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Winter Kayak Fishing BOP by Tim Taylor
5:13PM 4th Apr 13

Many of you will be well aware that the snapper are on fire in the BOP (Bay of Plenty, Tauranga NZ) at the moment. Tales of limit bags in under an hour are not uncommon. The reason for this is the snapper are eating almost continuously to put on fat for the winter. Take a look at the fillets and you will notice they are yellow in colour, not the usual white.  While the water hovers around the 16˚C mark, this aggressive feeding behaviour should continue, so get out there and go hard. Gurnard, kahawai and trevally are also mixed in with the snapper so a real mixed bag is possible at the moment.  

Over the past few weeks I have had numerous fishing tours, competitions, and personal fishing missions around the BOP. I have found snapper almost everywhere that I have dropped a bait. If you are having trouble finding them, the 20m contour line along the whole of Papamoa Beach is a good starting place, as is the normal reefs out towards Motiti Island. Search for schools with your sounder and target them with softbaits or ledger rigs. You can also anchor up, set a good burley trail, and strayline down to them. The fish you will commonly encounter seem to be in that 30-40cm eating bracket but if you are getting plagued by smaller fish, then step up and use bigger baits with 5/0 or 6/0 hooks. Top baits for me have been cubes of pilchard, skipjack, or whole fillets of kahawai when targeting those bigger fish.   
If you see a crazy kayaker floating around with more tackle than normal, then it is probably me. I love having a yarn, so cruise on over to say hello and tell me your day is going. If you would like a hand with your fishing; perhaps want to come out on a trip; or if you want more details on the current political fishing climate, then please send me an email

Paddle hard everyone.

Tim Taylor
027 668 9904