Pictures & Thoughts of the Week 22

Let’s start off with fishing. It’s been a while since I planned a land based fishing mission. I was certainly keen, eager and excited whilst hiking to the headlands of Schooner Bay on Tuesday. I was also confident. After all, I haven’t had fish on the table for almost two months and was also looking forward to calling in at my mate’s place and presenting him with fresh snapper.

This lovely bridge decker left as I arrived at my designated fishing spot; I had the entire bay to myself.
This lovely bridge decker left as I arrived at my designated fishing spot; I had the entire bay to myself.

Low tide was about an hour away, the current was still going hard and my confidence was right up there as I deployed the small berley bomb. I had two rods with me, one rigged with two 4/0 hooks and one with 6/0 and 6/0, respectively. The former was going to be used to catch kahawai in the berley trail, the latter would be used to cast fresh kahawai bait far out to catch a decent snapper.

In other words: big snapper = berley + kahawai + rig for targeting kahawai

So yeah, nothing new if you follow my fishing adventures. Concentrate on catching a kahawai first and you’ll be rewarded with a decent snapper afterwards.

It took a while until 4 kahawai showed up. 3 small and one about 1.5 kg. I took them all with ease. To my surprise, however, nothing touched my perfect baits for the next hour. About half an hour after low tide, the current changed and I felt some resistance on the retrieve. Slightly odd, as I didn’t feel any take. A few winds later and the reel started screaming line out. Wow, what a rush, I was totally in the zone, fighting the fish not too hard but also being quick and not wasting any time.

The fish had three strong runs, which is very unusual for a snapper, so all that was going through my head was: ‘Don’t lose it mate,’ followed by ‘You’re going to lose this one.’ I can’t recall feeling so sure that I will lose a fish ever. Strange. Even stranger when I noticed the colour, the fish being tired out and only a few meters away. It was a nice snapper, slim, about 6-8 lbs. I reduced the drag, realized that it was well hooked and slowly wound it to my feet. It was lying on a patch of weed, all I had to do was lift it out.

I grab the 60 lbs leader, lift the fish and ‘snap’. ‘Ah whaaat?’, the fish looks at me, turns around, but was still too tired to dive, a wave brought it back to the rocks and I tried to grab it by the gills until I realized that I have to jump into the water to get this one. But by the time I took the camera out of my pocket, it dove into the deep and was gone.

So yeah, two lessons learned. a) be prepared to jump into the water to get your fish. b) never use pre-tied rigs. It was one of those ‘Snapper’ ledger rig types and it just broke at the knot.

Well, at least I had something to eat.
Well, at least I had something to eat.
Enjoying the walk back
Enjoying the walk back

P1050676I was at Whangapoua Beach (have a look at the google maps insert at the end of the article) with the Youth Group yesterday. Have been there about half a dozen of times this year and never encountered another person.

Whangapoua Beach
Whangapoua Beach, looking at Waikaro Point. Superb fishing according to the chart but a bit of a walk…
Rakitu (Arid) Island, some 150 ha of land with only a few anchorages and - yeah wait for it - a capital value of less than 5 mio NZD.
Rakitu (Arid) Island, some 150 ha of land with only a few anchorages and – yeah, wait for it – a capital value of less than 5 mio NZD.
Not much happening at all.
Not much happening at all.
What do 90 mile beach and Whangapou beach have in common? Neither is 90 miles long...
What do 90 mile beach and Whangapoua beach have in common? Neither is 90 miles long…

Through my role as youth worker I have been actively engaging with the community on Aotea and just want to highlight that I am deeply appreciative of how much has ‘come back’ toward me from the community. I have been fortunate enough to meet and connect with so many good people, amongst which are the Ngatiwai and Ngati Rehua o Atoea.

Just participating at the shared dinner and the korero at Kawa Marae yesterday, conversing with the families and kids and watching how the young rangatahi speak te reo, honour their ancestors, their elders, their families, the spiritual side of life, speaking and sharing freely, singing and dancing, celebrating and acknowledging the core values of life in a disciplined but nowhere forced or unnecessarily formal atmosphere is moving and from my point of view commendable to say the least.

As a nation, we could ask ourselves why we desperately want to adopt economic and political models that have never been fair or successful for the masses – I’m thinking of focusing on exporting natural resources, endorsing jobs that do not create any wealth, increasing debt and consumption, rendering education a business, neglecting the natural diversity of people and tackling most social, economical and environmental issues only at their surfaces and not at their roots – even though we still have the opportunity to live in harmony with and from the land as ONE and to blend the knowledge base of Maori into our overall policies and way of life in general.

For the sake of fairness, I’m not saying that this is not being done at all, my point is rather that we have all the tools, resources, people, the right climate and a small population (density) to establish the richest country in the world. We should, therefore, constantly ask ourselves why we aren’t the richest country in the world.

Last and also least, I pulled my Marantz loudspeakers out of the shed and hooked them up to a 39 dollar FM/AM/USB/SD/AUX/4x50W/MP3/WMA/bla/bla/bla new radio that even has a remote. Using photo voltaics as the sole power source, this is just another example of how trivial and cheap it can be to sort out your music listening pleasure.

This is just a teaser, more to come about my cabin and why even I am listening to 'girl-power' songs lately in future articles.
This is just a teaser, more to come about my cabin and why even I am listening to ‘girl-power’ songs lately in future articles.

8 thoughts on “Pictures & Thoughts of the Week 22”

  1. “As a nation, we could ask ourselves why we desperately want to adopt economic and political models that have never been fair or successful for the masses”: What a great sentence! I’d go one further and say “As a planet…”!

    But anyway the answer is simply that the masses don’t make those decisions, they are made by “leaders” with set agendas. Sadly change for good has to start at grass roots level.

    It’s good to hear some people are still connected to their roots and culture. We should all be xxxxx

    1. Hey Paul,

      yes, the masses don’t make those decisions and democracy is not about what everyone wants and it’s not about doing what the majority wants. Grass roots is
      great and also the ideal scenario, with a movement coming via the people first. This is what happened in Germany with the Solar Power. About 20-30 years ago
      people demonstrated massively against nuclear power and their drive and momentum resulted (later) in the government taking more than just steps to moving
      toward renewable energy.

      So yeah, what we need are good thinkers, who can also lead. We need grass roots movement, communities starting to taking more care of themselves and tackling issues that hold them up. AND, we need people to be informed first before they make their voices heard.

      Pass it around; Democracy doesn’t mean that you have to have an opinion on everything, it just means that you can have a voice. So if you are not informed and
      generally indifferent anyway, just keep your opinion to yourself!

      Oh yeah, I just love a lot of things about Maori. Compare a Marae with a Church for instance and you know what I mean.

      Cheers, Ben

  2. Man I didn’t even mention the fishing: Always best to tie fresh knots/rigs up – nylon degrades quickly in NZ I’ve found. And maybe you talked yourself into it!

    I did a very stupid thing myself not so long ago: Having landed a nice sea bass around 4lb on the first day of my summer holiday I picked it up and started to carry it around to where my pack was, past a gap in the rocks. Stupidly I had not killed the fish immediately on landing it, stupidly I picked it up by the lure (instead of through the gills) and also stupidly I carried it on the side closest to the sea. The rest is already written for me by my previous mistakes: As I pass the gap the fish kicks, I drop the lure, the fish hits the rocks, breaks the line and falls into the sea taking a now unavailable and great lure with it. Stupidly shouting and swearing afterwards at the sea when a little intelligence calmly applied in the first place would have resulted in a fine dinner. That’s fishing mate! xxxxx

    1. Bummer with the sea bass buddy, at least it got away. Sometimes one loses a fish on the rocks and it slides into a crevasse so that one can’t reach it and well, that is a worse way to lose a fish. Well, I don’t shout and swear much when I lose a fish due to my own fault, so yeah, sounds a bit like Johnny mate.

      Went fishing yesterday, think I’ve got a fishing buddy now and will get out more often. Did The Kingi spot, had perfect size trevally’s out but no takers. I might have seen three kingis, but in retrospect they were probably just big as trevally or just wishful seeing. hehe

      Had a good feed of snapper and trevally though. Looking forward to hunting those kingis with you, gotta do catch more than last year, my fishing stories
      are becoming more popular. Soon to be reproduced in a great E-fishing magazine. So yeah, let’s get famous buddy.

      Cheers, Ben

  3. Mate, I hereby would kindly request some updates on the house and building situation ASAP! That picture with the speakers is certainly a good teaser. Keep it up! Cheers

    1. I’ll put something up on Facebook now; have to wait till I get a few things sorted before putting it up on my site. Might take a while because the rationale is to present it in form of e-book, pics and plans. But yeah, you should be able to see some great pics on my FB. Cheers Michael, B

      1. I saw the photos on fb (with a little help from my public relations manager) – great job, mate! I’m very impressed by the work done and can imagine such an accomplishment must feel great. Kind of like makes me itchy wanting to build something like that, perhaps even a life off the grid, too. Cheers Bro!

        1. Just started building one of the decks. Yes, it is coming together quite well and it feels good. Let’s see, wanna start building the mezzanine today. Then I shouldn’t be far away from moving in…

          Well, you’ve got the job for an off grid life, don’t you? B

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