Winter Fishing Report June/July 2015
The Coromandel has definitely had a fiery temper the last few months. We’ve had the artic blows and the heavy rain and inbetween we’ve experienced some of the Coromandel’s calmness, producing huge fish and in plentiful supply. As is often the case with winter fishing it’s a bit of a treasure trove out there. The spots haven’t being seeing the regular boat pressure so numbers are high and often the species range varies considerably making it really exciting for the anglers. I’ll endeavour to outline what the Epic team have been up to over the June / July winter months and then I’ll present you with the exciting developments for the upcoming months also.
The mighty Kingfish have spread themselves out a fair bit over the last few months. I’ve struck plentiful numbers on all the inshore reefs as well as the usual haunt’s like the Alderman Pins and Cuvier Island. The most obvious thing has been the shift from the kingies congregating on top of the structure to more often than not settling on the drop offs or even out wide on the mud. It often pays to really explore any area you are targeting as you just never know what’s hiding out on the edges. The jigs have been finally getting slammed pretty frequently so that’s been a great relief as the bait supplies have at times been thin. I’m picking the average size of the kingies over June and July had hovered around 16kg with a few beauty’s hitting into the 20plus kg bracket.
Rumour has it the Hapuka have made a presence in as shallow as 40 metres in the last few weeks of July. The hook has had the odd fish but it’s a very late start for these beauties. Bluenose and bass are plentiful on the 450 mtr line if you have the fuel budget to carry you there. Guys have been dropping sword baits as well whilst in these vicinity’s but it’s been slow on that front.
Snapper Mercury bay
There’s loads of snapper still in the bay especially in the last few hours of daylight whilst laying a long burley trail and soaking some baits. Out a bit wider. The Mercury Island produced great fat snapper in the 2 to 6 kg bracket consistently all winter long primarily on bait. The 80 mtr line on broken fowl with lots of mud around it has had excellent results with some of the biggest snapper being pulled from those vicinity’s. Excellent fun if you’re confident in your knowledge of the area and your sounder to identify them.
Snapper Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel
The Firth of Thames and Hauraki Gulf is alive with spring snapper work up action. Find the gannets diving and you will have found the snapper and kingfish. These sessions are epic. The crashing of the gannets from 60 ft. or so above the boats hurtling into the water by their hundreds is a sight and sound every fisherman should experience. The best methods in these situations are using either sliders or slow jigs. They get down fast and often there is no rod action required at all before you are solidly hooked up on the fat well-conditioned snapper. Some of the fish out of these work ups are hitting the 9 and 10 kg bracket so it’s a very rewarding session generally. Please take enough for a feed only as it’s very easy to let the numbers collect up quickly and before you know it you have fish you can’t utilise. Epic Adventures still place a huge emphasis on taking enough for a feed and then taking a fast picture and releasing the fish for someone else to play with another day. I’ve also found the soft baiting to be epic. I target a lot of snapper in 2.5 to 5 metres of water. A very stealthy approach is needed to pull off this style of fishing. Very light outfits with the lightest jig head possible to allow for a very slow flutter through the water column. Epic Adventures now offers this style of fishing as an option and can be booked on line. We are excited about offering this to our clients as an alternative option especially for multi day bookings where a bit of diversity is required. I took Roy Veal out and demonstrated the techniques to many of my usual haunts in the Firth of Thames and the Coromandel area and he had a blast. The following week I was dying to get my two boys out into the action also so off we went nailing huge snapper on soft baits in an epic two hour snapper session. The Hauraki Gulf and the Coromandel/Firth of Thames areas are so dynamic as they have hundreds of islands and secluded bays to hide out of almost any wind and the fishing is first class. If you haven’t caught sizable snapper or feel like you need some tuition in refining your skills or learning new ones it is money well spent.
Baits been hard. The usually haunts are slow. It appears the Mackie’s are around any clump of fowl at present. Find the foul and a bit of shelter and you’ll generally get enough especially if you lay a nice burley trail also.
This is the exciting part. We are nearing the absolute dynamite time of year for the biggest, hardest kingies you will strike on the Coromandel. If you haven’t already booked it might pay to think about doing it quickly as this time of year from August on is famous for fulfilling some personal bests. The snapper especially on the Western side of the Coromandel Peninisula and up into the Firth of Thames and out into the Hauraki Gulf will be frantic. Endless lure options become available to you as the fish are hungry and plentiful. Our skippers have had a little bit of downtime to recharge there batteries over winter so we can offer you our rejuvinated skills. Even young skipper Chase managed a pig caught by hand on the way home after a rock fishing mission with our other skipper Owen. The Epic crew are fully pumped and rearing to go. Hope to see you guys soon.