If you are looking at launching earlier, there is a camp ground at Te Haruhi Bay, it’s such a cool camp ground too! I highly recommend it. Te Haruhi Bay is where I launch from, it’s a nice sandy easy launching spot, and not far from great fishing grounds.
When I first started fishing this area, I’d paddle up to the point on the left hand side, literally 500m paddle and be into the fish! Easy feed without having to paddle a marathon.
Back in the early days I had no electronics, I’d take 1 soft bait rod and just wing it!
I’d do the old tricks… line me up between that tree and that rock and the top of that mountain. Took me all of two minutes to get set up… opposed to the hour it takes me these days 😂
As you do over time, you start getting a bit more adventurous with your fishing, I started venturing out into the Tiri Channel, then out to the island, out past the island etc. But what I’ve found over the years is the best fishing I’ve had around this area is in the shallows and right on the edge of the channel.
These are the methods that have worked for me… My go to method is definitely soft baiting, light jig heads as you’re only fishing up to 20 metres max, the more hang time you get in the current the better. I’ve pictured the general area that I sit below on the map, the trick is to sit right on the edge of the channel where the current starts to loop and change direction.
The reason why I sit in this area is because this is the path the snapper seem to travel on their way up and down the coast. There is an abundance of bait fish that congregate around this area too, so if you’re looking for a live bait it’s a good place to pick a few up.
You will pick up snapper on both incoming and outgoing tides but what I’ve found is the outgoing is definitely more productive. Now because the current is traveling so fast around that corner you’ll quite often encounter really aggressive bites but you just won’t hook up, on a good day the fish will turn around and have another go but most days they are just trucking past at pace.
Positioning is key in this case. I’m a big believer in the theory that… if you can place a bait directly in front of a fishes face, they are more likely have a proper go at it… snapper can be very lazy! I’ll position myself so that I can cast up current, sometimes that means having my drift anchor pulling me sideways, obviously depending on what direction you want to cast. In this case I’m cast up current giving these traveling snapper time to chase my lure down current and grab it before it starts to drag down current. This method has worked really well for me in this area for fast travelling fish but as you know, every day is different, there may be a reason for the snapper to congregate around that area, there may baitfish, or shellfish… in this case their heads will be facing into the current so dragging your soft bait may be the best option.
Just think like a fish? If you’re not hooking up there is always a reason! Try changing your approach..
Best months for this area is October, November, I’ve caught fish up to 18lb in these months, plenty of hungry spawning snapper around this time, it’s worth having a crack right out in the channel at this time of year too.
December is unbelievably quiet, you’ll still catch fish but it’s very slow. February- May very consistent fishing, starts to die off over the winter, you’ll still get the odd moochers if you try hard enough though. Plenty of kingfish to be caught around the area over summer, try chucking some stick baits or soft baits around the two yellow bouys in the channel.
Newbies… just be very careful out in the channel, there’s a lot of boat traffic, as Gulf Harbour marina and boat ramp is just up the coast, it’s like a highway so don’t just assume that the boats will see you… I’ve almost been mowed down a few times.
Check the weather conditions! The Tiri channel can change in a matter of minutes, I’ve been stuck out there a few times in bad weather. Wind oppose tide can get nasty, be careful. Best of luck out there!
Check out the Video in the link below!