Yip done a fair bit of snapper stalking in the shallows.Not in the Havelock estuary itself but just around the corner off cullens point.
Also Shag point and Kaiuma and a small bay in between.Have takin a cupla 3 snapper from these parts over the last 2 or 3 years.No biggies but they have been around the 6lb mark.
The snapper have come from Cullens but I reckon I dropped a goodie in Kaiuma the last time I was there.My last trip to Shag point saw me spooled by a big sting ray and near dragged into the water.I had to get my mate to rush over with the knife and cut the line because I was down to the spool and there was no stopping this bloody bonnet sized bastard.
Mahikapawa would produce snapper no doubt about it but I think you would be best to use a dinghy or kayak and look for the channels in the middle of the arm.
I dont normally bother with these places until after xmas and night time high tides are the best times.You dont get alot of time to fish the tides so you are best to be throwing the first bait out on the incoming tide just after it turns and fish right through high tide until it turns and starts getting too shallow again.
I use a 3 ounce ball sinker on a two hook running rig baited with a whole pillie.Spotties and other pickers arnt a problem after dark and you dont have to tie the pillies on if you have them on properly.
Kaiuma is worth the drive and prob have more of a chance at landing a big boy there.I have only fished there a couple of times during the daylight hours and havnt come away with much apart from a couple of small kahawai but Kaiuma is well known for producing the snaps.Its definately on my hit list for summers night snapper stalking.
These areas are my fav and personally I dont know why people feel the need to drive right up the kenepuru in search of snapper… I know I certainly wont be going all that way when I have my V8 Discovery