Snapper Alarm

It is almost noon on a mainly sunny and calm Sunday and it is so quiet. BENIsLAND is very private and you won’t hear any noise in the mornings or at night. During the day there is the odd chainsaw, or a bike or quad on the tracks,Β  planes flying to and from the main land, sometimes I hear one of my neighbors dogs. But that’s pretty much it. What you hear here predominantly is the wind blowing through the pine and ti-trees, the old tui singing its songs, the hissing sound of the wood pigeons when they are flying, the screaming of the kakas (a New Zealand parrot) that live in gangs in the pine trees. They seem to be quite feisty and have regularly fly-by-screamings. They fly in a group of 4-5 (the gang) and expel other kakas that came into their territories. I encounter themΒ  up close on the quad, coming up the driveway, when they fly effortlessly right above your head into dense bush. Oh yeah, lest I forget, the funny bird – don’t know what it looks like, but think it is one of those flightless ones – that whistles like a person. The whistling is a bit irritating at first, and you think someone is there…

I’m expanding my garden area and am getting my head around some landscaping at the moment, so much needs to be done… I sure could use helping hands… Slow going work like dragging out trees – that were cut before my time – and clearing up the areas are a bit frustrating. I suppose the best approach is to make progress every week, do something here and there. It often feels like I’ve done nothing as only little progress has been made, but I need to learn to be more patient and probably have to acknowledge that I’m not superman. I need to be content with what I’ve achieved. A local told me: ‘Look at what you’ve done instead of what you have to do.’ Well, I’m not too sure about that.

Anyway, think I’m going to quad to mate’s place today to talk some rubbish and so on. He’s a funny bloke and since we look quite the same and are similar as well, people often mistake me for him, we give each other shit and challenge each other. In a fun way. I hear there is a bit of a nickname for me too. Apparently, J2 (Jonah 2). Interesting though, J1 has a grandson! More about that later.

The title of this posting is ‘Snapper Alarm’. As mentioned earlier we had some good days fishing, but the weather was crap and I had not been out there for more than a week. I tend to have a look at the old Bill Hohepa’s Fishing Calender and at the tides. My experience so far – this is for rockfishing – is that the best action is in the last third of the outgoing tide. Hohepa’s bite times are often on the outgoing tide as well, and I believe that his system is based on the moon-above or moon-below approach. Meaning that fish bite best, when the moon is right above you, or right underneath you. Something like that anyway…

On Saturday morning I packed my quad and left the property around 0845. I was in Schooner Bay at 0900 and was fishing by 0920. According to Hohepa, it was a poor day for fishing. Bite time was around 1000. First cast, immediately I had something taking my bait. This has happened to me every time in Schooner Bay on ‘my spot’. Nevertheless, I’m still not prepared for it. So I mucked that one up and didn’t get the hook up. Then nothing for 30 minutes. No bites, no nibbles, no bait fish, no nothing really… So I started cutting some bait into small bits and throwing them in. That worked. At almost sharp 1000, I felt something go for my bait and was ready for it. I got the hookup and landed the fish within 30 seconds, I’ve got the drag set up for bigger snapper because the area is full of kelp and you need to stop a fish and turn its head as soon as you can. Therefore, smaller fish have no chance in pulling any line on my reel. The snapper was 4-5 pound (estimated) and after that I got only one more take, but it didn’t result in a hook up. I know now why and will let you know once I’ve tested my theory.

So yeah by 11.20 I packed my gear up and was back home some 20 minutes later.

A nice snapper (kelpi) in the rock pool.
I wonder what berley would do in that spot. The snapper are there and hardly any under the 27 cm legal size. This one was 46 cm.

The fish was filleted, the head and frame were boiled up with potatoes, carrot, onion, garlic, curry and some other spices, water and coconut milk. After an hour, I added the fillets and boiled for another 2-3 minutes. I will enjoy the rest of the boil up tonight. Here are two more pictures of schooner bay. BTW, I like spots where you fish off the rocks, but can still see your car or quad in this case. Sometimes, you don’t have to walk all the way to the points of a bay…

Looking back onto the beach of Schooner Bay.
Zoomed in a bit and you can see my quad on the rocky beach. That boat-shed has been finished too, when I started fishing there I only noticed the frames of the shed.

According to my mate, The Hanimal, it is worthwhile to show you guys a picture of my wiring. I’ve got pretty much everything set up on 12 V in the A-Frame, but yeah I fried my 12 V laptop charger the other day by mixing up black and red, and have to use a 12DC-230AC inverter for now. If most of our appliances were to be used with 12 DC, what would all the electricians do?

A couple of jumper cables, some thinner extention wires and a multimeter. You're all set then. The generator is going in the background, this is why I've got the plastic sheet up in the window...

Only 6 more days to go until I’m going from Wharf to Wharf. A full marathon through the bush and steep hills of the Great Barrier Island on the mountain bike. In a couple of days it will be time to wipe the dust off my bike and get her ready for the race. She’s going to be interesting, challenging and memorable.

I noticed that people like to battle each other with jokes on the island. Especially when they had a couple. I thought, I’d build up a repertoire of jokes. My old boss was a jokester himself. He had a joke for every occasion…


A rather confident man walks into a bar and takes a seat next to a very attractive woman. He gives her a quick glance, then casually looks at his watch for a moment.
The woman notices this and asks, “Is your date running late?”
“No,” he replies, “I just bought this state-of-the-art watch and I was just testing it.”
The intrigued woman says, “A state-of-the-art watch? What’s so special about it?”
“It uses alpha waves to telepathically talk to me,” he explains.
“What’s it telling you now?” she asked.
“Well, it says you’re not wearing any panties.” he said.
The woman giggles and replies, “Well it must be broken then because I am wearing panties!”
The man explains, “Damn thing must be an hour fast.”



4 thoughts on “Snapper Alarm”

  1. They may be good for snapper but I reckon you need a bit of darker meat amongst all that fish, so eat him yourself!

    Well done mate that’s a nice snapper from a short, productive session.

    That wiring looks like a right viper’s nest of trouble. I’ve seen worse, but only in Asia! Can’t you run it through some sort of distribution board?

    Sounds like you’re having some fun with your social life over there which is good.

    Maybe I help you pull out some trees when I’m over. You look after me nice though, green curry kahawai and rabbit stew…. And a chainsaw!

    1. Hey Paul, yeah I wouldn’t use the rabbits for bait, I’d rather eat them – as you say. The wiring is top class mate. It’s all 12 V DC anyway, so yeah nothing to worry about unless I short them…. Yeah mate, I’ve seen some dodgy wiring in the streets of Bangkok and similar. And they are doing it with 230 V AC…. Social life is so so, not much happening here, but I’ve got some mates and make the most out of it. I still have to go to the Barrier Sports Club in Claris and check that one out. I’ve got a bit of (power) tools and stuff, so yeah, you gotta make a call too about what you’re going to do when you’re here. I suggest you come over here instead of the Coromandel. We can rockfish and I’ve got the dinghy too, when we wanna try out something else. By the time you’re here, I should have a wet suit too and be able to gather some shellfish… I’ve got a 50 ccm chainsaw mate…

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