Rockfishing in Tryphena

We had another long weekend, Monday being a national holiday (Waitangi Day), and it was overcast with strong easterly winds all weekend. On Sunday I felt like going for a fish but we are having high tides in the mornings and late afternoons at the moment. I prefer an outgoing tide early in the morning and most spots I have fished from the rocks over here are not (easily) accessible on foot and around the high tide mark. The east coast was out of the question due to a meter and a half swell and strong easterly winds, it seemed quiet on the Tryphena side however. 

I pondered about going to the Cape Barrier or to Johnson’s Bay but was not sure how exposed those places would be on easterlies changing to south-easterlies. I thought, the light house in Tryphena should be well sheltered and – by now it was already 1200 o’clock – if I hurried a bit I could fish a couple of hours of the incoming tide and walk back to the wharf before high tide. This was the plan, I packed my gear, got some bait at the shop, talked for a couple of minutes and drove down to the wharf. I arrived at the ‘light house’ after 30 minutes of walking with Iranium following me. Well, note to myself, this spot is not sheltered from strong easterlies, they roll over the hills in Tryphena and standing on the rocks you feel an offshore wind coming from the east. Thus, I went around the point expecting some shelter. It wasn’t all that sheltered over there either, but it wasn’t too bad.

I started the fishing session with tidying up a mess left by previous fishermen. Really a disgrace to leave your bait and burley bags and meter long traces behind!

I mean you find the odd bait bag but this time it looked like a few people were fishing here not long ago and no one cleaned up...


Looking to the left. You can see the gust on the surface. Other than that calm and 15+ meters deep with good kelp around the ledge.


Looking straight ahead. Parts of the Coromandel on the left and Channel Island to the right.


Looking right.

Iranium, or short Rani the dog, feels still a bit lost on the rocks. Sometimes she follows me without hesitation and problems, sometimes she doesn’t want to get her paw wet in a rock pool. This time she liked getting down to the ledge and I really wasn’t keen on having to go and get her, but she settled down after a while and by that time I had deployed some berley. I mixed up some pig pellets (pig tucker) with saltwater and a bit of tuna oil from The Warehouse.

She's ready after 10 minutes or so and ready to go.

The berley did its work quite fast,  had a whole pilchard taken on the surface by a kahawai after 5 minutes or so. Brought the fish in and while grabbing the leader I managed to rip the hook out of the mouth and the fish was back in the water and off and away. Hmmm, usually where there is one kahawai, there are others. But it took another 20 minutes to hook the next one and after catching and releasing a few more I tried getting the bait down deep and catching a snapper. But didn’t get any significant bites or takes both on pilchards and fresh kahawai fillets. By three o’clock I was starting to pack in, I had enough to eat, the wind had picked up and the tide was halfway in.

They might have been a couple.
Not too happy about it, but she did not go after the fish or bait. Quite enjoyed the livers and hearts.

I’m still eating some of the fish and will have some for lunch tomorrow. Iranium is starting to get smart with her food too, she doesn’t eat as if there were no tomorrow, so I can give her the fish frames and she takes her time eating them without hurting herself.

7 thoughts on “Rockfishing in Tryphena”

  1. Oh Yeah baby look at those lovely fat fishes full of roe (and milt!). Very tasty it’s been soooo long since I ate Kahawai! Not long now though! Can I ask why on earth one of those didn’t go out under a balloon? This blog should have had some kingis gracing it’s pages by now Mr Benham! Hopefully we can remedy that situation in a couple of weeks time. Paul xxxxx

  2. Sorry to be writing so much on your blog mate, but I have a request. Can you check out what access to the coast is like from cape barrier road? I have always fantasised (sp?) about fishing this area, given where it faces and what is likely to swim past it. Looks like not too far from the road there are some good ledges, but it’s hard to tell from google earth as the resolution is very poor. Perhaps the land is private? Can we get permission if so? Deep water? If you can do a scouting mission that would be fantastic and maybe a little adventure for you and Rani! Paul xxxxx

    1. Have a look at this posting: There is easy public access to markers 8, 6, 3. You could easily camp out over night on marker 6 in a safe place and ready to fish anytime. There is access down to Rosalie Bay as well. I’ll drive down that road one day and check it out. But really, if conditions permitting, it is a quick
      hoohn with the dinghy to Johnson’s Bay (between markers 2-8). Once YOU start fishing here you won’t want to leave, there are endless rock fishing places with heaps of potential.
      You just gotta be there and fish. We’ll visit J-Lo he can put us on the big snapper as well. He caught a Hapuka off the rocks….

      BTW, have a look at this:

      I’ve a GBI chart and highly detailed ones from the site above on the computer.

      1. Yep that’s exactly the ledge I was looking at. I rather think I will be spending some time there, weather permitting xxxxx

        1. Yeah, good ledges, good access (non-tidal). I hear many locals went down there some years back and camped out for a couple of days, trying to land the big one. The east coast can’t be too bad either, and unlike the Coromandel, hardly any one fishes for kingis off the rocks…

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