Another Top Weekend on Great Barrier Island

It is Sunday afternoon, the sun is shining and everything is calm and quiet out there. The weather has been really good  this weekend, we had beautiful winter days. I like these cold and crisp mornings, when the air ‘smells’ cleaner than usual and when you know the sun is going to shine all day.  I was busy yesterday doing f*** all, getting a bit of fire wood sorted and taking an extensive bath outside for most of the day and parts of the evening.

Relaxing outside in a hot bath.

I’ve got a little fire going underneath the bath tub and keep the water temperature around 40 degrees Cel. Needless to say that it is pretty mint, sitting in a hot bath outside, enjoying the views or the stars at night. The water comes straight from the creek, fed through a hose and at the moment it is nice and cold. A thermometer and a couple of lengths of wood complete the setup. The thermometer comes in handy when its cold and windy out there and you are naked and want to hop quickly into the tub, but then realize that it is too hot.

An old cowboy trick; sit on wood or you'll burn your buttocks.

So yeah, that was pretty much my Saturday. The plan for today was to catch some fish. It has been weeks since I was out there, and for weeks the East Coast has been calm and inviting, so I really had to get out today for a rockfish. My preference is to fish the last 2-3 hours of the outgoing tide, and go at low tide for a bit of a walk searching for kina and other shellfish. Rani and I left home at about 0830, stopped at Stonewall Shop and got a kilo of squid and were fishing off a ledge in Oruawharo Bay about an hour later. It didn’t take long and I had landed the first fish of the day. A little leather jacket, also known as cream fish. I was pondering whether to take the leather jacket home or not, as I haven’t eaten one of those for a while but decided to let it go and to keep fishing. There were plenty of 30+ cm snapper close in which aggressively fed on the bait. I kept throwing them back, feeling confident that bigger snapper were hanging around in the deep. Indeed, the takes started feeling more powerful, and I started landing bigger fish. There are plenty rock pools on that specific ledge which is great for catch and release. I release all smaller fish immediately, 35+ cm snapper go right into the rock pool and when the day is over, I pick the best three and let the rest go. Within a few hours I had more than I could eat and I packed in before it was low tide.

The best three of the day.


I scale and clean the fish right on the rocks. Rani eats most of the insides and loves the gills.

Another great rockfishing trip on the East coast, the fish were biting all the time and as you can imagine, it is very peaceful, standing out there on a ledge, enjoying a beautiful day and catching fresh fish.

On the way back I took a picture of a nice sailing catamaran right in Medland’s beach which was otherwise completely deserted.

Medland's Beach at low tide.
Another way to enjoy the day; on a cruising cat.

Rani just finished her portion of the fish and is dozing away by the fire place, which gives me an idea. I should take a little nap myself, my fish are prepped in tin foil with some oils, sauces and greens and will be sizzling on the fire place in a few hours.

6 thoughts on “Another Top Weekend on Great Barrier Island”

  1. Sehr geil!
    Wie lange brauchst du um die Wanne auf Betriebstemperatur zu bringen? Pass gut auf, daß nicht irgendwann die Bildzeitung über neuseeländische Kanibalen schteibt, die versuchten einen stark alkoholisierten Mann in einer Badewanne zu kochen… 😉

    1. Hey Moe, ich mache das Feuer an, dann fuelle ich die Wanne auf. Sie ist auf Betriebstemperatur wenn sie voll gelaufen ist. Hab die Wanne seit einem Jahr hier und sie wird regelmaes/ig benutzt. ‘Ne Sauna bzw. ein tuerkisches Bad waere optimal fuer den Winter. Du kennst ja die NZLer, hab hier noch keinen kennengelernt, der ‘ne Sauna oder aehnliches zu Hause installiert hat. In der Tat, die Gefahr besteht, dass man einpennt und erst aufwacht, wenn einem richtig kalt ist… hehe

  2. Hi B!

    Ist schön von dir zu lese. Das du Winter hast wenn hier Sommer ist verwirrt mich jedesmal auf’s Neue. Die Badewanne ist ne ganz tolle Sache.
    Ich bin wieder in Schleswig-Holstein. An der Stör habe ich vorgestern ein paar Neunaugen (eng. Lamprey) bei der Paarung beobachtet. Seltsame Tiere, ich nenne sie gern Vampirfische weil sie an anderen Fischen parasitieren. Nach der Paarung sterben sie und es war schon bewegend die finale Phase ihres Lebens beobachten zu können. Schade das sie so selten sind, ich würde die gern mal essen – sollen im Vergleich zu anderen Fischen sehr fleischig sein.
    Gibt auch eine Art bei dir – Geotria australis

    1. Der Thunder, du alter Spanner, du. Die Neunaugen sehen ja aus wie Aale. Mit Aalen solltest du vorsichtig sein, gerauechert schmecken sie uebrigens vollzueglich, du musst den Kopf abhacken. Die stellen sich tot und greifen nach dir wenn du es am wenigsten erwartest. Hoffentlich kommst du eines Tages hierher, fuer dich insbesondere gibt es viel zu sehen und zu entdecken.

  3. Hey Benny. So you cleaned the bath out eh? She was looking pretty green when I was over. Couldn’t think of a better spot for a bath though really, and not such a long walk as the hot pools either! Man that looks calm on the East coast too, unbelievable! Is anyone still catching Kingis? I guess you are still busy at work? Weather really does look mint. How cold is it? Paul xxxxx

    1. Hey Paul, green is the color of hope, isn’t it? It’s a good color, too. Indeed, the east coast has been quite calm for extended periods, right now we have 40 knots south westerlies and by the weekend it should go to the famous SE. But, the east coast is very fishable in the SWerlis. Gary is over at the moment, poor guy, staying on his
      yacht and bobbing up and down and from side to side. Would be good to catch him a few fish; have taken the rest of the week off work.
      Kingis? What are those? I heard that a guy in Blind Bay catches heaps of squid from the wharf (regularly), and that the other day, he caught a decent kingi. Was 1 meter
      plus according to the tales. But yeah, I’d be keen to check it out, get me an underwater light (that’s how the fish for squid in Thailand) and catching me a few. Eat some, salt some down…. Who knows, maybe even live bait one. Cold? Although lots of people moan, it is still around 7-8 deg Cel at night with southerly winds. Not too bad really. I’m still going hard wearing shorts all the time. Work is busy, and work is drama, too. Just kinda shows me that I need to do my own thing in the long term. It’s just too exhausting working when there is many egos and small-mindedness involved. Keep it real, B

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