Over the last month or so most birds diving out in the middle of the bay has almost been a daily occurrence.
This is a good sign that there are schools of Australian salmon and mackerel working the bait fish. Most of these fish have been in the small to medium size around 1kg. There has also been some much larger salmon in schools roaming the channel from Akaroa through to the bar way and some fish are reaching 2kg.
These fish can be a little harder to locate and will generally not show many telltale signs on the surface like their smaller brothers and sisters do. Keep a look out for single fish jumping and don’t discount any surface disturbance no matter how small. The birds don’t seem to work these fish so don’t expect them to give the location of the fish away.
As the water throughout the channel is not relatively deep (2-5m) the fish seem to hug the bottom pretty closely so heavier weights on soft plastics and weighted flies need to be used or let your lure drop to the bottom before starting the retrieve.
Large garfish are still being caught in good numbers, although spasmodic in their activity, and can be found mostly around the sea grass beds down along the red channel markers. A small float with a small #10-12 hook and a tiny piece of white squid bait is the perfect rig for the garfish.
Whenever fishing for garfish a good berley trail is as important as the bait, some pellet berley mixed with a small amount of fish oil and sent in a trail down current will attract a school of gars very quickly.
Bream are also still fishing well and although some of the water temperatures in the Scamander River and Ansons Bay have slowed the action somewhat there have still been some good big fish being caught on both bait and lures. Most fish have been coming from lower down in the systems.
On the offshore front there has been good hauls of flathead coming in from straight out of St Helens point in about 50-60m of water; fish have been good sized from 40-50cm.
Further offshore anglers are having good results drop lining for blue eye trevalla with some boats catching bags limits on regular occasions.
Now is also the time to start getting ready for the striped trumpeter season, as the days get calmer its time to look at the reefs in water between 90-120m for striped trumpeter. Some good catches have been reported from Pulfords Reef off Scamander and also Middle Ground due east of the St Helens bar way.Reads: 696