I’m from up North, East Cape, Wanganui… used to be a fishing journalist for NZ Fisherman magazine specialising in LBG and big sharks from land. Used to fish with Mark Draper, Pete Lamb if you know those guys. Been down here 10 years but went fishing last week for the first time at Timaru mole. No gear and everybody told me the fishing was rubbish is the reason I never went sooner.
Been out twice now… zero… but sure looks like livebaiting material to me off those moles at Timaru. Just a lot shallower than expected (good for rays I’d imagine). Biggest problem is zero kahawai at this time of year? I’ve had two big burley trails out now and not a single kahawai. There must be something at the top of the foodchain cruising that harbour area because the mullet in the berley are spooky. They dart in and feed real fast then go and hide instead of just feeding in the trail. Had a seal and a penguin in the berley.
I’ve heard of kingis caught off rocks near Chch in late summer. To check if you can get kingis somewhere in summer, watch that purple water line where the purple warm water meets that green or blue inshore (colder). Anywhere that purple water gets close enough to shore (even off a beach) and there’s a chance at kingis. The kingis follow that purple water around the NZ coast. I sure do miss them down here and the lack of snapper.
There’s some huge sharks down here somewhere. When I was a journo, a guy down here (Timaru-Oamaru), sent me photos of a huge shark caught in a gill net off the beach. It was 600 pound estimate and I think it was a porbeagle shark but I could be wrong. I also noticed seagulls following the fishing boats into Timaru port in the evening indicating they were cleaning their catch on the way in. Big sharks often follow fishing boats in if they make a habit of cleaning their catch. Haven’t got a clue what to use as a livebait though. Really miss having kahawai around.
Best fishing platforms I’ve seen so far in the South Island is the Catlins. Those are real big fish deep water platforms and probably never been live-baited. You’d probably get white pointers feeding on the seals. Be a real extreme place to target sharks. In midsummer I saw purple water in close at the catlins so the warm water does reach a long way south sometimes.
Also can’t get decent bait down here to make proper LBG berley. Whole frozen bonito are best by miles then frozen pilchards. Haven’t been able to find either in Timaru. Can’t make a real berley out of squid. Thinking I may have to berley up at the wharf to catch a sack of mullet on sabiki rigs then chop them up for berley? Don’t like doing berley trails around here. The locals stare like I’m crazy with a berley bucket and balloons and some get ratty if they’ve been fishing all day and caught nothing then I show up with berley trail and attract all the fish.