soft baits and sliders. Best results at the moment are being achieved by fishers drifting over the sand. Strong winds mean two things are required - sufficient weight on you rig to remain in touch with the bottom and slowing down your drift to a reasonable rate. The rule of thumb is to keep your drift below 1kt.

If you are using drifted baits with a running trace, add a 2 - 4oz. sinker above the swivel. If you are not using a running rig, place a couple of ounces immediately above the hook. Keeping in touch with the bottom is essential. Ledger rigs will do the trick as well, again provided you remain in touch with the bottom.

Many people underestimate the importance of a good sea anchor when drifting. If you are using sliders and the line is well out the back of your boat, your drift is too fast. Attaching a good sized drogue to the stern of your boat will not only slow your boat down, it will also provide you with a much more comfortable ride when in choppy seas. You are far better to have a drogue bigger than required than a drogue that is too small.

There are reports of some good kingfish being landed around some of our rocky outcrops. Early mornings, along with plenty of current, as usual, seem to be the key when chasing these guys. Live baits and floating stick baits are doing the damage. When the kingis are on, it’s not hard to get a bunch of hook-ups. Set a maximum of one fish per angler and preserve this fantastic fishery for future generations. 

Live baits are being caught on sabikis in the early morning shadows and in some cases bait nets in the surf are proving successful. In some cases, the number of baitfish at the shoreline is significant, so keep your drag short so as not to catch too many baitfish resulting in wastage.

Clearly this is a summer when you will need to keep a close eye on the weather and pick your fishing times with care. Early morning and late evenings will likely offer the best weather conditions and the best outcomes, so set your alarm and get out amongst it before the wind gets up.

Grant Lonergan

Highly experienced angler from Opito Bay


Sponsored by Mercury Bay Marine


Pictured: Boats departing Whitianga on Monday this week for a day on the water.