As published in NZ Fishing Coast to Coast Magazine - Autumn 2006
If there is one season which consistently produces mind blowing fishing on the Coromandel, it is Autumn. This year has been no exception, and I’ve come away from the last couple of months reminded what a great recreational fishery we have on our back doorstep!
The Aldermen Is have beckoned on the horizon most days, but they’ve soon been relegated to the back of our minds. We’ve found birds and schooling kahawai in close to shore - the tell tale indicator that you don’t need to travel too far at this time of year to get into some great action.
Livebaiting around these bait schools has been absolute bedlam! The kingi’s have been crashing any livebait unlucky enough to be thrown back into the water sporting a recurve hook. In shallow water, this has to be one of the most visually exciting forms of fishing, with awesome hook ups right beside the boat.
On our most recent trip, all eyes were glued to a lucky angler and his tussle with a kingi which had taken a big kahawai. A couple of livies waited on cleared lines, just touching the surface waiting to be reset. Sure enough, another kingi pounced from nowhere, hitting the boat and ripping a livey away for a free feed!
The whole food chain seems to be in on the act too. A few weeks ago we could hear surfers talking 200m away as a straylined snapper bait screamed off and a 150kg bronzie erupted clear of the water busting us off! The divers on board were justified in being a little tentative about getting back into the water, but were rewarded with some good Autumn crays. They’ve also been in close, getting ready to shed their shells.
With plenty of good sized coastal snapper around, courtesy of a some gnarly easterly blows, we’ve had some epic straylining sessions in around 6m of water,. Most fish have been full of smashed up kina and shellfish. In between blows as the visibility has cleared we’ve done the odd trip to the Aldys where the kelpies are a little less shy, but a lot more testing on the gear!
The water temperature has held up around 19 degrees close to shore through April and May, which looking back in the diary is warmer than we had mid-February last year! Most boats seemed to have given up on the gamefish by April, but they’re still around. One boat hooked three marlin in one weekend off the back of Slipper last month. Only yesterday there were skippies and flying fish around the 30m mark.
The Coromandel hosted some big tournaments over summer, the winter ones are bound to produce the goods too! The next to kick off is the Mercury Bay Snapper Tournament on the 4th of June.
With winter approaching it is almost time to start thinking about hitting the reefs in search of a few hapuka, so lets hope for a few long still weekends! If you are keen to get the low down on some good Coromandel winter fishing get in touch!