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Approaching the work-up It’s been said many times before but it’s so important not to drive your boat right through the work-up.
This will almost certainly kill the action as you will scare the baitfish down deep ruining all the good work done by our friends the dolphins who’ve spent ages rounding their prey up.
Try to resist the urge to speed in and get fishing right away. As you approach the work-up, slow right down and take a moment to see which way the workup is moving. From a distance it may look like the action is stationary but on further investigation you’ll notice that it will be travelling.
Once you’ve worked out which way, drive around the work-up – not through it – and set your drift in a position so that it is moving towards you.
This way, you can capitalize on the action. You must also bear in mind that falling scraps from the baitball will drift some way so it’s unlikely that snapper will be sitting directly under the work-up. Shallow hunting Not everyone has the boat to go out wide chasing work-ups but that shouldn’t be a problem during summer.
The spawning season means that snapper can be targeted right in close in the shallows and, in fact, many anglers have a lot of success fishing in channels that wouldn’t necessarily spring to mind as areas that would hold fish.
Shallow waters lend themselves to two methods in particular – straylining big baits and softbaiting. These are two very different ways to fish but both can deliver excellent results.
Shallow water fishing requires stealth. If you move around at full tilt everywhere, then your chances of success in shallow water is slim. Approach shallow bays with the mindset that there’s one big moocher in there and you’ll do all you can to make sure you don’t spook him.
Cut the engine and drift into the spot. Slowly and quietly drop the anchor, avoid the chain scraping on the boat if you can and get that berley pot out and working its magic. Cut baits like pilchards and bonito cast out the stern can be simply too hard for snapper to resist. Conditions and times are bigger factors in these conditions than most others.
Consider that you’re fishing in waters of perhaps four metres or shallower. Bright sunshine and boat traffic can put paid to good fishing in these spots.
Time of day isn’t talked about as much in saltwater fishing as it is in lake and river fishing but in the shallows, it can play a big part. Sliding into a quiet, shallow bay at dawn, just as the day’s first light starts to pierce through is a glorious way to fish, regardless of the results.
But it can also be hugely rewarding. Snapper in these areas won’t be spooked quite as easily at this time of day and your stealthy actions could just be the key to a successful trip.
The same can be said for dusk fishing, just be sure you have all the equipment aboard for fishing and navigating in the dark.
By following some basic pointers, the fisho can avoid those agonizing days in the sun when you return home to an expectant whanau with little or nothing in the bin.
If you prefer to cast lures in the shallows, then softbaiting can be a great way to tempt spooky fish into the bite.
Smaller softbaits, around four inch, are usually the go in these conditions and go as light as you possibly can with your
jighead – half ounce or lighter if you can get a reasonable cast. Snapper will usually hit quick and hard and immediately go for ground in these conditions.
If you’re fishing over a sandy bay, then no worries. You can let that snapper run and run, safe in the knowledge he has nothing to bust you off on.
It’s a different story if you’re fishing near reef though. When that snapper hits, you have to do your best to get him away from that sharp rock right at the start.
Timing is everything. Off the rocks Summer is a stunning time to enjoy land-based fishing. It can also be extremely productive as snapper move in close to spawn and heaps of worried baitfish hug the coastlines in a futile attempt to avoid predators.
The seas are normally calmer with smaller swells so those hard-to-reach ledges become a realistic location to fish from.
One of the best things about fishing off the bricks in summer is the abundance of prime livebait options.
Fish like piper are numerous and, if you’ve ever thought about flicking a livebait out to snare a kingfish, then piper would have to be the ultimate bait.
Of course, there’s some serious snapper to be had at this time of year and in the real shallow water, your livebait could be snaffled by an XOS moocher.
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