We’ve had another week of average fishing, with pretty well all areas being similar, with short bite times meaning if you weren’t onto it when the fish were going, there wouldn’t be another chance. Town Pt and Middle ground were slow, although we got 2 legal kingies, first for some time. Saturday was an exception though, heaps of S.E. current outside Motiti, so we tried the Western edge and had a really good day on the tarakihi. Things were looking up!
Naturally we went there on Sunday, but wind and current had changed again and fishing was a lot slower, although everyone still got a few, so ok given the conditions
Inexperience and being unwilling to adapt to local conditions are some of the problem. It’s not Auckland or Coromandel, and we’re not fishing in 10-15m of water for starters. Little sinkers, big hooks, big baits and winding the sinkers off the bottom are the main issues, and it’s more common now than it used to be.
We’re generally targeting tarakihi in 30 – 60m, sometimes deeper if necessary. They’re cunning, finicky fish, and you have to go to them, they won’t come to you, unlike snapper, trevally, kahawai and the like. All of which we catch, they’re just not as predominate, especially at this time of year. They generally show up more in Feb/March
Tarakihi also have small mouths so smaller baits and hooks, around 3/0 or #17 longline hooks [my preference as they lip hook and hardly ever get swallowed, effectively killing the fish] are more effective.
Other advantage of the longline hooks are: they’ve got a big eye so you can run a 24kg trace which is much less likely to break, especially if a bigger fish is hooked, they’re strong and they’re cheap.