Spring water temperatures are slowly on the rise. That signals the baitfish and snapper’s instincts to congregate in the 35-40m mark.
Bird spotting and chasing other boats is the game-plan at this time of year. The fish are usually hard on the bottom, so knock them on the head with an inchiku or jig and you’ll get their attention. Smaller lures are always better, if current or wind speed allows you to get them down.
The first fish are generally schoolies, with the bigger fish in transit. I’m sure kahawai and a few rat kingfish are loitering about the outer gulf islands.
In the past two seasons the big schools of snapper have been resident off downtown Auckland and the container wharf. The channels where we usually find them in numbers were not so good – maybe they have been giving the area a rest.
Do fish “farm” the areas they feed, periodically leaving them to recover? The area where you’ll find the bulk of the fish, in the hard-fished “worm-bed”, changes seasonally too.
If we see fish back in good numbers in the channels this season, the return of the softbait is likely.
Add this to your list of chores for spring cleaning: anoint your reel’s bearings with light oil. A splash on the level-winds and on main shaft of spinning reels. Baitcasters need a drop of oil under the central cap, handle side, that’ll keep it engaging into gear.
Check your rod guides for cracks and missing inserts, and treat yourself to some new mono on your reels. Braid generally has a longer life and doesn’t deteriorate, so if you have enough length of braid on your reel it will be fine.
Tip of the week: I’ve already told you once, oil your reels!