Bottom fishing for a feed has been nothing short
of brilliant in January, on a couple of days last week we have
had all the hapuku we wanted by 9am and were on our way to look
for some other sort of action. There have been plenty terakihi
around but they won't move far and if you aren't on top of them
you will miss out, this means firstly finding them and then precise
anchoring. Haven't targeted for kingies for a while but have picked
up some big ones when bottom fishing, I expect there will be good
numbers on the reefs, be the nationals soon so then we will find
out. We fished the Bay Bonanza again this year and cleaned up
the terakihi section taking every prize as well as the bluenose
and trumpeter, we were the only boat in the contest that got prizes
for more than one fish.
Very few game fish caught so far with only the one yellowfin and
one marlin landed, we saw a marlin jump close to the boat last
week so they are out there. There have been a couple of purse
seine boats working around here and I hear they have been getting
some very big yellowfin over 100kg, hope they leave some for us
to catch. With a couple of game fish contests in February I will
have to spend a day replacing leaders on the lures and sharpening
End of Summer Newsletter 2004
Now it's the first of March and summer is officially over so time
to look back at how we have done over the summer and forward to
what the next few months may bring.
Summer started with great bottom fishing with the terakihi and
small hapuku arriving on the closer rocks in good numbers, there
were also plenty of big hapuku farther out when conditions let
us get at them.
We did very well in the major contests this year, first was the
Bay Bonanza where we took out 5 prizes with a clean sweep of the
terakihi section and heaviest bluenose and trumpeter. With reports
of Marlin seen all along the coast the Marlin and Tuna Hunt was
keenly anticipated: and what a contest it turned out to be with
27 marlin landed or tagged in three days. We only ended up with
one albacore prize but landed a striped marlin from two strikes
and saw another two free swimming marlin. Then on the last day
we ended up in the middle of a pod of sperm whale, an awe inspiring
and somewhat scary experience in quite rough seas surrounded by
animals a lot bigger than the boat.
Last contest of the season was the NZ Big Game Fishing Council
Nationals. Our team from Wellington again targeted the yellowtail
section. This year we came very close to a clean sweep, we ended
up as the champion team, taking out 3 of the 5 line classes, coming
second in other two and getting the champion yellowtail angler
with a 22.6kg fish on 6kg line. We also came first and second
in the tag and release section, a great effort from the team.
As I write this we are being lashed by the tail end of a tropical
cyclone with heavy rain and strong northerly winds due to turn
to even stronger southerly any second, but it is forecast to pass
quickly and we should be back to good weather next week.
Over the next few months and into winter we can expect more great
bottom fishing with plenty of terakihi and hapuku for a feed and
as the water cools the snapper will start to congregate on the
offshore rocks. Yellowtail kingfish will still be on the reefs
and I know there are some big ones there as we dropped a few very
big fish in the nationals. I suspect the weather we are experiencing
will chase the marlin out but you never know with these things
so it will still be worth looking till the end of the month.
Peter with a kingie caught
March fishing has once again been good but hampered somewhat
by several cold southerlies. Terakihi and hapuku are starting
to fill with roe and move out in preparation for spawning, there
are still a few around closer in but they are becoming difficult
to find. Farther out there are good numbers of bigger hapuku but
you need to be spot on in the right place. There are still good
numbers of kingies round the reefs although a lot of them are
small, Caught a really big kingie of over 40kg on the bottom on
a piece of barracouta fillet recently so the big ones are there
down deep. We saw some big schools of trevally on one reef last
week, first lot I have seen for a couple of months. The game fish
will now be gone for the season although a marlin was hooked and
lost just off Tolaga about the middle of the month and skipjack
are still plentiful, so you never can tell.
The terakihi and hapuku have now moved out in preparation
for spawning, we are still getting some good hapuku and small
bass but need to go a fair way to get them. We have had some very
big trumpeter in April and some good kingies on the bottom. We
did one trip targeting kingies and did well with numbers but only
one fish over 20kg, we used jigs and salt water fly and released
all the kingies we got. There have been some very good snapper
this month as they start to move off shore as the water cools.
I know of at least one weighed over 10kg and several more around
8kg, there should be more snapper caught in the next couple of
months as the congregate on the rock patches. The longline boats
are still seeing marlin at the end of April with at least one
and a spearfish released south of Gisborne in the last week of
the month in 17.5c water. Maybe we all put away the game gear
Trumpeter caught in April
Not a lot to report this month as the weather has kept me
on shore for most of the time.
We only got one trip out early in the month when we got some good
hapuku in deeper water and another trip last weekend with a few
hapuku terakihi and snapper closer in. On the second of May we
were anchored on a bird watching trip when a school of yellowfin
erupted round the boat, good size fish of around 30kg. A great
sight to see them leaving the water by at least a metre, saw one
catch a bait fish in the air, first time I have ever seen that.
Hopefully the weather will settle down and let us get out in the
coming weeks. There should be plenty of snapper to be caught soon
and hapuku out deeper, there will still be some kingies around
in places although the bad weather may have chased most of then
north and into deep water
I wasn't out on the sea much in June as I had a couple of
weeks in Thailand on the first real holiday I've had in years,
visited a couple of islands that meant three boat trips of around
50km each. On one trip from the island of Ko Tao to the mainland
there were fishing boats and nets everywhere with around 30 boats
in sight at any time on the 50km journey and lines of nets every
few hundred metres. All the nets appear to be small mesh and the
fish caught sardine size, saw a barracuda jump when we got close
to land and the tail of what looked like a dog tooth tuna sticking
out of a sack on the back of a motorbike, other than that the
only decent size fish I saw were when I did a couple of dives.
The fish were very different and colorful but no more in number
than I would expect to see on a dive here. Watched a crab boat
come in and unload from a nights fishing, they unloaded one bin
of crabs for 5 people on the boat, must be difficult to make anything
from fishing over there. Even with all the things wrong with the
system we work under here we are still far better off than a lot
of the world.
Got in a couple of trips at the end of the month and got some
good hapuku, bluenose and gemfish out deep and good snapper closer
in. The hapuku are full of roe and due to spawn very soon, terakihi
are also out spawning but still a few closer in.
Another month when the weather has won most rounds but we
have occasionally got out and caught good fish, water temperature
is lower than normal which probably accounts for the fish being
slow to move. The hapuku are still mostly well out in the deep
but we have a few closer in, terakihi are starting to move in
and there should be plenty about in October.
Snapper are still out in around 100m with a few closer in, there
are no schools of kahawai at all even though there are some whitebait
coming up the river, there seems to be far less barracouta here
this year which probably means there is not much bait fish about.
There should be some kingies arriving soon although as yet I haven't
had a look on the reefs.
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