I was feeling energetic walking along the coast with the fishing pack on the back, the rods in one hand and the bucket with bait and burley in the other. It was Sunday morning, about 10 o’clock, and the
plan was to arrest a few fish for dinner. I was so eager about this rockfishing mission that I even took the live-bait rod. The plan was to burley hard, catch a decent snapper and send a live bait out under a balloon before low tide at 12 o’clock.
Conditions seemed great, the sky was overcast, the wind variable and the sea slight. As I was walking up and down those big boulders, telling Rani for the x-th time to either go ahead or behind me, I was thinking of the last times I fished this spot. Mateo and I hooked into big snapper effortlessly, and I was wondering what this day might bring.
Some years ago I read in a fishing magazine that winter is the best time to sort out and maintain your fishing gear. The rationale being to get things serviced during the quiet months and be prepared for the next fishing season. If you live in (sub) tropical areas, you might just as well disregard this advice. Winter fishing off the rocks cannot only be highly productive, it is also a preferred time of the year – as highlighted in the following – to get out there and catch a feed.
Smoking fish is a great way to cook and preserve fish. Especially when you have caught more than just a feed and don’t like (or just can’t) freezing down fish, smoking is the way to go. Check out my ‘Do It Yourself’, straightforward smoker.
When Ralph, a friend who was born and raised on Great Barrier Island but whom I had met in Auckland, told me that he was coming to the Island and that he’d be keen to go for a fish, I was quite excited to meeting him again after about 3-4 years. We saw each other in Tryphena and I very much liked his plan to camp on the beach where he grew up and go for a land-based fish early the next morning targeting kingfish.
We met more or less at the end of the road and hiked into XXX Bay fully laden with rods, reels, bait, burley, beer, food, sleeping bag, dog, etc. It was already dark by the time we arrived, the beach was secluded, we had a few drinks, sharing stories and since it was quite warm, spent the night under stars. I realized that Ralph used to come to this beach for kai (food) all the time, it was a 30 minute walk from his home, there were fruit trees along the way for a snack, plenty streams for fresh water and the Bay had it all. Exciting stuff on the beach to find and bring home and yummy food in the water to dive or fish for. Arguably the best playground for anybody.
Walked into a land based fishing spot in the Cape barrier area and found heaps of rubbish someone had left behind. That’s just sad. The message is clear: Don’t do that. Take two bags with you fishing, one to carry out the fish, one to carry out your rubbish.
walking back to camp with a bunch of rods in hand, a yellow tail protruding from the pack, long-haired, English.
The pursuit and challenge of landing his majesty from the rocks attracting him to this part of the world; walking the coast lines of the Coromandel, reading the terrain, the ledges, the currents, the winds.
The white man’s idea of a vacation is to stand on the rocks, gimbal around his waist, the popper rod on his side, bait fish caught swimming in a rock pool close by, the gaff might be too far away, but the live bait rod secured in his hands, and a pack of chips and canned tuna in his pack.
I like to begin this article with a few words to fellow anglers and land based fishing enthusiasts. First of all, thanks for tuning in regularly and reading my articles on my humble fishing adventures on beautiful Great Barrier Island. I’ve learned how to fish about 8 years ago in New Zealand, mainly by reading fishing magazines, conversing with fishermen and in general trying things out, and being keen. For the regulars here on BENIsLAND, you might have noticed that I stopped using google maps to illustrate the fishing spots and you might notice that I will be even more discrete about the whole thing.
Why?, you ask. Exactly, ideally, I want share with you where I fish and how I fish and all of the rest, however, as it seems to be usually the case, some people take liberties, especially when they are on holiday, and ruin it for the rest. I’m not going to dwell on it but here are a few notes to think about, when you visit Great Barrier Island and plan to do some (extreme) fishing yourself.
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.
Just got this message from a Green Party MP in regards to the reduction of the daily snapper bag limit for recreational fishers in the wider Auckland area that has been announced by the current government. Yes, it is down from 9 snapper per day to 7 and the size limit will increase from 27 cm to 30 cm. Commercial snapper fishing won’t be affected though (no size limit at all.) ‘That’s not fair!’ This is what many think, including this Green Party MP. Continue reading NZ Fisheries – That’s Not Fair→