NZ Fisher Issue 33
Love fishing. Read NZ Fisher, the fresh new digital mag for Kiwi fishing enthusiasts.
f sher ISSUE 33 February 2014 Sailfish in Malaysia To believe or not to believe All you need to know about knives Congratulations to our Torpedo7 prize winner for Issue #33! www.nzfisher.co.nz 1 BF60 ALLNEW GREENMACHINE 08 4STROKE(78 653) w .hondamrine.coz Honda’s brand new BF60 four-stroke EFI outboard engine combines exclusive Honda technologies in a lightest-weight-in-class package that delivers best-in-class performance. The newly-designed, water-cooled, three-cylinder engine incorporates electronic fuel injection, Honda’s revolutionary Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST™) air/fuel ratio and ignition-timing technology, and lean burn control to deliver powerful start-up and acceleration together with outstanding fuel economy during cruising (ECOmo). NMEA2000 compatibility allows the BF60 to communicate with onboard marine electronics, while ultra-smooth operation and world-leading environmental performance combine to crown the new BF60: ‘Green Machine’. 0800 4 STROKE (787 653) www.hondamarine.co.nz Honda_BF60_BC_FP.indd 1 18/6/2013 8:58:44 AM editorial Pg 8 CONTENTS 16 SOFTBAIT 6 Softbaiting on the Cheap ADVENTUREFISHING 8 A Reel Adventure in Rompin, Malaysia HOWTO 16 All You Need to Know About Knives SEAFOODCOOKERY 20 Bradley Maple Tuna SUPERSTITIONS 22 To Believe, or Not to Believe BENISLAND.CO.NZ 24 More Big Snapper from the Rocks! 28 30 31 Reader Pics Competition Video of the month 20 FISHINGCLUBS 32 Who are the NZACA? 10 Pg 24 www.nzfisher.co.nz 3 editorial MORE WIND THAN CALM days Snapper Festival was blown off the water last weekend and was cancelled until next year. Those lucky enough to enjoy the EDITOR in your neighbourhood. We’re very pleased to bring to you Leanne Dixon’s account of the Royal Pahang International Billfish //From the ABOUT / Short and sharp, NZ Fisher is a free e-magazine delivering thought provoking and enlightening articles, and industry news and information to forward-thinking fisher people. EDITOR / Derrick Paull ART DIRECTOR / Jodi Olsson CONTENT ENQUIRIES / Phone Derrick on 021 629 327 or email derrickp@NZ Fisher.co.nz ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES / Phone Richard on 09 522 7257 or email firstname.lastname@example.org ADDRESS / NZ Fisher, C/- Espire Media, PO Box 137162, Parnell, Auckland 1151, NZ WEBSITE / www.NZFisher.co.nz This is a GREEN MAG, created and distributed without the use of paper so it's environmentally friendly. Please think before you print. Thank you! and I’m going stir crazy. Sadly the Challenge in Malaysia last September. Chasing sailfish in Rompin has been a dream of mine for over ten years and their protected fishery just seems to be getting better and better. Leanne and Toby had a dream trip with a very special ending, so read on for that tale. All going well we’ll get another report later this year as they’ll be heading back for more of the same. I’m turning green with envy just thinking about it! We’re very pleased to announce that Greg from Go Fish and I will be on the Honda Marine stand at the Auckland Boat show presenting a couple of seminars on both Microjigging and mini-stick baiting with a particular Auckland focus. The Honda stand will be a show stopper and we’re hoping to put many faces to names, so please come and say hello. Till then, tight lines NZ Fisho’s! fine spells have been experiencing a mixed bag of fishing, from bag limits in minutes off the west coast to fish-less days in the ever reliable Rangitoto Channel. So, like last month, I began to wonder what to do when the target species have become scarce, and looked towards the in harbour for inspiration. And you know what? There’s flounder in them there bays. Lots of them. It was pretty cool to grab a few with three year old Oscar in tow, just a short walk from home on the Manukau Harbour. It proved to me again we often look past the great fisheries on our doorsteps. Last month it was crays, scallops and tuatua – all of which do require a little travel. But flounder are right here, so next month we’ll have a bit more of a look at where, how and when these can be nabbed Cover: Kyle Taylor with his second ever legal snapper. Caught at Sailors Grave, Coromandel. www.nzfisher.co.nz 5 SOFTbait Softbaiting on the Cheap Softbaiting has undoubtedly become one of New Zealand’s most enjoyable forms of fishing and usually produces great results. With a little know-how, the right equipment and obviously fishing in the right area, catching snapper with soft baits is as simple as it is effective. ONE PROBLEM HOWEVER, and one that surely puts a lot of people off, is the seemingly high cost of a soft bait combo and all the kit that comes with it. This doesn’t need to be the case though and there are some great offers out there that allow you to fully kit yourself without forking out hundreds of dollars. Here Torpedo7 gives you the rundown on everything you need to get into soft baiting for under $120 – a special price reserved exclusively for NZ Fisher readers!! First Things First – Rod & Reel The Shimano Zuraca Spinning combo is a lightweight setup that will come into its own when spooled with braid and spinning or softbaiting. The soft nature of the rod makes you feel every bit of action no matter the size of the fish. The propulsion spool of the reel and the whip of the rod ensures excellent casting. This is a great entry-level softbaiting setup that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and WILL catch fish if you can find them. Click here for our special offer. COMPETITION WINNER The lucky winner of Torpedo7’s $150 voucher from NZ Fisher’s January issue is David Phillimore. To claim your prize please email email@example.com before 20th March 2014. Congratulations David, enjoy! 6 www.nzfisher.co.nz SOFTbait Braid and Fluorocarbon Both braid and fluorocarbon are essential to ensure a successful day out on the water fishing with soft bait This Sufix Performance Fuse Braid Line is the next step up in high performance fishing lines. Thermally fused fibres with a higher weave count than standard braid creates an unique bonding technology to give anglers superior casting and smoothness. An incredibly popular line, the Saltura RX Fluorocarbon offers an all-round combination of knot strength, stretch, clarity and tensile strength. Designed to suit most types of fishing, this best seller offers great value for money whilst being 100% PVDF monofilament. Click here for our special offer. Jig Heads Saltura Jig Heads have been perfectly engineered to keep your soft bait well presented in front of any target fish. Chemically sharpened hooks ensure an easy hook-up and the grooves behind the head will keep your soft bait from slipping off and spoiling its effectiveness. Click here for our special offer. Last but not least â€“ the Soft Baits Berkleyâ€™s Gulp! Alive is the next generation of soft bait technology. Swimming around in there very own Magic Attractant Juice these soft baits are ready and raring to go right from the tub. Berkley has spent years and years perfecting the live looking and live smelling soft bait and now they have created one that has a 34% better swimming action then the original Gulp! Also being re-chargeable lets you put them back in the tub with the Magic Attractant Juice to re-charge the smell for next time. Click here for our special offer. www.nzfisher.co.nz 7 adventureFISHING Sailfish Flying Fish! A Reel Adventure in Rompin, Malaysia “Wanna fish for Sailfish in Malaysia? Hell yes!!” By Leanne Dixon, Reel Adventures WHILE WORKING WITH Toby Kemp as a deckhand aboard his charter boat, Sanity, we had the privilege to host a team of keen anglers from Singapore and Malaysia for a week of hard core fishing and tackle testing for rod maker, Xzoga. These boys came with a ton of gear to be put to the test on some hard fighting Kiwi kingfish and the local kings did not disappoint. After a week of fishing and hanging out with the boys, the time came for them to return home, but on the final night they surprised us with an invitation to join them the following year, in Rompin Malaysia, for the Royal Pahang International Billfish Challenge. We couldn’t be more excited and quickly said yes, a year of saving and planning began. The sailfish in Malaysia had always been on my bucket list, however it seemed to take forever to roll around. Finally we had a reason to go, so we packed up our fishing gear and headed for Malaysia with a quick stop in Singapore to catch up with the rest of the team and be shown around some of the amazing tackle stores there. After two days in Singapore we were picked up from our hotel by Dennis Lee one of our hosts for the trip and we were off, crossing the border into Johor, Malaysia. There is plenty of traffic across the border and it can take a while to pass through, so be you need to be patient – something our excited bones would hardly allow! Our first stop was TST headquarters (The Season Tackle). We walked in and saw wall to wall rods and cabinets, filled with so much ‘bling’ it was fishing heaven. We met Leonard Lim, the GM of TST; he showed us some amazing innovations on their upcoming rods and wished us luck for the contest. We were kitted out in our team uniforms, spooled our reels and selected our rods from the huge Xzoga selection, ready for our first encounter with the sailfish of Rompin. It was approximately a two hour drive from the Singapore/ Malay to our final destination, Kuala Rompin, overlooking the South China Sea. We went to a local restaurant to catch up with our skipper / captain Steven Chong while we waited for the rest of the crew to arrive. It had been 12 months since we had seen Steve in NZ and he was pretty excited us 8 www.nzfisher.co.nz adventureFISHING Kiwi’s had made it to Rompin. The food was outstanding and served quickly and it was pretty clear that we were in for some amazing local food during our stay. Tobes ran into another client from NZ Anthony Dimech at the restaurant who had been fishing for the last week with about 30 other Aussie boys. We had a chat about their experience and they weren’t disappointed, they had caught good numbers, but we weren’t convinced it was going to be enough to win the competition based on the numbers caught over previous years, we had one of the best skippers on our boat and the crew was ready to give it their best shot. Leanne signing in DAY ONE - FISHING: RECCIE DAY The first day was about finding where the sailfish were, but teaching Toby and I how to catch them was baptism by fire! With Toby and I both being captains of our own boats in NZ it was a change for us suddenly being on the other side and learning from these experienced fisherman in the middle of the South China Sea. We were kitted out with Xzoga Pi7523 PE3-4 rods designed for stick baiting but perfect for tossing livies to sailfish. Our Daiwa Saltiga 5000s were loaded with Xzoga braided line and a selection of Xzoga leaders. Captain Steven Chong fired up the twin 175hps at 27 knots on a flat calm day. We stopped at one of the many FADs (Fish Aggregating Device) to stock up on live baits. There are so many different species of baits here and as with all schools of bait there were hungry predators lurking nearby. Steven had some fun with a few small Barracuda. Dennis couldn’t help himself and hooked into a small Spanish mackerel, although not target species, it was quickly put on ice to be taken back to the local restaurant and be part of our dinner. Steven soon hunted out the sailfish and it was time to deploy our baits. Tobes hooked up first, but we learnt very quickly that these fish are easy to lose as it jumped out of the water and spat the hook. It was to be a steep learning curve, but getting it right soon saw our hook up rates increase. I hooked up next and my Saltiga was screaming (as was I!). These things can pull string like they’re on fire. The fish took about 150m on the first run and was going nuts on the surface. The fish settled for about a second and for what looked like miles away, you could see it leaping and flipping over the surface. It was hard to wind the handle as I wanted to watch the aerial display, but I soon had the reel full again as the fish came close to the boat. My squid bait had come up the leader and was slapping on the surface, another sailfish tried to take a swipe at it, nearly cutting my line, but with Steven and Dennis’ quick hands they had the squid back in the boat and secured the leader on my first Rompin sailfish. Rafted & ready to go A double on and more to catch!. Tobes in control www.nzfisher.co.nz 9 Leanne leaning on a nice sail. adventureFISHING Mad dash The Team Xzoga flag On the board! It came on board for a quick picture and was then released, Steve estimated it at approx. 35kg, apparently a big sailfish for these waters. The sailfish in Rompin are protected, so all fish must be released. It’s great to see a protected fishery that allows these fish to thrive in large numbers. We were getting a little frustrated that the sails were feeding on anchovies and ignoring our larger baits; this school had been around for a while so a call was made to try and find a fresh school that might be more on the chew. We found some more fish and Tobes was quick to hook up again, but this time Dennis had given him a small overhead bait caster with light line and it was going to be a battle! The fish pulled string at a rate that I have never seen on a bait caster, surely he was going to get spooled, but no, Tobes managed to get the line back on bit by bit as the sailfish leaped across the water, fighting valiantly. Then after 30 years of fishing Tobes had his first ever billfish and was amped, so was I to be there to witness it. We continued on and Tobes got one in on the Saltiga while I had a turn on the bait caster, getting another fish to the boat after a lengthy scrap. I have done a fair of light tackle game fishing but a bait caster… seriously?? The crew decided we now had enough practice and it was off to the registration at the Lanjuit Golden Beach and Golf Resort. There were a huge number of anglers from all around the world making up 32 teams and we finally realised just how big this competition was going to be. It was then time to head home with the other teams from TST to get all our tackle rigged up for the morning, but after such an exciting day, getting some sleep wasn’t going to be easy! 10 www.nzfisher.co.nz Awesome fish! adventureFISHING DAY TWO: FIRST DAY OF COMPETITION We were joined by another of our hosts, Wilson Tan from TST, who had also been in NZ with the crew. Wilson took us to the 7Eleven for a breakfast of two minute noodles and Red Bull. We met up with the other teams in our group and loaded up the boats to head for the Lanjuit Resort jetty where we would be issued with a marshal who takes pictures and records all catches - so there’s no drama at the end of the contest. The spirits where high within our group and it was high fives all around as we headed to the wharf for a big raft up! Now this is a competition like you wouldn’t find in NZ, there’s media from all parts of the world and we all had designated sponsored shirts we had to wear at different times, there were so many pictures taken of us at times we felt I like possums blinded by the headlights. It was a shot gun start and there was plenty of yelling and cheering as all the teams wished each other luck. The level of sportsmanship here is nothing like I have seen before, no tall poppy syndrome here, just a group of passionate people that all support each other 100%. The police were there in their camo blue centre console, as were the maritime police with their super high powered RIB, just making sure we all were wearing our life jackets. The hooter sounded on the police vessel and Steve casually cracked a drink as we waited for ninety percent of the boats to bolt, I guess it was all tactical. It was a sight to see all the boats charge down the harbour while we relaxed on deck chairs in the morning sun. Finally we headed out and Steve quickly got us into the bait on one of the FADs then sped us to a patch of sailfish with three Malaysian style anchovy boats all billowing black smoke. I thought they were in trouble, so I asked Steve if they were on fire, he laughed his head off, nope, they’re just drying the anchovies. Dennis showed his class first up and soon Tobes and I had the knack of it - we were away. Six quick-fire fish put us in good stead and a quick move put us back in the money. I don’t think I will ever get over how wonderful these fish are to catch, aerobatic and lit up, fighting for their right to freedom. Little did they know it was a release contest and there would be no killing today. As the day went on the weather went from glassy calm with sailfish ignoring all baits, to pouring rain and fish biting hard again. The day drew to a close and we headed back in to drop off our marshal and regroup at the local bar over a nice cold Tiger beer. We had a nervous wait that night to find out how we were placed. After landing 17 sails throughout the day we were pretty confident we had placed somewhere. Our target was 20+ which we had fallen short of, but you never know in a comp where you will end up. That night the TST crews gathered at our place while retying gear and sorting a plan for day two of the competition. There was a lot of rumours about how many fish the other teams had caught and we thought we were tied for first place with another team, but would have to wait till morning to see where we officially sat. This certainly lifted our spirits and got us motivated for the coming day on the water, so much so it was time for a new style of Malaysian cuisine for dinner, a recent addition to Rompin, KFC! adventureFISHING Wow! Steve could get his hands on the trace. We then went on to drop five fish on the trot! This is not what we needed. Finally our luck turned and we started to get fish on the board. We sneaked up to three before we lost another four. This was not a good habit and we could feel our chance of winning slipping away. All the boats were a lot closer for! What weâ€™re here today, we had been informed this might happen with our high number of catches the day before, it was like we had a target on our backs. Our hosts proved they were serious and had a strategy to try and keep us in the money. As the bites died we snuck off to a new location to be greeted by a swarm of birds and sailfish everywhere. With no other boats in sight we only had one hour to catch as many as we could, as we had to beat the clock to get back to base as arriving late would see our dayâ€™s catch disqualified, knocking us out of the competition. As soon as we cast we were on and five more sailfish were quickly brought to the boat. Despite the hot bite it was time to head for port as we were exhausted from an extreme three days of non-stop fishing. We had a nervous wait to see where we had ended up. It was a long run home as we contemplated our chances and hoped that the other teams had found it as hard as we had today. Back at the wharf all the boys were very keen to find out how we went, we exchanged stories from the day but nobody was forthcoming about the numbers they had caught. We had heard many stories throughout the DAY THREE: SECOND DAY OF COMPETITION Day three dawned in the same fashion; a noodle and Red Bull breakfast at the 7Eleven and then down to the boat to rig our gear. The team uses a fairly simple rig, strait fluorocarbon leader to braid, which we retied each night to ensure no gear failure. It was a contest after all and we were tied at the top; failure is not an option! The last day is shorter and we had two hours less to catch fish, so we wanted to get away earlier. We still had to get our marshal from the Lanjuit Jetty and have a check to see the official standings. Team Xzoga Malaysia was on 17 and the next placed team was on 13! The boys had pulled a swifty on us! There was no hanging back this morning, it was time to hold-on as we went full steam to the fishing grounds. It was great to know we had a buffer, but things can change in an instant, and they did. Things started well, bait tank was full and with our first cast Dennis and I were into a double; unfortunately my fish threw the hook and Dennis had a foul hooked fish that gave him a real fight, but alas the hook pulled just before 12 www.nzfisher.co.nz adventureFISHING day, some boats catching 30 fish, some 22, others not even seeing a fish! We really had no idea, but when an angler from another team came busting thru the door congratulating us it all seemed too surreal. I kept thinking we were having our legs pulled again and as more tales of high catch numbers crept down the grapevine we were back to being left on the ledge not knowing, on some sort of emotional roller-coaster. Arriving back at the Lanjuit resort we were shown around the surroundings. This was nothing like I had seen before. The set was huge; amassive stage for the entertainment and prize giving, a red carpet and about 250 seats under tents with a large area for the dinner they put on for the anglers, marshals and VIPs. We were ushered to our table which gave us the best view in the house. We were treated to traditional Malaysian dancing and a great band that rocked away, including a song from the MC and the Minister of Tourism! As time drew on we were getting more and more nervous. Would we have placed? Could we have won? Too many thoughts were racing through our heads and there was not a drop of alcohol to calm me down, this was another novel experience for me at a fishing comp. The tension mounted for the teams as the prize giving began. Our mates who were fishing for team Lemax tackle came in seventh, a bonus for them as they weren’t expecting anything. Last year’s champions Xzoga Singapore and team mates took fifth spot skippered by Sky Chong, Steve’s brother. Fourth? Not us! Third?...Nope...Second?...Was this us? No!! Surely we didn’t bomb out? “And in first place, and this year’s RPBIC Champions, Team Xzoga Malaysia!” Wooooohooooooo! High fives all around. That was us and we had done it! We won and it was absolutely unbelievable! We went up to the stage to collect our trophies and prizes along with a monster cheque; this was a big deal! Our own Captain Steven Chong was announced Best Skipper. The crew was so excited and spent the next two hours having our photos taken. There were countless people asking us for photos from all parts of the globe, it was truly sensational and totally unexpected. We were on a high for hours, even when we were driving back late that night to Johor. www.nzfisher.co.nz 13 adventureFISHING Champions! So far this trip had been everything we could have imagined and so much more with 189 sailfish caught over two day. I can’t recommend Malaysia high enough as a fishing destination. The people, the food, the surroundings are amazing and I really didn’t want to go back home. A special mention has to go to our hosts, team (and now good mates), Dennis Lee, Wilson Tan and Capt. Steven Chong. We can’t thank you enough. It was an honour to be part of the Xzoga team and we’re already looking forward to next year! The prize money we won is enough to pay for our flights and has already been put aside. Also a big thank you to the other TST teams - Lemax, Gawas, Xzoga Singapore for your kind hospitality, support and friendship. We couldn’t have done it without you. If you have any questions about fishing in Malaysia feel free to contact me at Leanne@reeladventures.co.nz 14 www.nzfisher.co.nz newTECHNIQUES www.nzfisher.co.nz 15 HOWto All You Need to Know About Knives Based on the concept of “they cut stuff”, the basic design of a knife has remained relatively unchanged for millennia. KNIVES ARE SIMPLE and elegant, yet one of the most essential tools. Fishing is no exception to this rule. Without knives how would we cut rope, slice off chunks of bait and most importantly, fillet our fish. With knives having such an important role in our hunter gatherer existence, you’d imagine that when it comes to selecting a knife and keeping it sharp, we would know what to do. There are a wide variety of opinions on these topics though, and no easy way to decipher them. Fortunately NZFisher recently talked to New Zealand’s authority on knives, Shannon of the House of Knives in Mt Eden. So here is a run-down of what you need to know about knives. After all, arming yourself with the best quality filleting knife and keeping it sharp means you don’t have to spend hours filleting a heaping pile of snapper while everyone else is inside enjoying a beverage. Simply put, a good and well maintained knife will make a difference to your fishing experience. I know I learnt a lot from speaking to Shannon, so I am sure there will be some surprises in here for most of you. 16 www.nzfisher.co.nz HOWto WHAT MAKES A GOOD KNIFE? High carbon steel is a good place to start. This makes a knife hard, which means it can hold a fine edge and that edge will be more durable. Filleting knives will often brag about being made of stainless steel. While this means they will be rust resistant (useful around saltwater), it means they will be softer and less durable. As such, knives that brag about being made of stainless steel often struggle to maintain their edge, so will become blunt and require more frequent maintenance and sharpening. A high carbon steel knife can also be easily protected from rust by using oil or something similar. Shannon recommends Vaseline as the best rust protection for your knife. So how can we tell if a knife is made of high carbon steel? It’s probably not made in China, or by a fishing tackle company. German made knives and Japanese steel are often a good bet. Shannon has a specific brand that he recommends as well (see below). knife to be bent around the ribcage of the fish. So what brand should you be looking for? There are a number of brands that professional fish processors use which have ergonomic and high grip handles, are made from quality high carbon steel and are light enough for you to wield at a heaping pile of snapper without your arm falling off. A good starting point is the excellent range of professional knives made by Frederick Dick that Shannon keeps in stock. DOES USING A STEEL SHARPEN A KNIFE? This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about knives. No matter how long or how hard you use a steel it cannot sharpen a blunt knife. A steel simply centres the edge of a knife; aligning the microscopic fingers on the knives edge so they point in the same direction. Sometimes the edge can also fold over to one side, so steeling will help realign these folds. Steeling should be conducted frequently. Usually before and multiple times during a decent filleting session. Before you use a knife turn the edge up towards a light and look down it. If the knife is in good condition you shouldn’t be able to see any reflections coming off the edge. If you see reflections, give it a steel. Shannon recommends holding the steel vertically with its point resting on a table and then lightly running the knife down it a couple of times on each side. That’s all you need to do. The idea is to centre the blade so pressing hard isn’t going to achieve that; it’s about balance. In terms of the angle, keep the long axis of the knife at 90° to the steel throughout your stroke and aim to have the edge at about 20° to the steel. Here is an excellent link that shows you how to steel a knife....click here WHAT ELSE SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A FILLETING KNIFE? Aside from high carbon steel, there are a few other considerations for a filleting knife. Most filleting knives will be stamped from a blank of steel. This allows them to be light in the handle. While fully forged knives are generally of the highest quality (these are knives that have been shaped through the manual process of applying pressure with a hammer under heat), forging results in extra weight that is not needed in a filleting knife. A good filleting knife will generally have a handle with good grip that does not gather flesh in gaps (ensuring that it is hygienic). The flexibility of the blade and the style of tip are personal preference. Shannon prefers a medium flexibility blade that allows the www.nzfisher.co.nz 17 HOWto IS A DIAMOND STEEL BETTER THAN A REGULAR STEEL? A diamond steel is not actually a steel; it is a method of sharpening a knife (more on that soon). As such, you can’t replace a steel with a diamond steel. convenient option for knife sharpening. A small diamond steel is also a great option for throwing in your tackle bag for sharpening on the boat or when you are away from home. While ceramic rods won’t rust, they can be fragile, so probably best kept at home. There is probably more potential for a rod or steel to be used incorrectly and damage a knife, so take care. WHAT ABOUT SHARPENING MY KNIFE? Sharpening is the process of giving a new edge to a blunt knife. As such, you are removing metal (which is why a steel can’t sharpen). The first thing to consider is to apply the new edge at the correct angle. As with steeling, 20° is a good rule of thumb, but a bit either way can work. The most appropriate angle for your knife depends on the quality of the steel, how much of a hard time the knife is going to get, and how often you maintain the knife. For example, a high carbon Japanese knife that is not being used to crunch through bones that you are willing to steel regularly will hold a fine edge of 15°. A high stainless steel content knife used for cutting bait that is not going to see a lot of maintenance may be more appropriate at 25°. There are a variety of methods for sharpening a knife, from the classic wet stone to ceramic and diamond sharpeners. They come in a variety of forms, from flat stones, to rods and pull through devices. While the method you use is ultimately personal preference, here are a couple of suggestions. For a start, pull through devices that use tungsten rods are probably not the way to go for a good quality knife. These devices will definitely sharpen your knife, but will remove a lot of metal and the knife is likely to blunt quickly. This creates an addictive cycle that can potentially damage your knife. As such, tungsten pull through devices should generally be avoided. Ceramic and diamond rods or ‘steels’ offer a really Possibly the method least likely to lead to mistakes is a stone of some variety, whether it be an actual stone or a diamond stone. Simple movements that don’t involve the wrist are likely to lead to the best results. First place the stone on a damp cloth with its long axis aligned with the edge of the bench in front of you. Now set your angle; about 20°. Shannon recommends first putting the edge at angle of 90°, then half that angle, then half it again. That should be very close to the desired 20°. Now you simply want to run the knife from heel to tip across the stone. Take care that you don’t move your wrist, this will ensure that the long axis of the knife stays at 90°, while the edge is maintained at 20° to the stone. Remember, it’s about balance, so what you do to one side of the knife you should do to the other. Start out with eight strokes on each side, then eight on the other. Then count down till it is one on each side. If using a wet stone, then the stone needs to be initially soaked, and then wetted thereafter. A stone with a 250 grit side (for cutting an edge onto a poorly kept blade) and a 1000 grit side (for finishing the edge) is a good combination. If your stone is old enough that it has a curved surface, get a new stone! If this is all too much hassle, then there are pull through devices that are appropriate to use with a high quality knife. The Chefs Choice diamond pull through sharpener is a good option. Other than that, Shannon offers a full knife sharpening service. 18 www.nzfisher.co.nz www.nzfisher.co.nz 19 SeafoodCOOKERY Bradley Maple Tuna It is of coincidence that I am writing this piece on the eve of the 2014 Whakatane One Base Tournament. Now those that have been around long enough will remember this tournament used to be called the Whakatane Tuna Tournament… By Mark Thodey, Gourmet Innovation and Bradley Smokers NZ I’M SURE MOST READERS will be well aware of the plight of these stunning fish but you’ve been very lucky, and it is luck to hook one in the first place, now what? Whether it be the prized yellowfin tuna with its illuminating sickles and sleek form, the enigmatic and obese big eye or perhaps even the humble but still revered albacore, there are some amazing things that can be done to please the palate – from sashimi, sushi, bbq’d blackened loins, fresh tuna salad and the list goes on. But best of all in my opinion is tuna that has been gently smoked in a Bradley Smoker with a hint of sweet organic maple syrup. As with ALL fish that are designed to be eaten in the best possible condition, they need to be looked after as soon as the brag photos have been taken. Tuna of all species needs to be bled and chilled down as quickly as possible to retain its eating qualities. I personally like to remove the guts via the gills and pack the gut cavity with as much salt ice as possible before being stowed away in an ice slurry or “kill bag”. Of course this would mean that if plying for club points, tournament rewards or record status then the catch will be disqualified. I am not saying your “trophy” fish won’t be good eating if not gutted and iced, but it will not be at its best. So let’s not only savour the capture but also savour the flavour and look at a great method for smoking tuna in your Bradley Smoker: 20 www.nzfisher.co.nz SeafoodCOOKERY PREPARATION: Sprinkle about two teaspoons of Bradley Maple Cure on to the flesh and gently massage in with fingers to achieve an even covering then pour Bradley Maple Syrup over fillets. Place Tuna in to the fridge for between 24 to 48 hours in a covered container. METHOD: 1. Remove Tuna from fridge and allow it to obtain to room temperature. 2. Squeeze some Bradley Maple Syrup on to the fillets and again massage into flesh. 3. Place Racks into the smoker. 4. Start the smoke generator with Bradley Maple bisquettes for 2-3 hours and with the oven set at 76 degrees for 3-4 hours depending on volume you are smoking. 5. If you would like a more intense flavour, try using Pacific Blend. 6. Go clean the boat, take the kids to the park or kick back and let Bradley take care of the rest. Warm smoked Tuna straight out of the Bradley used in a dip is superb, even when cold on crackers with your favourite cheese whilst entertaining. A tip is refrigerate overnight before tasting as it allows the texture in the flesh to settle and the smoke flavour to permeate . If you intend to chill or freeze some of your fine product for another day then Vac & Seal is highly recommended â€“ these nifty devices quickly remove all the air from and double seal the bags to preserve and extend the life of your smoked fish and meats. www.nzfisher.co.nz 21 superstitions THE WEATHER IN WELLINGTON has been pretty average since Christmas. With high winds and the odd southerly making it a very difficult time to get out on the water. Bam lives close to our fishing haunts and tends to subscribe to the “any time on the water is a good time to fish” theory and although I do agree with Bam’s approach, I live a good hours plus drive from the water, so I tend to watch the weather, lunar phases and tides to help improve the odds. SO WHAT ARE THESE BELIEFS AND SUPERSTITIONS? Solunar theory is a belief that animals and fish move according to the location of the moon. There are two types of solunar period. Major periods: have approximately two hours duration To Believe, or Not to Believe Solunar theory, earthquakes and superstitions were all topics of debate within the Maniyaks camp recently. By Shane Kelly and Bam Blaikie 22 www.nzfisher.co.nz although on certain occasions they may exceed three hours. They begin the moment of the lunar transit (when the moon is overhead) and the opposing lunar transit (when the moon is under our feet). Normally these are the moments of greatest fish activity during each day. Minor periods: are intermediate periods of lesser duration (approximately one hour) which coincide with the rising and the setting of the moon. During these periods there is also an increase in fish activity in relation to the rest of the day. Fishing the tides is all part of subscribing to solunar theory. When the tide rises the water moves toward land and it is then known as the flood or high tide. When it drops and moves back to sea it is called the ebb or low tide. The “slack” tide is the period when the tide moves neither way. It takes about six hours for the tide to go from low to high and six hours from high to low. Every 24 hours the tides occur approximately 50 minutes later. It is believed that fish are more active (on the bite) in current than in “slack” water, so the time to go fishing would be change of tide. I use an “app” produced by SIS Software simply called fishing calendar this app provides reasonably accurate predictions on best bite times and a host of other useful tools. superstitions SUPERSTITIONS An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome. Here are some beauties.... • • • Bananas on the boat is bad luck A cloudy day is a good time for fishing. A fisherman always throws the first fish he catches back in the water for luck. Carry a fishing rod into the house before you start on a fishing trip is bad luck If the wind blows from the east you’ll catch the least. If the wind blows from the south fish close their mouth. Fish become excited and bite well when it is raining. Fish with three or five lines, never with one line, to catch the most fish. Fishing on Friday is unlucky. Fishing with crossed lines is unlucky. Good days to fish are the 17th and 18th of the month. If fish in a tank are at the top, it is a good day for fishing; if your fish stay at the bottom, don’t go fishing, for it is a poor fishing day. If you go fishing and see a big fish jump up, it will be bad luck for you all day. If you talk while fishing, the fish will hear you and not bite. Never tell anyone how many fish you have, while you are fishing, or you will be unlucky. The person who swears while fishing will not catch a fish. Throwing a pebble into the water excites the fish and makes them bite. You will have bad luck, if you fish on Sunday. EARTHQUAKES Wellington has had a few decent rattles recently though thankfully none causing the kind of destruction and devastation of the Canterbury quakes. It is a belief by some that the fish go off the bite after an earthquake. I have personally experienced this with quakes occurring while I’m on the water and the fishing has gone off completely. Each time afterwards I’ve learnt of others experiencing the complete opposite with the fishing unaffected. Unlike Sol-lunar theory there is no science to back up earthquakes affect fishing so I think we’ll move this one to the superstitions category. • • • • • • • • • WEATHER We are very exposed to the elements on the kayaks, so the weather plays an integral part to us all. Aside from telling us if we are going to be hot, cold, wet or dry, it more importantly helps us to stay safe. You can’t beat local knowledge, knowing where to and more importantly where not to fish in certain weather. This can make all the difference to your experience on the water. When out of town it’s a good idea to ask a local about known danger spots. I also find that mentioning you are on a kayak opens them up to share a little more than they normally would. In Wellington our biggest threat is the Southerly. The wind is annoying but the southerly can be deadly. We use www.swellmap.co.nz and www.metservice. co.nz to help us decide where and when to fish. While these sites are fairly good at predicting the weather for the day it is not gospel and common sense should always be used. If you are in doubt you can be pretty sure you will be safer staying off the water. • • • • • • Believe what you will but many people will be a bit upset if you are on their boat and pull out a banana for lunch. The Viking Maniyaks are Wellington based duo, Shane Kelly and Bam Blaikie. Keep an eye peeled for more of their tips, tricks and competition wins right here in NZ Fisher and on their new website, www.maniyaks.com benisland.co.nz More Big Snapper from the Rocks! Ben Assado does even better than last month from the rocks of beautiful Aotea/Great Barrier 24 www.nzfisher.co.nz Very happy! There she is, a new personal best off the rocks benisland.co.nz rning Stunning in the mo sun. THE FISHING IS CERTAINLY going well for me lately. My mate Gary and his partner Nadia came to the Barrier for a weeks visit, and unfortunately the weather has been quite bad on the Tryphena side. We’ve been to the hot pools on Thursday, yesterday we hung out a bit on Ben Island and the plan for today was to catch a few fish off the rocks. Today was the first day since their arrival that Tryphena harbour was actually calm, no swell, no gusts and in-spite them staying on their yacht, The Spirit of Breaker Bay, in Puriri Bay, I decided to pick them up early in the morning and to go to the East Coast to fish off the rocks. When it comes to fishing I always say, you gotta make a decision and stick to your guns. So, there I was, announcing my arrival in Puriri Bay via Radio at 0645. We parked the car at Medland’s Beach around half an hour later. I was pretty eager to get fishing as soon as possible, low tide was around 0930 and the forecast mentioned half a metre of easterly swell, and increasing over the day. This gave us only a couple of hours fishing and although it was a beautiful morning and I don’t like hurrying people, Gary and I decided to walk rather quickly to the spot and let Nadia catch up to us later. You know, when I take people fishing, I might be a bit difficult, but it is a bad, bad feeling when you drag people over the rocks to remote spots and come back empty handed. I always think of what I could have done differently. The way I see it is that when you go fishing, you should go out there believing in catching fish and making catching fish a priority. Instead of walking slowly, having breaks, taking pictures and all that, I often insist on rather concentrating on the fishing. Anyway, I got my way and Gary and I had baits in the water by 7.30am (see Google Map for our location). Gary was busy landing fish while I still hadn’t felt a bite. He caught various fish today, a little wrasse, two eels, and a couple of hiwi-hiwi. I ended up landing two leather jackets and it seemed that there were no snapper around at all. Two hours fishing, the swell had picked up by now, we had 15 knots of side on wind, it was cold and there was no sign of any solid bite. Nadia had caught up to us and I sent her to find some kina. It didn’t take her long and she was waving back to us; apparently she had spotted an octopus. Well, since we had only a little bag of squid as bait, both of us rushed to Nadia to see what was going on. By the time www.nzfisher.co.nz 25 benisland.co.nz I flicked the knife, Gary already grabbed the head of the octopus and secured it. Good on him for reacting fast! I don’t have a picture of the octopus, the tentacles were around 50 cm and it took a while to immobilise it. We kept on fishing and unknown to Gary, I started hoping and praying. ‘Come on snapper, come on.’ All to no avail. I could see that both Gary and Nadia were thinking of heading back and I couldn’t blame them at all. Thanks to Gary, who caught a tiny kahawai, there was still hope. I thought, at least cast the head out far, start packing up and who knows, there might be something lurking far out there. Oh, did I mention that I lost a better sized fish? Yeah, I had a good fish on and was very sure that I had her in the bag, but just before you could see any colour it spat the hook, or better, I ripped the hook out of her mouth. It’s never a good feeling to lose a fish, but it’s worse when you don’t get a chance to see what you had hooked, especially when the fishing is slow. There I was, holding onto my last hope, on the kahawai head, and to my surprise the reel was screaming line out, a lot of line. I flicked the reel into drag mode and still, something was taking a lot of line. I cranked the drag up by half a turn and tried my best to stop whatever was on the end of the line. The funny thing was that I immediately thought that it was a shark or a big ray and that I wouldn’t be able to stop it. Thus, I fought it hard and after a few moments I had turned the fish’s head. The typical snapper fight. After 4-5 minutes I could see the colour and asked Gary to stop fishing and give me a hand. Fortunately, she was hooked well in the mouth but we had no gaff and Gary didn’t make the move down the rocks to grab the leader, thus I was slightly uncertain of what to do. I didn’t want to ping the line on the sharp rocks and kept waiting for a swell to pick the fish up onto the rocks. Finally, it all happened and I had the leader in the hand and the fish away from the water. Woohooo, another good snapper off the rocks. Such is fishing off the rocks. You gotta be on guard at all times, stick to your guns, never lose faith and remember, the best fish are usually lost right in front of you when you want to get them onto the rocks. Therefore, it pays to stay calm and it pays to have a friend (the gaff man) around to assist in landing the fish. Thanks Gary, you provided the kahawai head and you did exactly what I had asked of you when we were landing her! I scaled and cleaned the fish properly and since we are invited to a party tonight, we dropped her off at the host’s home as our contribution to the food. I’m stoked, the signs weren’t good, I was actually thinking we’ll be showing up empty handed to the party and I’d be only left with the story of the fish that got away, but such is fishing! Reproduced with the permission of Ben Assado. Ben Island lives permanently in the hills of Tryphena, in a rugged and stunning bush block, and pursues his dream of living in harmony and sustainably from the land. Land based fishing and blogging about the simple, yet utterly fulfilling life on Great Barrier Island are his favourite pastimes. Follow his fishing adventures for big snapper and kingfish off the rocks on www.BENIsLAND.co.nz. 26 www.nzfisher.co.nz keeps your screen water repellent... for longer! “…using diamond Fusion gives you clear vision 360 degrees (even at night).” Milan Radonich, PlaceMakeRs Big angRy Fish, nZ. endorsed by new Zealand Fishing news and fishing.net.nz diamondfusion.co.nz call 0800 666 785 for your nearest retailer READERpics Reader Pics Brett Withey & a 10kg kingy from the surf WINNER Joe, aged 6, following in brother Woodyâ€™s footsteps with this beauty from a friends boat. Hiedi Stubenitsky with her first legal (90cm) kingfish 28 www.nzfisher.co.nz READERpics Tony Brake with another great Seahorse haul from the West Coast Ed Stubenitsky with a 7.5kg snapper that took the first bait of the day (And swallowed it). Woody, aged 8, landed this huge (47cm) snapper as his first ever catch - much to the amazement of the other nearby fishermen www.nzfisher.co.nz 29 COMPETITION Win a Trip on Board Diversity with Charter Connection & NZFisher! JUST POST A PIC of you with a fish to our Facebook page and you’re in the draw to win day trip aboard Diversity care of Damo and the Charter Connection crew. Every image you enter has a chance to win the big prize. The more and sooner you enter, the better your chances so get fishing and posting those images to Facebook! WINNER: This month’s winner is Heidi Stubenitsky 30 www.nzfisher.co.nz VIDEO Fishing Video of the Month HERE’S A VERY DIFFERENT take on our pastime, through the eyes of a DJI Phantom MK1 Quad copter. Thanks to Paul Smith, this is a beautiful piece! Paul should be commended for making our often dull pastime so vibrant in these well filmed and edited videos – thanks Paul! www.nzfisher.co.nz 31 FISHINGclubs Who are the NZACA? By Richard Lash of Fielding on behalf of the NZACA I am often asked by the people I meet on the beach whilst out fishing why they should join a fishing club and what does the New Zealand Angling and Casting Association (NZACA) do for those that belong? Allow me to try to explain what the NZACA is all about. The New Zealand Angling and Casting Association was first constituted in the 1950s to: • • • Encourage and develop the sport of angling and casting Encourage the formation of fishing clubs and to foster comradeship among amateur fishers Promote the conservation of fish and their habitat. and through them we are recognised by the Ministry of Fisheries (now MPI) and by the courts of New Zealand. The NZACA has also been involved with many submissions on a variety of recreational fisher’s concerns including the recent Kahawai Challenge and the present Iron Sands Mining of the coast of New Plymouth. The NZACA is also affiliated to the Australian Amateur Fishing Association and a small team of our members regularly attend their Bi-Annual Championships that are run over about three weeks (that’s about two weeks more than those held by NZACA) and that’s a lot of fishing time. Most NZACA Clubs are surfcasting (or beach fishing to some) others are boat and surfcasting with the odd rock hoppers thrown in. A large number of trophies, badges and certificates are presented at the N.Z.Champs in surfcasting, land based fishing, boating fishing and casting. From the earliest days the association has steadily prospered and is now accepted as the national representative of inshore small boat fishers and shore fishers and the parent body of clubs catering for such. The association also caters for those whose interests include fresh water fishing. This year the association will hold their 57th Annual General Meeting. The association has very strong allegiances with other like-minded organisations including The International Game Fishing Association which, like our association, is run by volunteers. With our membership this gives us the chance to apply for a world record with eligible fish, and a number of NZACA members do hold world records. The association was one of the original signatories of the International Casting Federation along with eight other countries. In 1962 the Rotorua and Pania Clubs in New Zealand hosted the World Casting Championships. This was the first time these had been held outside of Europe. At those Champs Mr Con Voss was elected as the first non-European Vice President. Casting in New Zealand has changed markedly since then; we no longer cast one handed or cast plugs (whatever they are, spark or bath maybe!). We are now more aligned with the English. The NZACA was also one of the founding members of what is now known as the Recreation Fishing Council • Why do I belong to a Club and therefore to the Association? Basically for two reasons: • First because at club level I have been able to fish with like-minded people and to learn from them how to read the sea for the most likely fishing spot, the best bait for different species, and to form strong friendships with many people. Secondly, by being a member of a club I have been fortunate to have been able to attend national events at venues all around the North Island (haven’t missed a Nationals since 1998) and have made many lifetime friends. To have been part of this organisation for so long has been an experience that I will never forget, the good times and the bad. So don’t just think about it, join a surfcasting club and learn to enjoy New Zealand’s wonderful coast. It is there for all of us to use. Tight Lines. 32 www.nzfisher.co.nz FLY FISHING MASTER CLASS Meet and greet the team on Friday 14th @ the Park from 8pm. River clinic Sat 15th - Sun 16th March 2014 The NZ Fly Fishing Team Proudly sponsored by : Join the New Zealand Fly Fishing Team for a fly fishing master class on the Whanganui River, Central North Island. New Zealand River tuition and learning only $500 per person for the weekend. Plus expenses - accomodation @ The Park Hotel Ruapehu, in National Park It is often said that 20% of anglers catch 80% of the fish; come learn from the NZ team: - Fast track your river angling ability - Learn Czech nymphing fly fishing techniques from our NZ team members - Acquire skills, fly patterns and fishing techniques including European style nymphing - Experience a world renowned fishery (venue of the 2008 worlds) with the NZ Silver Flies To secure your spot at the clinic, and get further details please contact: Johnny Bell, NZ team member via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or 021737475 Proceeds will go towards the NZ team to compete at the 2014 World Champs in the Czech Republic www.sffnz.org.nz www.nzfisher.co.nz 33 Know what youâ€™re doing HOOKEDUP! Wide range of courses for all types of boating available nationwide Core Courses Day Skipper Boatmaster Maritime VHF Operator Certificate Specialty Courses Coastal Skipper Ocean Yachtmaster Radar GPS Operator Engine Maintenance Marine Medic Sea Survival Sea Kayak and Waka Ama Club Safety Boat Operator Bar Crossing RYA Courses Powerboating Motor Cruising Sail Cruising PWC Phone 0800 40 80 90 or visit www.boatingeducation.org.nz 34 www.nzfisher.co.nz f sher Coming up in our March issue: - - - Live-baiting pays dividends Propping your outboard correctly NEXTmonth regional REVIEWS Flounder in your bays Simply visit www.nzfisher.co.nz to get a copy of NZ Fisher delivered straight to your inbox every month! Have you subscribed to NZ Fisher? Itâ€™s free! www.nzfisher.co.nz 35