Work ups

The winter work up fishing has begun in the outer gulf and there are some really nice snapper and Kingfish around. It’s magical to be involved in work up fishing. Gannets diving, Whales and Dolphins smashing the bait schools is truly mesmerizing. Then add into the mix the masses of Snapper, Kingfish and Kahawai underneath them for us to catch. it’s a spectacular event. I’m pleased to say the number of milky flesh fish being caught has significantly reduced. I was out fishing the other day and we only caught good ones. Most were around the 40-50cm and the largest fish was around 12lb.


Areas to find work ups in July

We have reports the work ups are currently around Bream Bay to Mangawhai, in between Great Barrier and little barrier islands, Anchorite and the end of the Coromandel. (see map). These will move up further into the gulf as winter wears on. There have already been reports of Whales and Gannets work ups in closer towards the North East of Waiheke. The frequency of these work ups increases as you get closer to a full moon.


Work up fishing techniques

The best way to fish a work up is using lures. There are several methods of fishing lures and they are all great fun. Slider fishing or slow jigging is probably still the number one method, followed by slow pitch and soft baiting. These work exceptionally well. A new soft bait lure to consider is the Ocean Angler Head banger, which is a heavy soft bait designed to fish to over 50m so perfect for work up fishing in the deep. This has been catching some large snapper and kingfish.


How to manoeuvre into place to fish a work up

When attempting to fish a workup, slowly sidle your boat to the edge of workup and try not to disturb it. Running through the middle of them can shut them down and nobody wants that. The snapper are generally found on the bottom following along behind the path of the work up picking up the fallen remains. So you don’t need to be on top of the workup to be catching fish especially in deep water. If the workup has been going for a long time, then the snapper might have travelled up the water column closer to the surface and that’s when casting soft baits or small metal lures into the middle of the workup can often produce some great fishing.



If you want to stay in close, then stay lining in the shallows with burley is always good at bringing the fish on the bite, especially important in the winter months when fish are more sluggish. Guys are reporting great fishing using lots of burley and being patient. Be prepared to sit and wait and keep pumping out that burley until the big moocher comes along. Recently, some large fish caught have been caught around Tiri and Kawau recently using this method.



The Bluefin tuna run is well underway and every year it gets better. It’s a great extension to the game season. The weather has not been great so far and that has meant few fishing days. They are mainly being caught at Waihau bay. Some reports of fish being caught further north out of Coromandel. It won’t be too long before they are running up behind Barrier Island in good numbers. I witnessed them myself last season in late May 2023. They were busting up 20m behind my boat when I was bass fishing. Some boats from Great Barrier reported catching Bluefin on skirted lures and on stick baits. Fingers crossed we get some good weather for boats to go out wide and find them. If you need any tackle or fishing advice, then please swing in and see me or one of the fishing department team at North Shore Hunting & Fishing. Good luck out there doing it.