Hapuka Fishing for the dwellers of the deep
Hapuka fishing for the deep water species is a very interesting form of fishing, with many different species available to be caught. The deep water knolls out of Tauranga have caught many trophy fish over the years, and are continuing to product these beautiful eating, hard fighting monsters of the deep.
The main target species when hapuka fishing are hapuka, bass, bluenose and gemfish. These are the most common species caught but the by catch consists of a very interesting mix of species. rays brim, ling, frostfish, tarakihi, and spotted gurnard are just some of the weird and wonderful creatures to be caught out of Tauranga.
Hapuka and bass have a similar looks and colouration with the Hapuka tending to be slightly longer, with a more distinct colour separation on the fishes skin. Hapuka don’t grow to the same size as bass and therefore a 35kg Hapuka is a big fish. Bass however, can grow well over this weight, with the current world record sitting at around 80kg.
Winter is generally the time of year fisherman start readying their gear for some serious hapuka fishing. Though there is good hapuka fishing year round, winter time can often provide cold but settled periods of weather which allow us to get out to the deeper grounds where the bigger fish tend to congregate. The fish tend to come into shallower water to spawn over the summer months.
Most of our hapuka fishing takes place between 180m-450m. Often the bigger fish are caught in the deeper water, but this is certainly a trend rather than a rule, as there have been some big fish pulled up recently from under 200m.
The tackle generally used for hapuka fishing is a 15kg - 37kg rod and reel, with a kidney harness and gimbal to ease the pressure of fishing such deep water. Ledger rigs with 32oz sinkers, and circle hooks are the main rigs used when targeting the deep water fish.
Hapuka fishing can be hard work, but is an extremely rewarding form of fishing and can produce some of the finest eating fish New Zealand has to offer. Quite possibly the most enjoyable aspect of the fishing is never knowing what is going to come up next! Get out there and give it a shot. Hapuka, bass, bluenose and gemfish are all likely targets when fishing the deep water knolls around Tauranga.
What You Need
+ Chilly Bin
+ Rod and reel (optional)
+ 32oz Hapuka Bombs, cirle hooks, 200-300lb trace
+ Gimbal (optional)
+ Bait (optional)