Tips & Information

Fishing With Steve


There is no such thing as a bad time to go fishing! We have all heard the slogan ‘the worst days fishing is better than the best day's working’. One thing is for sure, if you haven’t got a line in the water you won’t catch anything at all. Certainly some factors will increase your chances and optimizes your opportunities, but none more so than having a line in the water.

Top Tip For The Boat

Try jigging with 80 to 100 gram jigs when tides running hard, Gurnard and some Trevally go nuts over a pink jig.

Top Tip For The Shore

Take a variety of baits, while there is good Gurnard fishing from the shore at Fitzroy, there can also be good Moki fishing. Moki like a well presented Mussel bait as opposed to firm fillet bait such as Kahawai or Trevally bait typically used for Gurnard.

Time And Tide

Many fishermen prefer to fish what is known as the change of light. This means either fishing from night through to the dawn hours, or from daylight through dusk to dark. Fish often come onto the bite during these times as they are less vulnerable to predators than during the bright daylight hours which drive them to the cover of deeper water..

Fish Your Feet First

Many anglers overlook one of the simple tips that can enhance your chances of catching fish. Focusing on casting the greatest distance to get your line out as far as possible is one way of increasing your catch rates as fish are often in deeper water. However by fishing your feet first you give yourself the opportunity of catching those random foraging fish who come in close to feed on weed beds, shell fish covered rocks and food sources disturbed by the action of the waves on the shore line, snapper being a prime example. So when you are out fishing, vary the distance you cast to include close in to the shore, the middle distance and fully as far as you can cast.

BaitFresh is always best. Always tailor the size of the bait to the size of the hook you are using. Remember to always leave the barb of the hook exposed as this is what actually catches the fish. Many anglers make the mistake of covering the entire hook with bait on the assumption they will catch more fish if the fish can’t see the hook. What actually happens is that the fish can pull the bait off with little risk of getting hooked as there is nothing sharp exposed to actually hook the fish. 


Popular baits are pilchards, bonito squid and trevelly. The fresher the better! Other types of baits include salted mackerel, crabs, mussels, crayfish, prawns, and there is a huge range of artificial soft baits on the market now as well. 

Squid Bait

Squid bait is one of the most popular and easily obtainable baits. A top tip for squid bait is rather than buy packeted bait squid which is often squid that is too old or damaged for human consumption, buy fresh squid from your local seafood supplier and freeze it into fishing trip size packets. The more purple / gray in colour, and more strongly smelling the squid is, generally speaking the older it is. Fish are like most living creatures, the more appetizing the food, the more likely they are to find and eat it. The advantage of squid is that it is a really universal bait. You can use it whole, or in strips, and it is ideal to use from both the shore and the boat. It is a strong sturdy bait that is hard for small ‘pick at It fish to steal from the hook and while those little fish are picking away at it, their presence attracts larger fish to your line. .


There are many different types of sinkers with many different applications. From tiny ball sinkers used in bait fishing to the massive sinkers used to hold lines steady in two or three hundred metres of water with strong currents running. 

Most sinkers used in New Zealand are made of lead and are readily obtainable from sports stores, or anglers can make them using discarded lead sheeting, sash weights etc, melting the lead and pouring their own sinkers using home made or commercially manufactured sinker molds of which there are a large variety on the market. 

By using the appropriate sized sinkers you can increase your casting distance, and by choosing the correct style for the type of fishing and the fishing conditions you can really improve your chances of catching fish. If you are using a sinker too heavy for the line weight you are using, you increase the likely hood of snapping off your sinker during the cast, and by using a sinker that is too light you can seriously reduce your casting distance. A flat sided sinker will hold the sea bed well and help hold your line in position, where as a torpedo sinker will help reach greater distances due to its aerodynamic shape. So the choice of style and weight of your sinker is very important. 

Types Of Sinkers

Bank Sinkers

More commonly used for stray line fishing or the classic running rig for snapper, and small ball sinkers are often used for kids fishing lines as well. These are also a popular sinker for live baiting for Kingfish. This ever popular sinker has been used by generations of fishermen. 

Pyramid Sinkers

Popular surfcasting sinker for helping to retain the sea floor and gives you the ability to strike and set the hook in the fish where as a wired breakaway sinker which grabs the bottom. 

Breakaway Sinkers

These sinkers are an excellent sinker for surfcasting and are designed for fishing rough conditions or beaches with big swells, will help keep your line tight and help you detect bites. 


There are a wide variety of styles and sizes; there is a hook design for every type of fish and every type of fishing occasions 

The two most important things about hooks are choosing the right hook for your target species and secondly, bait presentation on the hook. Do not hide the barbed end beneath a big bait; always leave the tip of the hook exposed. This does not deter the fish from taking the bait and greatly increases your hook up rate. 

One of the most common mistakes that anglers make is putting too big a piece of bait onto the hook, and using too big a hook for the target species. You can always catch a big fish on a small hook; however it is really hard to catch a small fish on a big hook. 

The three most popular styles of hooks on the market are Suicide, Recurve and Circle. 

Suicide Hooks are an excellent hook for straylining and are popular with anglers who like to drive the hook home. Suicide hooks are the preferred hook for anglers who like to live bait. 

Recurve Hooks are hooks designed to self set in the corner of the fish’s mouth and is hugely popular with Tarakihi fisherman, and anglers who like to release their fish unharmed. 

Circle Hooks are more rounded than recurve hooks and are another type of self setting hooks, circle hooks can be used for all types of fishing however are very popular with shore fishermen.

We hope this information is helpful and wish all you keen anglers out there………

Tight Lines and Hot Side Plates!

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