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Winter Fishing

Winter has truly set in. The fish are feeding less and less, and they are getting very picky about what they will eat and proving a real challenge to sink a hook into.

Being even harder to catch after a few days of settled weather with the water clarity getting better. After saying that I would have to admit winter is my favourite time of the year to be on the water. Sure you get a chilly start to the day but if you pick your days right, you're in for a treat. It's mirror flat water, blue skies and sunshine, and you don't have to paint yourself with sun screen and getting all sweaty. There are fewer boats on the water which gives me that "Getting away from it all"-feeling.

During the winter a lot of the school fish seem to move out into deeper water leaving behind small packs of solid fish and the odd massive solo fish. If you are prepared to put in the time and effort, these fish can be caught.
Fish don't grow big because they eat every bait that is put in front of them. When it comes to winter baits you have to start thinking outside the square.

Fishing fresh bait will prove a lot more successful. I always launch just before light and put a hour or so into catching mackerel, piper, kahawai for fresh snapper bait. I've found fresh piper to be the best snapper bait!
I've managed to drag out some huge snapper drifting the piper down an established berley trail.

If livebaiting for kings then only the best baits will do! Squid topping that list, but things like flounder, mullet and koheru have landed me some solid fish also.
A high quality fluorocarbon leader is a must! and dropping down in leader size will give you more strikes as winter kings will shy off any bait if the line is visible. I've even gone as far to bridle rig baits with 30cm of 20lb fluorocarbon in the hopes of getting a fish to feed.

Enjoy the winter!

Nathan

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