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Yes, spring is in the air. In fact it’s right upon us and yes, so is the seemingly never ending rain. The rivers and streams around the district seem to be in a consistent state of high and dirty. This of course makes them difficult to fish. There has been some nice fish caught over on Lake Arapuni recently. Up the top end of the lake seems to be the most productive, and use Black and Gold Toby lures.
To the Rotorua area – it’s that time of the year when hooks are getting sharpened, gear checked etc all ready for the opening of the trophy lakes. The first of October is when it all happens and after talking to my trout guide, Glen Skinner, he thinks Rotoiti would be worth a shot first.

To the south a bit to the Taupo area. The fishing in the rivers is very productive at the moment. Ex local Matamata man Bob “smooth hound” Bevege tells me he has been having some amazing days. Bob says the secret is light gear and small nymphs. The fish are there in good numbers and in great condition says Bob.

To the sea. There has been a huge amount of frustration out on the west coast recently. This weather of course hasn’t allowed many fishable days – big swells and persistent strong winds from the west are not the right recipe for a safe bar crossing. This is the time of year when the big snapper start turning up in numbers so, when the weather allows; head out to about 60m of water. Dwayde Pinny charter skipper tells me there are also some very big gurnard out there at the moment.

Up to the Coromandel. That area is just getting better and better now on a daily basis almost. The water temp up there is now up to 50 degrees and the snapper are starting to form roe in their gut. What this does, is increase your chances of catching them. Why? Well because they increase their feeding to put on weight for spawning. More feeding, longer bite times etc. The best fishing up there at the moment seems to be the last two hours of the tide going out and then the turn, and then the first two hours coming in.

Over the ranges to the Mercury bay area and John Ellwood, charter skipper, tells me he is having some very good evening fishing along off Peach Grove Bay. Peach Grove is on the southern end of Great Mercury. John had a crew fishing there the other night and picked up several snapper in double figures. The best one, a beautiful fish of 16lb.

Out in the bay of Plenty I have had some reports of nice snapper and gurnard being caught on kontikis right along the coast from Waihi down to Papamoa. This tells me of course, that the snapper are in close so if you are heading out in the boat, stay in close, 20 to 25m of water.

The scallop season opened on September 1st and the reports so far are a bit mixed. They are in excellent condition around the Coromandel, reasonable around the Merc’s and a bit skinny out at Motiti. Also out at Motiti, the snapper fishing has been quite good off the knoll. Change of light is the key because the water is shallow there – 8 to 10m.

Happy fishing, Bungey.