|Biting Back in the Bay
with Pinky Green
Recreational fishing in the Western Bay of Plenty last week varied through almost all levels and areas between 'not too bad ' to 'pretty good ' again.
The exception was for surfcasters who in most areas found it not much good at all, although on the eastern beaches there were a few good catches.
For some of the period strong winds and big swells and some forecasts of gales and mountainous seas kept back many from going out wide. In the middle areas and in close the sea and weather conditions for most of the period remained good .
Russell Anderson went out fishing with two other anglers at spots just off Bowentown on Saturday and had a really good day.
They landed eight snapper including one of 4.5kg, nine very large kahawai, five gurnard, one trevally, a lot of mackerel, and inadvertently a thresher shark (released) and a mystery ray ( perhaps sting, mantra, or a skate,- released ). All the baits were bonito (skipjack) – one angler enhanced his by dipping them in linseed oil, which did appear to give him a slight edge on the others.
Brett Keller (Manutere) had a good day round Motiti where they landed largely terakihi and a few snapper and red snapper.
Last Sunday in the same area they again landed a satisfactory number of tarakihi, and a few snapper, red snapper, and two trevally.
This time however they had to contend with blind eels and barracouta attacks.
Beach fishers have been having mixed success. At Papamoa the surfcasters were having no luck at all while longliners and kontiki operators were doing well.
A couple operating one kontiki brought in 17 snapper, and another not too far distant brought in 11 snapper. Feeling sorry for the surfcasters some kontiki fishers handed over some of their snapper to them.
Our regular Papamoa kontiki operator described the inshore waters as a scene of great activity or a battleground. Seagulls were diving onto at least three different species of smaller birds who were in turn diving on fish they could see in the flat sea, and in the water kahawai were chasing the smaller species and there was even a kingfish in the battle.
Our veteran said that the longliners and kontiki fishers were all getting plenty of snapper last weekend.
He himself got five snapper and a barracouta (later used for bait). With the sea so flat over the weekend the kontikis could go out 1900 to 2000metres – the further out the bigger the target fish.
Usually he was getting his limit of snapper within two sets. A mixture of bait was being used along the beaches including kahawai, mackerel, trevally, bonito (skipjack), and barracouta. Further east the beaches from Pukehina to Matata were yielding up good sized snapper to the beach fishers.
Fairly close inshore the fishery was producing plenty for the fishers. In the west around Karewa, and 5km offshore from Bowentown and Matakana Island and in close behind Rabbit Island there were a goodly number of fair sized snapper for the taking.
Three miles out from Mauao itself there were snapper 1kg to 2kg and tarakihi. A well-known Mount Maunganui recreational fisher last Sunday three quarters of the way to Motiti in 30 metres got his bag limit landing some good snapper, john dory, and a 4.7kg trevally.
Last weekend the Club Mount Maunganui Fishing Club 5 Species Tournament went ahead on Sunday 63 anglers weighed in 242 fish.
Johnny Kolk fishing from the boat Reet Petite landed the heaviest fish overall and the heaviest snapper with his 4.815kg catch.
Other results were Snapper, 2, Julius Kolk (Reet Petite ) 4.25kg; 3. Joe Manning (Exloga) 4.14kg.
Tarakihi, 1.Mark Dobbs (Galatea) 1.725kg; 2.Sharon Golding (Sasharon) 1.445kg; 3. Pete Littleton (Galatea) 1.435kg;
Kahawai, 1.Pete Littleton (Galatea) 2.38kg; 2.John Morris (Stripe) 2.34kg; 3. Caroline O'Sullivan (Eliminator) 2.27kg;
Gurnard, 1. Deb Pattie (Allyoop) 0.635kg; 2. Gary Taylor (Beast) 0.61kg; 3. Marie Cox (Sasharon) 0.6kg;
John Dory, 1. Winston Cox (Sashsharon) 2.045kg; 2. Trevor Carran (1ka) 1.89kg; 3.Phil Rich (Eliminator) 1.695kg.