Plenty More Fish To Catch – Great Barrier Island

I hope you’ve been enjoying the remainder of what was (and actually still seems to be) a superb summer.  We’re having marvellous conditions here on Great Barrier Island, the fish are on the bite, especially early in the mornings, and what better way exists than targeting them from the land?

En route to a great rockfishing ledge; another great day on Great Barrier Island.
En route to a great rockfishing ledge; another great day on Great Barrier Island.

Landbased compared to boat fishing is arguably like comparing a sailing yacht to a motor yacht. While the former is certainly not the fastest way to reach a goal, it certainly is more in tune with nature, and on a windy day so much more enjoyable. Instead of hearing the outboard roaring and being shaken while on anchor, landbased fishing provides you with just enough time and quietness to enjoy your surroundings.

Even after ten years of active fishing in New Zealand, there are heaps of fish species that I haven’t caught yet. Granted, there are about 200 species of marine fishes, a good portion of them won’t be caught off the rocks, another portion are difficult to land with hook and line and plenty of them I don’t even want to catch. I’m thinking about rays, sharks and pretty much non-edible fish.

However, I have never landed a John Dory (or any related species), tarakihi or gurnard. John Dory is classed as one of the best table fish and, well, gurnard is very tasty, too. Any serious angler should possess a handbook of marine fish species. I make notes about all species that I catch with line and hook, and am happy to announce that I landed – for the first time – a Sandager’s Wrasse.

Sandager's Wrasse don't grow much bigger. I assume they are good eating, but this one went back.
Sandager’s Wrasse don’t grow much bigger. I assume they are good eating, but this one went back. Obviously, I felt good about landing this one, it required a bit of finesse, and my Handbook of New Zealand Marine Fishes got a new entry.

I released this beautiful Sandager’s Wrasse and interestingly enough, my mate Sinclair caught it a few minutes later. There is not much more to report about that fishing session, a few snapper and kahawai were arrested, but nothing spectacular. I’ve got a few more pictures for you though.

A beautiful ketch sailing into Tryphena.
A beautiful schooner sailing into Tryphena.
And one more, lovely lines.
And one more, lovely lines.

climbing2

On the way back out.
On the way back out.
It was a longish hike, about an hour to get back. But as mentioned, the hike is part of the fun, isn't it?
It was a longish hike, about an hour to get back. But as mentioned, the hike is part of the fun, isn’t it?

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Plenty More Fish To Catch – Great Barrier Island”

  1. I’d say it’s more of a necessary evil! Especially that one. As can be seen from the first pic it’s a long way down to the water and after all the excitement of a few hours fishing comes a relentless hill with little tree cover to help cool down. An hour was going hard out and I felt utterly defeated at the end of it. Maybe I should carry less gear. Still, I’d do it again at the drop of a hat. It’s the sort of spot where anything could happen and I never tire of looking at the Cormandel. And as Ben well knows I got absolutely smoked by a snapper there…..

    Paul xxxxx

    1. I’m pretty fat mate, God knows if I can ever hike into Ross Bay again! Less gear is the trick for sure, we haven’t even carried a single kingi out of there, it might not be possible… Hope you haven’t been sitting in your office and doing research all year and went for some power-walks – as I’m fat… You didn’t only get smoked by a snapper, you were smoked big time. Your face, your non-present reactions; it was so clear what was going on in you head: “Oooh, fuck I’m getting smoked, can’t do anything about it.” You froze like a little, naughty girl that was caught in the act by her dad and just froze…. Smoked big time mate. I wish I had a picture of your face when it happened, I could have sent you a post-card with it every year…

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