Saturday, September 3, 2011

Taking Snapper at Coromandel Bay, NZ

Occassional contributor Rhett Thorne from Mad Keen Yak Angling tells us about a great day NZ Snapper Fishing.

The Author's First Coromandel Snapper
While on a recent trip to New Zealand, we stopped at Coromandel Bay [Ed: Coromandel is 2.5 hrs drive from Auckland on the Eastern side of the North Island of New Zealand] , where we were taken fishing by the Mussel Barge Snapper Safaris. We left in a group of around 15 and travelled out into the mussel farms where we bottom fished using baits like squid and cubed pillies. 

Within about 10 seconds of our baits hitting the bottom, we were pulling up snapper like there was no tomorrow. My first snapper, being the biggest of the trip ate the tinniest chunk of pilchard, but then again elephants do eat peanuts. 

Dusk at the Mussel Farms

After about half an hour the fishing had settled down a little, so I threw out a whole squid which hooked up onto a beast of a fish. The skipper called it for a kingfish, but in no time the fish pulled me into the mussel farm and broke off my 15kg line. Other than snapper, we managed to catch plenty of little yellowtail, Aussie salmon (which the Kiwis call Kahwai), a couple rat kings and small shark.

The tackle usually associated with snapper fishing is a spin combo, like the Okuma Trio or V-System spins, but with snags 7 meters on either side of us, we had to beef up our gear in order to land the fish.
All in all, the day was packed exceptional fishing. The fish weren’t necessarily huge, but they were great fun. Next time you’re in New Zealand, drop into, Mussel Barge Snapper Safaris; it is as cheap as $50 for a fishing adventure of a lifetime. 

Words and Pics: Rhett Thorne - reproduced with permission. Read more of Rhett's fishing adventures at Mad Keen Yak Angling.

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