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Major Tom Charters

Geoff Stone.
P O Box 163 ~ Russell ~ Bay of Islands ~ New Zealand
Phone 0274 377 844 ~ Fax 403 7790 ~ Home Phone 09 403 8553 E-mail....geoff@majortom.co.nz
Big Game ~ Sportfishing Safaris ~ Saltwater Light Tackle ~ Saltwater F

2009-10 Reports  2006-08 Reports  2005 Reports   2004 Reports  2003 Reports  2002 Reports  2001 Reports


Geoffs' Fishing Report 22/8/12

A wet and windy winter has restricted opportunities and options in the Bay, but the sun has begun to shine as we move into early spring.

Kingies went quiet after the hectic action during the International Yellowtail Tournament in June, but a fresh influx of fish in the 7kg to 10kg bracket, has moved onto the rocks off Redhead in the last couple of weeks to provide some great action, even if the fish are a little small. Some big fish over 20kg are still hanging around Cape brett, and some calmer days will provide the opportunity to explore 71M reef and the deeper kingie hangouts.

Best of the snapper action has been in the shallows on the banks around Roberton Island, and the reef edge at Brampton. Straylines are the order of the day, and with no barracoutta to speak of a good berley trail will bring rewards, but as always over winter a little patience may be needed.

Although a few terakihi are showing up on the reef edge out at 50 and 60 meters, results are only moderate, continuing the trend of the last few seasons. Some good schools are hanging around the normal hapuka spots out wide, and have provided some good deep water options on hapuka trips.

Hapuka fishing continues to be hard, and the Ministry must surely do an evaluation of the hapuka and bass quotas for Area 1. Commercial quota in our area is readily available and cheap - a sure sign that the commercial sector is having the same trouble catching fish as the recreational sector. In discussions last year the Ministry quotes that catch per unit effort was still good, but the reality is that vastly improved technology has made the remaining hapuka easier to locate and catch. With only limited habitat off the Northland Coast, most of the commercial catch is coming from the area north of North Cape or south of the Poor Knights. Heavy recreational fishing is able to account for the balance of the area, and the total stock seems to be having trouble replenishing itself.

As always drop me an email to MAJOR.TOM@xtra.co.nz if you have any queries

Geoffs' Fishing Report 2/12/11

Sea temperatures in the Bay have still not risen significantly, but results have improved in the snapper fishery as more and more fish congregate in readiness for spawning.. Males make up around 75% of the catch, which indicates we are still at the early stage of schooling, though many of the fish have very ripe roes, and are likely to start dropping eggs once temperatures rise.

Best fishing areas have been the eastern end of Centre Foul, and under the birds which have been working most mornings over the mud area between Mita's Foul and Onslow Rock. Tapeka Point and the seaward side of Roberton have been producing some big fish for those straylining in the shallows.

There have been good catches of terakihi along the 50M contour between Whale Rock and the Nine Pin and also on the broken foul areas out from Oke Bay.

Most of the kingfish action has been on the deeper reefs , with 71 Meter Reef the most consistent, though the schools are very bunched, and finding the action can be a bit hit or miss.

There are skippies available for those trolling small lures out to the hapuka grounds, but very little sign of albacore as yet. Hapuka have been consistent around Main Rock, with some bluenose also starting to show in the trench areas out from the Nine Pin.

As always, drop me an email at MAJOR.TOM@xtra.co.nz if you have any queries.

Geoffs' Fishing Report 31/10/11

I guess it's natural to delay reports until there is the best possible news to report, but the downside is that reports can become infrequent.

Although the Bay of Islands charter fleet was busy in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup, the fishing was hard, with strong to gale force westerlies dropping water temps well below 15C, and the snapper bite that at had been so promising at the beginning of the month simply died with snapper trips more likely to result in a catch of terakihi than the much anticipated pre-spawning snapper. Kingfishng was also frustrating, with barracoutta, prevalent in the cold water, destroying live baits on the few occasions we could venture outside the shelter of the islands.

Thankfully everything has come good over the last week, with some great snapper being taken along Centre Foul on early morning trips, and some big males lurking in the shallows off the western end of Roberton Island and at Tapeka Point. The water is still on the cold side and the bite time is short, so a great deal of patience will be needed in these areas, but with some big bait schools starting to form between Mita's Foul and Centre Foul, the snapper mass is likely to move there also, presenting better targets for those wishing to fish on the drift.

Kingfishing has been steady but unspectacular. The worst of the barracoutta plague seems to have retreated back to the depths. Our own most recent trip produced some good fish up to 15kg at 71 Meter Reef, with other boats reporting catches from Rocky Point and off Redhead, but without any great amount of activity around Bird Rock, Whale Rock or at The Hole in the Rock where we would expect a lot of action as we move through into November and December.

A few boats have made it out wide for hapuka this week, with only mixed results. A few hapuka, a few gemfish and the ever present school sharks. As summer progresses more bluenose are likely to move in on the more easily accessible reefs and trenches of the Bay.

As always, drop me an email at MAJOR.TOM@xtra.co.nz if you have any queries.

Geoffs' Fishing Report 27/9/11

Continuing westerly winds have resulted in very low water temperatures around the Bay of Islands, and fishing has slowed as a result.

Snapper have begun to roe up, but are still holding to the bottom, with big fish difficult to find but plenty of throw backs. Best of the snapper fishing has been in close around Roberton Island with straylines, but the bite time is short, and the feeding tentative so catching the big one may take some patience.

The best fishing action is from terakihi, either along the 40M contour off Howe point. or out at 70M off the Nine Pin. Small 1/0 circle with skipjack as bait has given us best results, but the usual plague of undersize snappers can become a nuisance at times.

Kingfishing has been difficult with the cold water bringing in a more barracoutta than we have seen for the last 7 or 8 years. If kingfish are the target, the best option is probably Waiwiri Rock which has been fishing well all winter. There are still plenty of koheru at Pig Gully, and the larger baits will avoid some of the worst barracoutta problem.

Little action has been reported from the hapuka grounds, but fishing has been reasonable over winter. Pups will start to settle close in over the next couple of months, and will present the usual bonus to snapper fishermen around Whale Rock, and bigger fish will be on their post spawning feeding prowl, and will move in to some of the closer grounds at 71M Reef and Bird Trench. If going wide for a hapuka, a few small lures will result in the occasional skipjack, which have been with us all winter, and perhaps an early albacore which should be arriving over the next month.

As always send me an email at geoff@majortom.co.nz if you have any queries.

Geoffs' Fishing Report 29/4/11

A prolonged period of strong winds continues to restrict fishing opportunities along the coast, and keep most of the effort inside the islands targeting snapper.

For the very few boats that have ventured out wide, when conditions allow, the strike rate for marlin continues to be good. Best area over Easter was around Donaghy's Reef out at 170M off the Nine Pin with plenty of bait, and good water still up at around 20C.

Further north, the Garden Patch has provided some great broadbill action, with Brad Rowe and a mate taking two swords in one night, one at 169Kg and the other at 223kg. Guy Jacobsen on Hook'n'Bull lost another sword after more than 10 hours.

Kingfish have been very co-operative outside the Bay on the deeper reefs, but little action from big kingis inside the Bay, though there are plenty of rats. The few occasions we have fished live baits inside the islands have resulted in more action from kahawai than kingfish.

Snapper trips have mainly resulted in lots of small fish, barely more than 27cm. The exception seems to be the mud banks up the inlets, where some good fish up to 10lb have been mooching around the horse mussel beds. If your sounder shows bottom density, set the gain to show some differentiation on the bottom and look for the beds showing a density increase at the deep sides off drop offs. Alternately, if fishing from a small boat, anchor as close as possible to the rocks, and set out a good berley trail.

As always, drop me an email to geoff@majortom.co.nz if you have any queries


Geoffs' Fishing Report 9/1/11

Xmas. New Year and lots of tourists have arrived and so have the fish.

With good blue water and plenty of bait , boats fishing out wide have had plenty of action. Three shortbill yesterday, 3 marlin the day before, plenty of skippies, a few albacore and an occasional large yellowfin though none has been landed to date.

Of the marlin catches so far, blues have been just as prevalent as stripeys.  Mike Irvine started with a blue of 224.4kg on Boxing day, but 10 year old  Brad Batterton has stolen the show with a pending Junior Club, and NZ Smallfry record with a fish of 226.6kg landed from Hook'n'Bull on 15kg standup !!

Greatest demand for charter boats has come from snapper anglers, keeping Major Tom II amongst the "blood and guts" since before Xmas. Centre Foul has been producing well, though the fish are mostly small. The 30M edge of foul out from the western end of Roberton has been producing some good fish, especially on straylines. Best of the action is now out a bit wider at Whale Rock, with the added bonus of some very big trevally over the last few days.

Kingfish action has been good. Steve Butler reports some good action from Rocky Point. He has also been fishing Bird Rock with good results but tells me that it's neccessary to anchor, and get the baits deep as lots of small kingies are in attendance.

As always, drop me an email to geoff@majortom.co.nz if you have any queries.

2005 Reports     2004 Reports        2003 Reports        2002 Reports        2001 Reports

Geoff Stone P O Box 163 ~ Russell ~ Bay of Islands ~ New Zealand
Phone 0274 377 844 ~ Fax 09 403 7790 ~ Home Phone 09 403 8553 ~ E-mail....geoff@majortom.co.nz

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