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SNAPPER IN THE
Scott Malcon, Daiwa NZ.
By Scott Malcon
pring is one of the best times to target a trophy snapper
in the Hauraki Gulf. As the days slowty grow in length
and the water begins to warm, an influx of large hungry
snapper descend on the Gulf, packing on weight before
their imminent spawning season.
At this time of year, these fish are in top physical condition and
fighting fit-you want to make sure your gear and game plan are up to
task. In this article l will share my strategies and thoughts on how to best
target big spring snapper
My number one option for targeting big spring snapper is good old-
fashioned bait and burley. The key here is to make sure you have wind
and tide heading in the same direction.I tike to position my burley a few
metres off the bottom to ensure it is distributed over a wide area by the
tidal flow. This brings the snapper in from far and wide, directly to you.
Bait selection is important, Pillies or squid will work well, but fresh is
best. The other major benefit of your burley is that it will bring an endless
supply of jack mackerel, which are a favourite of snapper. To ensure a
The other major benefit of your burley
is that it will bring an endless supply of
jack mackerel, which are a favourite
steady supply ofjacks, a Sabiki rig is essential.
A fixed two-hook rig with a butterflied jack mackerel is irresistible to
any hungry snapper, plus a big bait will let the larger fish have a chance to
Positioning your bait is also key. I like to cast the bait as far as I can
down the burley trail. The bigger fish can be shy, and tend to hang a bit
further back. Make sure you use just enough weight to get the bait to the
get to the bait before it is stripped off by juveniles.
My rod and reel of choice for this style of fishing is the Daiwa VIP 270/
SL20SH combo. The rod casts like a dream and has power to burn. The reel
will ensure maximum distance is achieved when casting, and the silky
smooth drag willslow down any hard fighting snapp
With the bait positioned out the back of the burtey trail pat
is the key. If the fishing is slow l will flick the ratchet on and leave the
rod in the rod holder,otherwise,with rod in hand,I leave the reel in free
spool ready for a fish to pick the bait up. This allows for the fish to chew
on the bait without resistance. Once he takes off, and the line is exiting
under your thumb at pace, the reel is clicked into gear and a solid strike
hopefully results in the mega red you are looking for.
Here are a few of my top picks for spots to find a trophy snapper this
spring Good luck out there!
South Tiri Channel 36 37.089'S/174'53.411E
Kawau Point 30m 36' 28.228'S/174 53.536'E
Motuketekete 36' 27.880'S/ 174' 48.959 E
The Firth 36' 50.523'S/175' 18.713'E