Words & Images by Scott Malcon, Daiwa NZ 


Fishing has its challenges but for the keen angler multiple opportunities exist although sometimes a different approach is required.

Regular reports of work up action off the back of Kawau were tempting but we had a different mission in mind, a feed of Hauraki Gulf Terakihi. It’s not something that you hear commonly, anglers targeting Terakihi in the Gulf. But they are there in good numbers if you know where to look.

There are a couple of tricks to increase your success rates when targeting these popular table fish. The first being location. I look for foul in the 60m plus range, although you will find Terakihi shallower in certain places. The trick is to fish the edges where thefoul meets the sand, this is prime Terakihi territory and you will avoid the plethora of undesirable reef fish that inhabit the mainstructure.

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The second trick is to use a two to three hook ledger rig with 1/0-3/0 circle hooks and enough weight to get you to the bottom. I like to tie my traces on 30lb fluorocarbon leader. A small cube of Skippy or Squid is irresistible to the target species.

On the hardware end a soft tipped rod such as the Daiwa Hyper 66XXHB or the Bluewater 66BJB are great options matched with a Lexa 300 and loaded with 20lb J-Braid. The braid in deeper water will allow you to detect the most subtle takes and the soft action of the rod will ensure the small circle hook is ripped from the fished mouth.

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On our recent mission out the back of Little Barrier we managed to get on to a nice patch of Terakihi and within an hour and a half we were making our way back to Little Barrier for an afternoon softbaiting session. While not renowned for their fighting prowess the reward is certainly in the eating quality of the humble Terakihi. A worthwhile winter prospect for something different.