Over the last month or so we have consistently seen the birds diving out in the middle of the bay.
This has almost been a daily occurrence and 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 and there has also been quite a few barraouta and pike mixed in with them.
There has also been some much larger salmon in schools roaming the channel from Akaroa through to the barway and some fish are reaching 2kg. These fish can be a little harder to locate and will generally not show many tell tale 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.
The massive amounts of garfish also seem to be attracting hoards of large calamari around anywhere there is some activity; this has proven an interesting situation where anglers have been berleying up attracting the garfish and have a nice large squid attacking the fish while they are hooked. Squid jigs in orange and pink seem to be the two standout colours.
On the offshore front there has been good hauls of flathead coming in from straight out of St Helens Point in about 70m of water; fish have been good sized from 40-50cm.
Further offshore anglers are having good results drop lining for blueye 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 barway.Reads: 1558