Well we haven’t seen too many weekends that fall into those small windows of good weather of late. The weekends that have been close to fishable were a little rough and only allowed us to fish the close in grounds, which this time of year isn’t a bad idea with the pelagic fish usually becoming a favorite species to target. The protected bay area of DI has changed a lot over the last few months with large amounts of sand being moved by the weather, which only allows for a launch in more open waters around the toilet block area. There is still a large sand bank running from the headland back towards the west making a great protected cove to come back into after dark to avoid retrieving the boat at night and also for those who venture out the wide bay bar and wish get out and fish the next morning without the worries of the bar and also cutting out a lot of travel time in the boat.
Because of the weather fishing in close has been the favorable option and the results have been outstanding with both Reef and Pelagic fish really turning it on. Last trip I trolled some hard body lures over the pinnacles while heading for the close in reefs and picked up some nice Spanish mackerel pretty quickly and also a big shark that gave me plenty of grief.
We headed out to some reef 7km from DI and had a drift to see which way the wind and current would send the boat. I positioned the boat while my father dropped down a paternoster rig with tuna strips as bait. The combined wind and current sent us in a strange direction and away from the reef with bugger all showing on the sounder when all a sudden my father hooked up on a solid fish which was taking plenty of line. After a strong fight a thumper Snapper reached the surface and was safety netted. Its amazing how many times we have pulled big snapper with nothing showing on the sounder away from the reef, this showing the importance of floating baits with barely any weight while anchoring on reef trying to get the bait into these rubble bottom areas where big snapper lurk.
We anchored back on the reef with a great show of fish and starting pulling Squire, Moses Perch, Maori Cod, Pearlies and then I hooked a solid fish, which felt similar to a Red, but it turned out to be a nice Large Mouth Nannygai. The fish was carrying an injury of a shark bite over its tail and back dorsal fin making him a lucky fish. Next drop another Large Mouth Nannigai was pulled aboard and soon we were pulling both Large Mouth and Small Mouth Nannygai in good numbers and I soon connected to another solid fish and up came a big Large Mouth and my biggest yet. They soon moved on but we were happy with the results considering we had never caught Nannygai in schools at DI and usually only get a couple in a trip if we were lucky.
The little Squire had moved in and this making it a good opportunity to go find some new grounds SE of DI where we don’t venture much. As I mentioned in my last article about looking for new grounds I set myself an area that interested me on the gps map which showed a rise in the area and in line with some grounds we fish about 10km to north. Knowing a lot of reefs run north south I thought it my be worth a look but we really only had a couple of hours to have a very quick look around as the sea was pretty rough so it was slow going but making it better for a clear picture on the sounder. After an hour or so we had a little life on the sounder and a better sound of the area showed some good corals and weed on the bottom with scattered patches of fish all over the reef. We had a drop and it was very quiet and a little disappointing but it was a poor time to be there and a spot that will be kept in mind and fished on a better time of day. So after a couple of hours of sounding that was all we found and a good example of how boring searching for new grounds can be but finding what we did was a bonus and better then nothing.
We headed for some favorite grounds 20km north and pulled some nice Pearlies, Maori Cod and Moses Perch but the afternoon was getting on so we headed back to the close in spot where we caught the Nannygai and Snapper to fish into the dark. The fish were there but unfortunately all small Squire and in Plaque proportions and after a few hours of that we pulled the pin and headed in.
The next morning would be spent chasing mackerel on the pinnacles NE of Wolf Rock and a mate also headed up to fish Sunday morning and chase mackerel as well which was pretty keen but was rewarded for the effort. We headed out just on light with a good range of Hard body lures with colours being Red/white, Blue and my favorite being the Gold. I also had a good selection of pink, blue and green hex head lures in small and medium sizes. The first pinnacle we drove over saw the deep diver gold halco get smashed and the reel scream and up came a nice Spanish Mackerel and safely gaffed. The next 2 hours was mayhem and the Mackerel were in a feeding frenzy with more action then you could poke a stick at. I started running two hard body’s and also a hex head in the spread and instantly the hex head was a favorite and some nice spottie mackerel were coming aboard along with the Spanish. We soon bagged out on both spot and Spanish Mackerel with the small hex heads responsible for most of the spotties and the Gold Halco deep diver catching the majority of the Spanish.
Our friends had also bagged out on spots and Spanish but all were caught on Hard body Lures with the Gold Halco also the stand out Lure. I would also like to mention that for those who venture up to DI and stay on the bayside that this is illegal and the whole bayside of DI is a no camping zone. This has been like this for well over 15 years and Rangers who patrol the bayside early in the morning can fine you on the spot. Some people set up camp sites while others like us sleep in the boat but the ranger’s class camping as anyone who sleeps on the bayside no matter how you do it.