The big snapper continue to come ashore, latest reports of fish over 9kgs have come from Tolaga Bay wharf and by the surf club on Midway beach. It's been a great season for these big fish from the beach and the wharves, I've heard of about a dozen over 9kg with the best being a shade under 13kg. I suspect these are fish that have leaked round the cape and worked their way down the largely unfished coastline, growing on the plentiful tucker, till they finally encountered bait. There should be more out there and I would expect to hear of more being caught right through winter. The wharves have been producing quite a number of john dory, kahawai and in Tolaga gurnard. There have also been several big kingies hooked and one or two landed but mostly the lines they were hooked on have been light and the results inevitable. A couple of weeks of strong southerlies haven't helped with the boat fishing but when we have got out the fishing's been great. Terakihi are filling up with roe and starting to move out, any small rocks in about 100m should hold good schools. Kingies and hapuku are on their trail getting an easy feed and will follow along as they move out to spawn. Went up to Waihau Bay with a charter, howling southerly made it impossible to fish out of Tolaga. Trolled round to Matakoa point where many moons ago I used to fish with a character called Ron Waitoa, Ron used to reckon the best spot for hapuku was where the third black cow lined up with the lighthouse. The cows are still there but the hapuku have gone guess that proves cows live longer than hapuku. Spent two days up there for half a dozen snapper and a couple of kingies, marlin were there, but you had to put in the time with the lures which we weren't willing to do. Last day of the charter we came back to Tolaga and released about 50 kingies, 35 tagged, got 7 snapper, 8 terakihi and 2 yellowfin. How good is the fishing here? We've been seeing quite a lot of juvenile fish about this lately, got a 200mm long bass early in the month and in the last week there have been some very small kingies around 250mm hanging around the boat. Also caught what looks like juvenile bluenose on the surface, if that's what they are, it's possibly the first time they've ever been seen in this country. They'll be on their way to Wellington in the next couple of days for ID, let you know what they are next month.
Another month when snapper from the shore have been the
big news, several have come off the Gisborne beaches. I was at
the Tolaga Bay wharf when one of the locals carried off a nice
fish that looked to be about 6kg. Next day my son Robert was out
on the end and got another, he did it the hard way walking the
fish all the way down the wharf ( 600m ) to beach it in the surf,
at a little over 6kg a real good catch. Gisborne Tatapouri Sports
Fishing Club Easter snapper and kingfish contest managed to get
a couple of reasonable days weather wise although the fishing
was hard. Best snapper went 10.1kg and the top kingie 26kg. They
were upstaged somewhat by a young fella who walked into the clubrooms
in the evening and asked if he could weigh a snapper he had caught
off the rocks at Mahia, went 12.1kg, would have won him a new
Ford ute if he had got it in the contest.
Terakihi are full of roe and congregating on deep rocks ready to move out to spawn, the big kingies are following along and man are they fat, it must be an easy feed down there at this time of the year. If you find a mob of terakihi put down a live one and it won't take long and you'll be getting your arms pulled off. Hapuku have also moved out, some are with the terakihi and others well out on the edge of the shelf preparing to do their own thing. Lots of trevally on the Tolaga reef and still skippies and yellowfin at the end of April, quite a lot of kahawai and some schools of barracouta moving north to where all the shiny lip ornaments are. Still no news on the juvenile fish from last month, should get something soon.
Not a great deal to report this month as the sea has been to rough to get out; we did however get in a couple of days. Terakihi are working their way in to the closer rocks the ones we have been catching are big and fat, great grazing. Small hapuku are also appearing, very early for them, I don't normally expect to start seeing until about late August-September. Some of them are very small, consider chucking the little ones back and give them a chance to grow. Drop them in head first, as long as they hit with a reasonable splash the usually go back down. There are quite a lot of good snapper coming in, nothing huge but well worth catching. Big kingfish are hanging around wherever there are terakihi, we usually pick up at least one for a days fishing. I haven't been out to any of the kingie rocks but I suspect there will be enough fish there to make a trip worthwhile. I doubt though if it would be worth using any lures at the moment as there are lots of barracouta feeding on what appears to be big schools of whitebait. I suspect it could be a very good season for whitebait this year so it may well be worth dragging out the net and having a go, not sure when the season starts, some time in August I think.
The water temperature for the first month of spring has
been well up on average, we have had some good catches of terakihi,
quite a few hapuka and some nice snapper. Most days we have got
one or two early kingfish although the schools that are on the
usual rocks are of mostly small fish and are well mixed with barracouta.
I would expect the schools of small hapuku to shortly start moving
in to the inside rocks, good terakihi will continue to be a major
part of the catch in October. When the water rises another degree
it will be worth towing a lure for an early albacore and better
kingies will arrive on the reefs.
The first of October was the opening day for the rivers, from what I hear they are fishing well with good numbers and size of trout that are in good condition. If anyone is interested in a trip either fresh or salt water or a combination of both now is the time to start planning, with the NZ $ at its present low visiting New Zealand has never been better value.
This month has seen the start of spring fishing with the first of the small hapuku moving in to the close in rocks and a continuation of good fat terakihi, a few snapper and the odd big kingie have helped to fill the fish bins. Schools of small kingies have been around on the reefs but the bigger fish will still be down deep hunting on the bottom, once the water warm and the schools of pelagic baitfish arrive they will join the small fish on the reefs where we can target then. There have been a few mako and blue sharks making a pest of themselves, the blues are very lethargic at this time of the year when they get hold of a bait they can by wound in with little resistance. Makos are a different story, as corporal Jones says. 'They don't like it up em sir'. When they get a hook in they go.
November should see the water temperature rising, more small hapuku in close and if it warms enough possibly some early albacore.
Still great summer fishing around here with the water temperature around 20c, plenty of skipjack tuna for bait, some good albacore and yellowfin, plenty of yellowtail kingfish and of course the usual excellent bottom fishing. We entered in the two big contests of the year out of Gisborne, the first the Bay Bonanza we only managed one prize for the heaviest trumpeter. In the Tuna and Marlin hunt we did better getting the 1st and 3rd heaviest albacore, our winning fish went over 20kg. We also got the 7th heaviest yellowfin tuna, the top 10 were all within 2kg of each other with the best 30kg. A report on the huge mako which won the shark section is at 1000 POUND MAKO SHARK. Last week in the Nationals which we didn't compete in this year there was a 341kg blue marlin caught out of Gisborne the first blue weighed here, it was the heaviest marlin caught anywhere in the country for the contest. March will continue to see good tuna and yellowtail fishing, there will be a few marlin about and the usual great bottom fishing.
At the end of March the water temperature out there is still
20.5c, warm enough for tuna and marlin, although none have been
seen for a couple of weeks. Earlier in the month another blue
marlin was landed out of Gisborne, only the second caught here,
and others hooked and lost. There has been an increase in the
number of blues caught around the country in the last couple of
seasons. There have been plenty of big kingfish about and a few
schools of smaller fish. We had secession on the fly rod recently.
It's a great site seeing a mob of kingies chasing a fly, the splash
of the take then the scream of the reel as the lucky one disappears
into the depths with the fly. The fight they put us is way out
of proportion to their size.
Terakihi are filling up with roe and have moved out to prepare for spawning, the hapuku have followed along and are mostly in 100m +. I would expect to see a few more snapper turning up for they move out as the close in temperature drops in April. We will have to travel a bit farther to get good bottom fishing but as I have compiled a catch record over several years we can find them.
Fish of the month here in Tolaga Bay has been snapper that
are moving out from close inshore where they have spent the summer.
As the water temperature drops close to the land they move out
where the water is warmer, this is a regular occurrence but is
probably a little earlier than normal. Terakihi have gone out
to the edge of the shelf to prepare to spawn, as have most of
the hapuku. There are still good numbers of kingies around, we
had a couple of great days with jigs and salt water fly gear earlier
in the month. I would expect to be able to catch kingies for a
couple of months yet and probably a few right through the winter.
Water temperature at present is 18c so there should still be a few yellowfin about, we have seen skipjack in the last week or so but they won't be here for much longer. Through May we will get more good catches of snapper and hapuku farther out and there will be enough kingies about to get them when we want them.
Snapper have been the fish to target this month, good catches have been taken from 20m out to about 80m, most are small fish of around a kilo with the odd one up to 7kg. We got a few hapuku close in last weekend and a good catch of terakihi, this is a bit unusual at this time of the year as most of these fish are out deep spawning.
There are still a few makos pestering us stealing gear and we tagged a reasonable size thresher shark last week. Heard a passing yacht on the radio saying the had caught a tuna on a trolled lure, probably an albacore or skipjack, so there must still be some about. The longline boats that are out between 40 and 50 miles are doing all right on bluefin, big eye, albacore tuna and broadbill.
Early in the month snapper were going really well then as the month progressed terakihi started to take over as the main fish in the bin. It's early for Terakihi to be moving in and this probably confirms what I had suspected that they gone out to spawn early this year. We've got a few hapuku close in lately and it will be interesting to see follow the trend of the terakihi and arrive early. There are still some small schools of kingies about but they are difficult to target because of the barracouta that are hanging around in the same spots. A good way to target kingies this time of the year is to find some terakihi, put on a live one a circle hook and drop it back down the bottom. Leave the rod in a holder, the reel in gear with a good strike drag and wait till the rod bends over. If nothing happens, no loss you can still eat the bait.
Snapper and terakihi have been the mainstay of our fishing this month, the terakihi are fairly small by our standards but still well above legal size. Snapper have been of average size of about a kilo or two with the odd bigger one. Most have been caught in around 100m of water where they seem to move out to as the temperature drops. We have had a couple of days when we have caught some good hapuku with one fish around 40kg.
Even though the days are now getting longer the coming month of August usually sees the lowest water temperature of the year and we will have to keep fishing fairly well out to get a good feed. That's not a problem as my data base now covers seven years of fishing and I can pick where the fish will be.
The weather hasn't done us any favours this month but we have still got in a bit of fishing. We have had a couple of days when the big hapuku have co-operated, these fish have been full of roe and milt so are in spawn mode. Terakihi seem to appear and disappear and there is still the odd snapper in the catch.
I spent the last week of the month in Samoa fishing the International Billfish Contest, love that warm, Our team managed to win the mahimahi section with an 11.6kg fish on 10kg line and we ended up 5th out of 23 teams. We tagged a small blue marlin and unfortunately dropped a sailfish after a two hour fight on 10kg. Not to bad an effort considering none of our team has fished there before.
September has not been the best of months either for weather or finding fish. When we have got out we have caught some good hapuku, although we have had to go a fair way to find them, we had a hapuku of about 15kg chopped neatly in half by a mako last week, must have been a big momma. At the end of the month the terakihi started to appear on the closer in rocks and we got some nice snapper. October will see the small hapuku move in to where we can get an easy feed and an increase in the terakihi. I would hope to see a few kingies arrive, although I am really worried about the state of stocks as there has been a big decrease in numbers in the last few years. I suspect that if nothing is done to curb the commercial take catching a kingie will be a thing of the past in 5 years time.
A bit of improvement in the weather has meant more days on the sea and some quite good catches. The hapuku have finally started to move in and we have had some good catches of terakihi and some nice snapper. The water temperature has never gone very low all winter and is now starting to rise, I suspect that by the end of November it will be close to 17c and then we can start looking for albacore and the first yellowfin. We had a couple of days this month chasing kingfish, the ones we got were small but both the numbers and size will improve as we get into summer.
Newsletter Spring-Summer 2001
Summer has snuck up on us again the water is warming up and it won't be long before we can expect the first albacore closely followed by yellowfin. Last summer was quite a good year for game fish in particular for yellowfin, we actually had a better season here than over the Bay of Plenty. There were two big blue marlin caught out of Gisborne and of course the !000lb mako in the Marlin and Tuna Tournament.
We fished 3 contests last summer, the crews all got on the prize lists with good prizes in the Tolaga Bay contest the heaviest trumpeter in the Bay Bonanza and first and third albacore and seventh yellowfin in the Marlin and Tuna Tournament. I still have a vacancy for the Tuna Tournament on 7,8,9,10th February next year so if you would like to be in for some great game fishing give me a call. Recently we had a hapuku of about 15kg bitten in half by a mako that looked to be close to 300kg, I have that one marked down to take the heaviest mako prize.
Fishing over the winter has been good the usual hapuku and
Terakihi being the main catch with some great snapper fishing
in June and July, there were several days when we got limit bags
of good average size snapper. The small hapuku have been late
arriving this season they only just started to turn up in mid
November and then if you were on the wrong rock you miss out.
Terakihi have very localised and it has needed pin point accuracy
to get onto them, when we get the anchor in the right place there
are plenty to be caught.
We got some good kingfish in late autumn this year and have had a couple of goes at them in the last month, we got mostly small fish but there were quite a few there. Numbers and size should increase as the season progresses.
Prospects for the coming summer look great with plenty of good table fish close in and bigger hapuku farther out. There will be enough kingies on the reefs to still make this the best fishing spot in the country and with a little luck another good game fishing season.
I had a local turn up at home last week with a beautiful big fat snapper to weigh, it pulled the scales down to 11.5kg.
Strong offshore winds for much of the month have kept us in fairly close. Terakihi have been the mainstay of the catch with some good bags of hapuku and a few kingies, we have tagged a couple around a metre long and kept a couple close to 25kg.
The water temperature is up to 20c and there are good numbers of reasonable sized albacore out there, we have done very little trolling but when we have put a lure in we have picked up albacore. I would be very surprised if there were not yellowfin out there and the odd marlin, one day soon I will find out.
We've been pestered by some big mammas of makos, we had a couple of reasonable sized kingies chomped off behind the gills and a hapuku of about 15kg neatly nipped in half, saw another big one yesterday as we were coming home, very impressive beasts indeed.
Great fishing for the first month of 2002, plenty of terakihi
close in for a good fed and some big hapuku farther out. Big kingfish
have been a regular catch when bottom fishing with some good schools
around the reefs. Game fish have been quite scarce so far with
only half a dozen yellowfin caught they have however been big
all close to 50kg. There have been albacore and skipjack when
we have trolled lures and we saw some big momas of makos early
in the month. There have been a couple of marlin seen but as yet
The water temperature is around 20c so February should bring more yellowfin and hopefully marlin. Bottom fishing will continue at the usual high standard and kingies are there to be caught.
Marlin have been the big news in March, the few boats that
get out there and troll lures are getting action with strikes
from black, blue and striped marlin. I suspect if as much time
was put in targeting game fish by boats here as it is farther
north we would see many more marlin landed. A couple of weeks
back we saw the tail of a big marlin cruise past when we were
bottom fishing. I get very few charters that want to chase game
fish as most like the continuous action of bottom fishing and
the resulting feed.
We have had some great kingie trips with some very big fish caught and tagged. One day we were plagued by big bronze whaler sharks that made a pest of themselves taking fish off the lines and leaving just the head. We put a couple of heads back down on a big rod and tagged the two three metre sharks that came back to finish their meal. Kingies will be around for a couple of months yet and possibly longer depending on water temperature.
The terakihi are filling with roe it won't be long before the start spawning, snapper are starting to turn up in the catches and we have had some big hapuku and bass with a huge bass of 60kg last weekend.
A couple of weeks back we saw a pair of very big hammerhead sharks that hung around out the back of the boat for a while, they wouldn't come in close but even 30 metres back they looked huge.
A good month for both fish and weather has meant not only have we got out there, but we have returned with happy crews. The fish bins have mostly been filled with terakihi with a few snapper, hapuku and some very big kingies. The terakihi are starting to spawn some we are catching are running with roe, doesn't seem to be putting them off feeding. Snapper are moving out with the dropping water temperature and we should soon be able to target them in between 50 and 70 metres.
Hapuku are still hard to find and some days we have had to put up with terakihi and a couple of kingies.
May should produce more snapper, plenty of terakihi and good kingies, well worth coming for a fish.
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