Weather & Tides

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Fishing Gossip - Courtesy of Tauranga Marine Charters

Continuing the current theme, it's noticeable that on days we've been heading out to spots and there's been lots of bottom sign that looks like fish in clear ground.

When we have stopped we invariably get nothing, and they're always harder days, catching-wise. I never really knew what it could be, just another mystery.

We got an underwater camera some time ago, and it's been interesting seeing what's on the bottom in some of the areas we fish. In particular, inside Motiti and the Okaparus.

A carpet of broken shells that are swirling on and just off the bottom with the current, every time the camera lens hit the bottom, there'd be a big puff of shell fragments off the bottom, swirling around for several seconds before settling back on the sand.

I think that that's a lot of the mystery sign, shell and other debris being stirred up by strong bottom currents, enough to put the fish off feeding until they ease.

These currents seem to be generated by pretty well everything, wind, swell, temperature, time of year, the big prevailing oceanic currents, all have an effect.

The moon too, of course.

In my ignorance, I used to think the various indigenous fishing calendars had no real relevance once you got away from the harbours and inshore waters, but after a few years of watching the schools of fish, tarakihi in particular, being caught in abundance for periods, then coming off the bottom to the midwater and going completely off the bite as the bottom current picked up [the fishing lines going from straight down to big angles away from the boat].

I started checking the Nautical Almanac Tide Charts and the current picked up as we got further into the tide.

Not all the time, nothing's ever exactly the same at sea, sometimes there'll be days of no current, others it's screaming nonstop all day[those are the days we all love..not].

There doesn't seem to be any real relationship to the moon's phases or sea state, just too many variables that we're completely unaware of to keep it all fascinating