Report Gisborne East Cape September 1999               back to reports

The crayfish season is closed here till 1st December.

The whitebait I’m told are running well, I was told they’re crawling across the road farther up the river because they can’t all fit through the culverts, don’t know that I believe that one but I’m going to take my bucket and shovel and have a look just in case. At this time of the year it’s always worth a try at the river mouth as there are still some kahawai left to follow the whitebait in.
The terakihi and small hapuku are at present moving in to the closer reefs, the big hapuku are on their rocks on the shelf edge, there have been some good snapper taken fairly close in and the big kingies aren’t far away. We had what I suspect was a real big one sucking on terakihi last week, it would have had to be big the size of the terakihi it was getting down. Unfortunately it didn’t hook up but it took three fish and ran off a fair bit of line under a solid drag before it spat them out, we got them back with no scales and the dorsal spines folded right back. There’s a northerly current starting to run down which should raise the water temperature fairly quickly this should bring albacore and probably skippies by mid November. In early November the kingies should be well established on the reefs and we won’t have to go to far for a feed. Gisborne Tatapouri calendar for November has only one date that of the Harbourview Marine Hapuku Hunt on the 13th-14th, due to the weather it never got underway last year so this year there should be a double- up on prizes?
The two big contests of the year, the Bay Bonanza on the 29th-30th
January and the Tuna and Marlin hunt on February 10th-13th should be down on everyone’s calendar not to be missed. Fishing from the shore has been well worthwhile lately, one top catch was a snapper of over 10kg caught by Gail Patty at the mouth of the “big river” in Gisborne. I hear it was taken on the last cast of the day and a NZACA record has been applied for.
Surfcasters calendar for November is: 3rd, club meeting. 4th-5th open beach contest. 20th closed beach contest at Tolaga Bay.


October 1999

The warm waters of spring are pouring down from the north, this morning two trawlers were complaining about the strength of the current, they reckoned it was between one and a half and two knots. Mid October we had 16c out on the edge and I saw something jump which looked awful like a tuna, bit of luck we're heading for an early season with some good albacore and yellowfin action. First week of October the small hapuku moved in to the close rocks then for the next two weeks disappeared again, now they're back and should stay all summer, in the last week good size terakihi have joined them so a feed is no trouble to get. Our 12mile kingie rock is well populated, mostly small fish but we got one of 20kg recently, there have been quite a lot of work-ups around which look like schools of small kingies moving south, it's unusual to see albatross and cape pigeons working a school but that's mainly what there is as the summer birds haven't arrived yet. Gisborne Tatapouri had their first contest of the season on a couple of nice calm days except for a southerly change on the Sunday afternoon which didn't affect many as by the time it arrived most were home. From what I heard on the radio the fishing was hard down there but everyone seemed to get a feed. Heaviest hapuku of 19.94kg went to Des Sargent. Heaviest snapper 5.34kg to Graeme Faloon. Heaviest terakihi 2.28 to Kevin Hannah.
Another big snapper has hit Midway beach in Gisborne this time it was caught by Cleo Castles and weighted in at 10.6kg it's been well worth chucking a bait in down there. December calendar for the Gisborne surfcasters; 1st, club meeting. 4/5th, open beach contest. 12th, Xmas BBQ and seniors V Juniors at the wharf.

November 99

My big news this month is I have a new boat. At 8.2 metres long she's about as big as I can handle here at Tolaga Bay She was built in January 1998 and has been used for taking 10 divers across Cook Strait, she's an Oceanraider built in Alloy by Profab Engineering and is powered by twin 175hp Mariner outboards. She's much the same shape as the old boat and has all the fish-finding and navigation gear needed. I've had to have a few alterations done to cater for the large amount of fish we catch here and the Safe Ship Management papers are finalised. Having the extra length of boat under us will make it more comfortable when the sea gets a bit lumpy and I'll be able to take up to 8 people fishing. There's not a lot we can do to improve the fishing here but having this bigger boat will improve the comfort we catch them in. The Gisborne Tatapouri, Harbourview Marine Hapuka Hunt got underway on the 14th November, fishing was tough although everyone got a feed. Hapuku were mostly small with the biggest a little over 20kg, the best terakihi on the other hand were all over 3kg. Now is the time to get your entries in for the Bay Bonanza on 29th-30th January as usual there's a huge prize list and as it's restricted to 150 boats you gotta be in quick. February 10th-13th are the dates for this years Marlin and Tuna Hunt again sponsored by Gisborne Motors Ford and DJ Barry. This should be a good one as I suspect there will be plenty of game fish around this season, yellowfin are early in the BOP and we have a strong current running down from the north. January should see plenty of small hapuka and terakihi about for the puku, kingies on the reefs for a fight, albacore, skippies and yellowfin in good numbers and the first of the marlin about mid month.
The recreational cray season opened on December 1st, should be plenty around up here. I don't know about Gisborne, MoF tell me one "customary" fisherman has taken out an estimated 10 tons in the closed season. Have a great New Year but stay safe and sober on the sea. If you're in Gisborne call in to the Tatapouri clubrooms on the wharf and have a beer or a feed.

PS; 3rd December got the first of the new seasons albacore today, good schools out there with plenty of bait-fish.

December 99

Hi all, hope the new years treating you well. Fishing down here's going real well we can get a feed of hapuku and terakihi no problem and the odd big snapper looks great with the tail sticking out of a fish bin. Some big kingies are starting to show up, had a group of Japanese who really got stuck into them, I'll write something on that later. Albacore and skippies arrived early in the month and should hang about all summer, they haven't been in huge numbers but we see schools on most days. There have only been a couple of small yellowfin taken up to the end of December but Alain Jorion had a marlin on for a time on the 2nd January till it dropped off at the boat, very early in the season for here. With a bit of luck there will be plenty about by the time you read this.
Another big snapper has come ashore this time caught in the Gisborne harbour by a young visitor from Nelson 11 year old Donald Harris. At 9.24kg it gave him a great fight on his light rod.
Some good fish have been carried off the Tolaga Bay Wharf my son Robert went out the end one morning and came home with a big john dory. A lot of good gurnard and kahawai and I'm told a couple of big kingies have also been carried off. Things are looking good for the next month so if you want to tangle with a big kingie or get a feed of hapuku give me a call on 06 8626715.

January 2000
January proved to be another great month for fishing here on the Coast, started off on the 2nd with a marlin hooked and unfortunately lost at the boat by Alain Jorion on Freedom, ( was it the first of the millennium? ). Then in the middle of the month there was a great run of yellowfin with over 60 landed in one weekend. I heard a couple of boats calling in one day with 5 fin on board, top game fishing for anywhere. Best fish so far was caught by John Ballard and went close to 55kg. Unfortunately the yellowfin bite didn't continue for the Bay Bonanza where the best to hit the scales went slightly under 19kg. The weights of the other species showed once again what a top fishing spot we have here, best hapuku went over 42kg, snapper, over 10kg, kingie over 22kg, bluenose over 18kg, terakihi just under 3kg. And from Tolaga we've been getting as many hapuku as we want in a couple of hours on most days then going and looking for something else to catch. Plenty of kingies on the reefs, a lot of them are small but there are some big mamas down the bottom, man do you know about it when you hook one. For the next month, which will be March the Nationals will be over, my holiday when I get to do the fishing. The water temperature's still rising so I expect to see a good run of yellowfin and marlin, kingies will be fat feeding up on sauries and of course the bottom fish will still be there. Broadbill, the first two were caught here by recreational fisherman last season and March through to July is the best time, we gotta have a go this year. I hope it's not the last chance we get, overseas experience has shown them to be a fragile resource and I understand there will be a big fleet of commercial boats in the area this year not targeting broadbill. What these fish need is a minimum size under which they cannot be taken by anyone, give them a chance to breed at least once before they can be landed. I'm told MoF have no concerns over the sustainability of broadbill and I see nothing on their list of things to do, seems that being at least 5 years to late is a major part of the skill of fisheries management the world over. Off the beach there continues to be a few big snapper hitting the sand and quite a bit of kahawai about. My sister came up for a couple of days and bought her first surfcaster, Robert my young fella took her down the river mouth and in a hour and a half she had 2 kahawai, no problem at all. Latest news is a 12.9 kg snapper caught from the beach in Gisborne and a yellowfin??? Caught from the rocks just north of Tolaga.

February 2000

Catch of the month from a boat goes to Simon Mills for his 102.75kg big eye tuna caught in the tuna and marlin hunt. The only one of a triple strike to stick this new Gisborne Tatapouri club record will take a bit of beating. Other good fish in the contest were two yellowfin of 47 and 47.8kg. The heaviest albacore weighed in at 17.1kg, also good catch.
Carlos Tuapawa has hauled another big snapper ashore from the end of Midway Beach this time it was a 12.12kg specimen caught. I hear there's also been some big fish taken from boats just off the beach so it's well worth throwing a bait in there specially on the change of light, morning or evening. Gisborne Surfcasters have been doing well on the beach and even better on dry land featuring in the recent NZACA postal casting competition.
We didn't do nearly as well in the nationals as we had hoped this year. What we saw out there has really got me concerned about the state of the kingie stocks. There were fish on the off shore reefs but the schools are a shadow of what they have been in past years. We had a look at the closer in reefs which usually hold fish in late summer and found only a few of the smallest kingies I have ever seen. The 8-fathom rock down by Gable End was completely devoid of life, not a kingie, not a kahawai; nothing and that place usually teems with life.
Hay Mr Minister of Fisheries these fish are in serious trouble, what they need is a zero commercial catch, no by-catch no nothing, a recreational size limit of 90cm and a bag limit of one per day. This they need NOW not in five or ten year's time when the commercial boys have lost interest because they can't catch them any more.

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