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Monthly Cast: February Fishing Report

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As the holiday crowds dissipate and the warm weather continues, February provides some great angling opportunities for NZ anglers. February is a month when understanding your chosen quarries habits in warmer water can make the difference between a slow day and a successful day.

For the Hauraki Gulf angler, late Summer moving into Autumn heralds the arrival of Anchovy schools into the Inner Gulf. Shearwaters and Terns are a dead giveaway of Anchovies below, the schools will be shadowed by the usual predatory fish, Snapper, Kingys and Kahawai. Keep an eye on your sounder too, Anchovy schools will show up as a thick red blob. Once located, don’t assume it’ll be like a fully-fledged Gannet workup in Spring, these situations require a bit more tact. The fish often get highly tuned in to feeding on smaller baitfish, so a bigger lure won’t necessarily get the best result. Try lighter leaders 8-12lb J-Thread Fluorocarbon and smaller 3.2” BaitJunkies, we had phenomenal success last summer with this tactic.

The land based angler doesn’t have to venture far at this time of year to find a fish. Snapper are thick in local harbours and estuaries as they move in to feed on the smorgasbord of food these waterways produce. Improve your chances by fishing an incoming tide with the change of light, fish will move in and out with the tide. Smaller cut baits and half pillys are the go-to for us. Local points and rocky headlands will be worth a look for a local kingfish too, set out a live bait and flick around a stickbait, you’ll often be surprised where a kingy turns up. Fish the change of light with the current pumping and you’ll be in good shape!

Game fishing is in full swing too, the East Coast has been jam-packed with all the usual species. Invest some time in looking at SST charts and where the blue water is, it’ll cut down the time spent looking for likely areas. It sounds like a lot of the Striped Marlin have been full of Rays Bream, finding the bait and working a likely area will put the odds in your favour. The West Coast has been a tad quiet, but expect that to fire up over the next couple of months. It’s been great to see the run of Southern Bluefin Tuna of the Wellington Coast, no doubt a welcome surprise to the local fishing fraternity!

Trout jigging on the Rotorua lakes is pumping and providing great results for the anglers venturing there. Taupo has also been producing some great condition fish and numbers. For the shore-based angler try and target where cooler water is entering lakes, deeper pools and well-aerated parts of rivers. Trout love cold water and well-oxygenated water at this time of year. Put these factors together and you’ll likely find the fish. Remember to always check the rules and regs for your chosen fishing destination.

As always, this month’s monthly cast is packed with premium content like fishing spots, tech talk, chit chat with members from Team Daiwa and a giveaway – this month’s one a 22 Daiwa Apparel package worth RRP $149.99. This can be found at the end of the newsletter.

Enjoy, and go well!

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