Cant lose out West!
It would be pretty damn hard to find anyone out there who is unhappy with how things are fishing out West at the moment. Usually this time of the year one would expect great Snapper fishing but at the moment i think you would have to describe it as exceptional. So many crews are filling their bins in under 90 minutes and are home well before lunch time.
If Snapper and Gurnard are your target species at present then there is no better time than now. There are excellent numbers of Snapper from 40 metres right out through to the 60 metre mark and probably beyond. As mentioned earlier the Snapper here are absolutely thick on the ground and only requires a little patience. Straight West of the bar leads and down off the back of Jacksons Reef is fishing extremely well. As reported last month the better sized fish are coming from around the 50 metre mark with the 60 metre mark producing lots of fish but not too much in the brag category, although a bin of pannies in the 3-5 kg range is still outstanding fishing.
The Topcatch Icebreaker comp has just been held and interestingly there were no Snapper weighed over the 20lb mark however there was a truck load of fish that came in between 15-19lb.
If you are wanting to put a few lobsters in the freezer for Christmas day then now is the time to put a few pots out on the local reefs as they are starting to fish well. Most of the female crays have dropped their eggs and the shells have hardened up nicely and there appear to be good numbers available. The water clarity at the moment for the divers isn't flash so pots may be your best bet, hopefully the clarity will improve with the temperature.
There has been some awesome deep water fishing down at the Mokau Trench recently for those crews targeting Bluenose,Hapuka and Bass. Some of the images I have seen have been of some very respectable sized Bluenose from down on the Northern corner of the Trench. Our crew spent a couple of days down at the Trench in the past month and managed some nice school sized Hapuka, although not big fish they were a bit on the slabby side but they should have packed some condition back on by now.
If you are planning on heading out towards the shelf from now on it would be advisable to have some bigger gear on board as you never know what you might come across. Supposedly there was a school of Yellowfin sighted in close off Whangamata recently so anything is possible.
Good luck and see you out there.