Saltwater fly fishing around Auckland

Meola Reef – Another Saturday Morning

The scene was calm, cloudy and clammy. And when the sun arose, a red sky portent of the wet weather to come.


Enough to get your blood boiling – undersized snapper caught in net left illegally unattended all night on the reef as well as not identified. Of course MAF never turn up when you report them. Other people I know would have cut it ribbons there and then.



However I made my way further along to the first fishing pool. The water was a bit silty and I changed flies trying to get one that had enough presence to be noticed. I waded out into the channel on the eastern side of the reef edge and fished into the deeper water by the entrance to the pool. At the end of one retrieve I had a tangle in the running line and stopped to unpick it. About ten seconds later there was a sudden scuffling noise as my line shot up the rod rings – a snapper had nailed my stationary fly on the muddy bottom in knee deep water only 2-3 meters from my feet! Shallow water fly fishing can turn in some surprises like that – while most people still have the stereotyped image of snapper as deep water, reef dwellers.

A video grab


And here’s the link to some raw footage of the snapper from under my feet …

After no more responses in the area I headed out another 200-300 meters along to Kingfish Alley just as tide turned to flood. The water there was clearer and a bit of current made it look ideal for kahawai or kingfish. I tried there for about half an hour then returned to the first pool, which now had some current flowing into it. On the western side I was fishing into a deepish patch and after a few minutes there were small mullet scattering as two rat kingfish zoomed through, almost under my rod tip. I did my best to cover every disturbance but the predators were hitting erratically and withihin ten minutes the show was over. So after fishing the reef for over four years I finally got my first visual of a kingfish hunting. Hopefully more to come in the years ahead!



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