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f sher ISSUE 33

February 2014

Sailfish in Malaysia

All you need to know about knives To believe or not to believe

Congratulations to our Torpedo7 prize winner for Issue #33! 1



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Pg 8



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

Reader Pics




Video of the month


10 Pg 24 3


//From the



and I’m going stir crazy. Sadly the Snapper Festival was blown off the water last weekend and was cancelled until next year.

in your neighbourhood.

We’re very pleased to bring to

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.

you Leanne Dixon’s account of the

EDITOR / Derrick Paull

Royal Pahang International Billfish

ART DIRECTOR / Jodi Olsson

Challenge in Malaysia last September.

Those lucky enough to enjoy the

Chasing sailfish in Rompin has been a

fine spells have been experiencing

dream of mine for over ten years and

a mixed bag of fishing, from bag

their protected fishery just seems to

limits in minutes off the west coast

be getting better and better.

to fish-less days in the ever reliable


CONTENT ENQUIRIES / Phone Derrick on 021 629 327 or email derrickp@NZ ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES / Phone Richard on 09 522 7257

Leanne and Toby had a dream trip

or email

with a very special ending, so read

ADDRESS / NZ Fisher,

So, like last month, I began to

on for that tale. All going well we’ll

C/- Espire Media, PO Box 137162,

wonder what to do when the target

get another report later this year as

species have become scarce, and

Parnell, Auckland 1151, NZ

they’ll be heading back for more of

looked towards the in harbour for


the same. I’m turning green with envy

inspiration. And you know what?

just thinking about it!

Rangitoto Channel.

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.

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 Micro-

It proved to me again we often

jigging and mini-stick baiting with a

look past the great fisheries on our

particular Auckland focus.

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

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!

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!

Cover: Kyle Taylor with his second ever legal snapper. Caught at Sailors Grave, Coromandel. 5


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

First Things First – Rod & Reel The

puts a lot of people off, is the seemingly high

Shimano Zuraca Spinning combo is a

cost of a soft bait combo and all the kit that

lightweight setup that will come into its

comes with it. This doesn’t need to be the case

own when spooled with braid and spinning

though and there are some great offers out

or softbaiting. The soft nature of the rod

there that allow you to fully kit yourself without

makes you feel every bit of action no matter

forking out hundreds of dollars.

the size of the fish. The propulsion spool

Here Torpedo7 gives you the rundown on

of the reel and the whip of the rod ensures

everything you need to get into soft baiting for

excellent casting. This is a great entry-level

under $120 – a special price reserved exclusively

softbaiting setup that doesn’t cost an arm

for NZ Fisher readers!!

and a leg and WILL catch fish if you can find them. Click here for our special offer.



The lucky winner of Torpedo7’s $150 voucher from NZ Fisher’s January issue is David Phillimore. To claim your prize please email before 20th March 2014. Congratulations David, enjoy!



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 – the Soft Baits Berkley’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. 7

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

After two days in Singapore we were picked up from our

his charter boat, Sanity, we had the privilege to host a team of

hotel by Dennis Lee one of our hosts for the trip and we

keen anglers from Singapore and Malaysia for a week of hard

were off, crossing the border into Johor, Malaysia. There is

core fishing and tackle testing for rod maker, Xzoga.

plenty of traffic across the border and it can take a while to

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

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

year, in Rompin Malaysia, for the Royal Pahang International

were kitted out in our team uniforms, spooled our reels and

Billfish Challenge. We couldn’t be more excited and quickly

selected our rods from the huge Xzoga selection, ready for

said yes, a year of saving and planning began.

our first encounter with the sailfish of Rompin.

The sailfish in Malaysia had always been on my bucket list,

It was approximately a two hour drive from the Singapore/

however it seemed to take forever to roll around. Finally we

Malay to our final destination, Kuala Rompin, overlooking

had a reason to go, so we packed up our fishing gear and

the South China Sea. We went to a local restaurant to catch

headed for Malaysia with a quick stop in Singapore to catch

up with our skipper / captain Steven Chong while we waited

up with the rest of the team and be shown around some of

for the rest of the crew to arrive. It had been 12 months

the amazing tackle stores there.

since we had seen Steve in NZ and he was pretty excited us


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

Leanne signing in

to give it their best shot.

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.

Rafted & ready to go

Captain Steven Chong fired up the twin 175hps at 27 knots

A double on and more to catch!.

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.

Tobes in control9

Leanne leaning on a nice sail.


Mad dash

The Team Xzoga flag

On the board!

It came on board for a quick picture and was then released,

water, fighting valiantly. Then after 30 years of fishing Tobes

Steve estimated it at approx. 35kg, apparently a big sailfish

had his first ever billfish and was amped, so was I to be there

for these waters. The sailfish in Rompin are protected, so all

to witness it.

fish must be released. It’s great to see a protected fishery that

We continued on and Tobes got one in on the Saltiga while I

allows these fish to thrive in large numbers.

had a turn on the bait caster, getting another fish to the boat

We were getting a little frustrated that the sails were feeding

after a lengthy scrap. I have done a fair of light tackle game

on anchovies and ignoring our larger baits; this school had

fishing but a bait caster… seriously??

been around for a while so a call was made to try and find

The crew decided we now had enough practice and it was

a fresh school that might be more on the chew. We found

off to the registration at the Lanjuit Golden Beach and Golf

some more fish and Tobes was quick to hook up again, but

Resort. There were a huge number of anglers from all around

this time Dennis had given him a small overhead bait caster

the world making up 32 teams and we finally realised just

with light line and it was going to be a battle! The fish pulled

how big this competition was going to be. It was then time

string at a rate that I have never seen on a bait caster, surely

to head home with the other teams from TST to get all our

he was going to get spooled, but no, Tobes managed to get

tackle rigged up for the morning, but after such an exciting

the line back on bit by bit as the sailfish leaped across the

day, getting some sleep wasn’t going to be easy!


Awesome fish!



with three Malaysian style anchovy boats all billowing black

We were joined by another of our hosts, Wilson Tan from TST,

smoke. I thought they were in trouble, so I asked Steve if

who had also been in NZ with the crew. Wilson took us to the

they were on fire, he laughed his head off, nope, they’re

7Eleven for a breakfast of two minute noodles and Red Bull.

just drying the anchovies.

We met up with the other teams in our group and loaded up

Dennis showed his class first up and soon Tobes and I had

the boats to head for the Lanjuit Resort jetty where we would

the knack of it - we were away. Six quick-fire fish put us in

be issued with a marshal who takes pictures and records all

good stead and a quick move put us back in the money. I

catches - so there’s no drama at the end of the contest. The

don’t think I will ever get over how wonderful these fish are to

spirits where high within our group and it was high fives all around as we headed to the wharf for a big raft up!

catch, aerobatic and lit up, fighting for their right to freedom. Little did they know it was a release contest and there would

Now this is a competition like you wouldn’t find in NZ, there’s

be no killing today. As the day went on the weather went

media from all parts of the world and we all had designated

from glassy calm with sailfish ignoring all baits, to pouring rain

sponsored shirts we had to wear at different times, there were

and fish biting hard again. The day drew to a close and we

so many pictures taken of us at times we felt I like possums

headed back in to drop off our marshal and regroup at the

blinded by the headlights.

local bar over a nice cold Tiger beer.

It was a shot gun start and there was plenty of yelling and

We had a nervous wait that night to find out how we were

cheering as all the teams wished each other luck. The level of

placed. After landing 17 sails throughout the day we were

sportsmanship here is nothing like I have seen before, no tall

pretty confident we had placed somewhere. Our target was

poppy syndrome here, just a group of passionate people that

20+ which we had fallen short of, but you never know in a

all support each other 100%. The police were there in their

comp where you will end up.

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.

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

Finally we headed out and Steve quickly got us into the

much so it was time for a new style of Malaysian cuisine for

bait on one of the FADs then sped us to a patch of sailfish

dinner, a recent addition to Rompin, KFC!



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 we’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.

Day three dawned in the same fashion; a noodle and Red

Our hosts proved they were serious and had a strategy to

Bull breakfast at the 7Eleven and then down to the boat

try and keep us in the money. As the bites died we snuck

to rig our gear. The team uses a fairly simple rig, strait

off to a new location to be greeted by a swarm of birds and

fluorocarbon leader to braid, which we retied each night

sailfish everywhere. With no other boats in sight we only

to ensure no gear failure. It was a contest after all and we

had one hour to catch as many as we could, as we had to

were tied at the top; failure is not an option!

beat the clock to get back to base as arriving late would

The last day is shorter and we had two hours less to catch

see our day’s catch disqualified, knocking us out of the

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

As soon as we cast we were on and five more sailfish

the official standings. Team Xzoga Malaysia was on 17 and

were quickly brought to the boat. Despite the hot bite it

the next placed team was on 13! The boys had pulled a

was time to head for port as we were exhausted from an

swifty on us! There was no hanging back this morning, it

extreme three days of non-stop fishing. We had a nervous

was time to hold-on as we went full steam to the fishing

wait to see where we had ended up. It was a long run

grounds. It was great to know we had a buffer, but things

home as we contemplated our chances and hoped that the

can change in an instant, and they did.

other teams had found it as hard as we had today.

Things started well, bait tank was full and with our first

Back at the wharf all the boys were very keen to find

cast Dennis and I were into a double; unfortunately my

out how we went, we exchanged stories from the day

fish threw the hook and Dennis had a foul hooked fish that

but nobody was forthcoming about the numbers they

gave him a real fight, but alas the hook pulled just before

had caught. We had heard many stories throughout the



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. 13



So far this trip had been everything we could have

part of the Xzoga team and we’re already looking forward

imagined and so much more with 189 sailfish caught over

to next year! The prize money we won is enough to pay for

two day. I can’t recommend Malaysia high enough as a

our flights and has already been put aside.

fishing destination. The people, the food, the surroundings are amazing and I really didn’t want to go back home.

Also a big thank you to the other TST teams - Lemax, Gawas, Xzoga Singapore for your kind hospitality, support

A special mention has to go to our hosts, team (and now

and friendship. We couldn’t have done it without you. If

good mates), Dennis Lee, Wilson Tan and Capt. Steven

you have any questions about fishing in Malaysia feel free

Chong. We can’t thank you enough. It was an honour to be

to contact me at




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.




knife to be bent around the ribcage of the fish. So what

High carbon steel is a good place to start. This makes a

brand should you be looking for? There are a number of

knife hard, which means it can hold a fine edge and that

brands that professional fish processors use which have

edge will be more durable. Filleting knives will often brag

ergonomic and high grip handles, are made from quality

about being made of stainless steel. While this means they

high carbon steel and are light enough for you to wield at a

will be rust resistant (useful around saltwater), it means they

heaping pile of snapper without your arm falling off. A good

will be softer and less durable.

starting point is the excellent range of professional knives

As such, knives that brag about being made of stainless steel

made by Frederick Dick that Shannon keeps in stock.

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.

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

So how can we tell if a knife is made of high carbon steel?

edge of a knife; aligning the microscopic fingers on the

It’s probably not made in China, or by a fishing tackle

knives edge so they point in the same direction. Sometimes

company. German made knives and Japanese steel are

the edge can also fold over to one side, so steeling will

often a good bet. Shannon has a specific brand that he

help realign these folds.

recommends as well (see below).

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

Aside from high carbon steel, there are a few other

able to see any reflections coming off the edge. If you see

considerations for a filleting knife. Most filleting knives will

reflections, give it a steel.

be stamped from a blank of steel. This allows them to be

Shannon recommends holding the steel vertically with its

light in the handle. While fully forged knives are generally of

point resting on a table and then lightly running the knife

the highest quality (these are knives that have been shaped

down it a couple of times on each side. That’s all you need

through the manual process of applying pressure with a

to do. The idea is to centre the blade so pressing hard

hammer under heat), forging results in extra weight that

isn’t going to achieve that; it’s about balance. In terms

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.

down it. If the knife is in good condition you shouldn’t be

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 here

Shannon prefers a medium flexibility blade that allows the 17



convenient option for knife sharpening. A small diamond

A diamond steel is not actually a steel; it is a method of

for sharpening on the boat or when you are away from

sharpening a knife (more on that soon). As such, you can’t

home. While ceramic rods won’t rust, they can be fragile,

replace a steel with a diamond steel.

so probably best kept at home. There is probably more

steel is also a great option for throwing in your tackle bag

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.

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

For a start, pull through devices that use tungsten rods are

onto a poorly kept blade) and a 1000 grit side (for finishing

probably not the way to go for a good quality knife. These

the edge) is a good combination. If your stone is old

devices will definitely sharpen your knife, but will remove

enough that it has a curved surface, get a new stone!

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


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. 19


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

Tuna of all species needs to be bled and chilled down as

plight of these stunning fish but you’ve been very lucky,

quickly as possible to retain its eating qualities. I personally

and it is luck to hook one in the first place, now what?

like to remove the guts via the gills and pack the gut cavity

Whether it be the prized yellowfin tuna with its illuminating

with as much salt ice as possible before being stowed away

sickles and sleek form, the enigmatic and obese big eye

in an ice slurry or “kill bag”.

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

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

Smoker with a hint of sweet organic maple syrup.

at its best.

As with ALL fish that are designed to be eaten in the best

So let’s not only savour the capture but also savour the

possible condition, they need to be looked after as soon as

flavour and look at a great method for smoking tuna in

the brag photos have been taken.

your Bradley Smoker:



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 – 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. 21


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


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 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.

some that the fish go off the bite after an earthquake. I

If the wind blows from the south fish close their mouth.

have personally experienced this with quakes occurring

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.

to back up earthquakes affect fishing so I think we’ll

Fishing with crossed lines is unlucky.

move this one to the superstitions category.

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.

difference to your experience on the water.

The person who swears while fishing will not catch a fish.

When out of town it’s a good idea to ask a local about

Throwing a pebble into the water excites the fish and makes them bite.

on a kayak opens them up to share a little more than they

You will have bad luck, if you fish on Sunday.

normally would. In Wellington our biggest threat is the

Believe what you will but many people will be a bit upset if

Southerly. The wind is annoying but the southerly can be

you are on their boat and pull out a banana for lunch.

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

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

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

known danger spots. I also find that mentioning you are

deadly. We use and www.metservice. to help us decide where and when to fish. While these sites are fairly good at predicting the weather for the

The Viking Maniyaks are Wellington based duo, Shane

day it is not gospel and common sense should always be

Kelly and Bam Blaikie. Keep an eye peeled for more of

used. If you are in doubt you can be pretty sure you will be

their tips, tricks and competition wins right here in NZ

safer staying off the water.

Fisher and on their new website,

More Big Snapper from the Rocks! Ben Assado does even better than last month from the rocks of beautiful Aotea/Great Barrier

24 Very happy!

There she is, a new personal best off the rocks

rning Stunning in the mo


THE FISHING IS CERTAINLY going well for me lately. My

You know, when I take people fishing, I might be a bit

mate Gary and his partner Nadia came to the Barrier for a

difficult, but it is a bad, bad feeling when you drag

weeks visit, and unfortunately the weather has been quite

people over the rocks to remote spots and come back

bad on the Tryphena side. We’ve been to the hot pools on

empty handed. I always think of what I could have done

Thursday, yesterday we hung out a bit on Ben Island and

differently. The way I see it is that when you go fishing, you

the plan for today was to catch a few fish off the rocks.

should go out there believing in catching fish and making

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

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).

comes to fishing I always say, you gotta make a decision

Gary was busy landing fish while I still hadn’t felt a bite. He

and stick to your guns. So, there I was, announcing my

caught various fish today, a little wrasse, two eels, and a

arrival in Puriri Bay via Radio at 0645.

couple of hiwi-hiwi. I ended up landing two leather jackets

We parked the car at Medland’s Beach around half an hour

and it seemed that there were no snapper around at all.

later. I was pretty eager to get fishing as soon as possible,

Two hours fishing, the swell had picked up by now, we had

low tide was around 0930 and the forecast mentioned half

15 knots of side on wind, it was cold and there was no sign

a metre of easterly swell, and increasing over the day. This

of any solid bite. Nadia had caught up to us and I sent

gave us only a couple of hours fishing and although it was

her to find some kina. It didn’t take her long and she was

a beautiful morning and I don’t like hurrying people, Gary

waving back to us; apparently she had spotted an octopus.

and I decided to walk rather quickly to the spot and let

Well, since we had only a little bag of squid as bait, both of

Nadia catch up to us later.

us rushed to Nadia to see what was going on. By the time 25

I flicked the knife, Gary already grabbed the head of the

Fortunately, she was hooked well in the mouth but we had no

octopus and secured it. Good on him for reacting fast!

gaff and Gary didn’t make the move down the rocks to grab

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

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.

heading back and I couldn’t blame them at all. Thanks to

Such is fishing off the rocks. You gotta be on guard at all

Gary, who caught a tiny kahawai, there was still hope.

times, stick to your guns, never lose faith and remember,

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

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!

never a good feeling to lose a fish, but it’s worse when you

I scaled and cleaned the fish properly and since we are

don’t get a chance to see what you had hooked, especially

invited to a party tonight, we dropped her off at the host’s

when the fishing is slow.

home as our contribution to the food. I’m stoked, the signs

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,

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!

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

Reproduced with the permission of Ben Assado. Ben

end of the line.

Island lives permanently in the hills of Tryphena, in a

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.

rugged and stunning bush block, and pursues his dream of living in harmony and sustainably from the land.

Thus, I fought it hard and after a few moments I had turned

Land based fishing and blogging about the simple, yet

the fish’s head. The typical snapper fight. After 4-5 minutes

utterly fulfilling life on Great Barrier Island are his favourite

I could see the colour and asked Gary to stop fishing and

pastimes. Follow his fishing adventures for big snapper and

give me a hand.

kingfish off the rocks on


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Reader Pics Brett Withey & a 10kg kingy from the surf


Hiedi Stubenitsky with her first legal (90cm) kingfish 28

Joe, aged 6, following in brother Woody’s footsteps with this beauty from a friends boat.


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 29


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



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! 31


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

and through them we are recognised by the Ministry of

out fishing why they should join a fishing club and what

Fisheries (now MPI) and by the courts of New Zealand.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

to apply for a world record with eligible fish, and a number

with like-minded people and to learn from them how

of NZACA members do hold world records. The association

to read the sea for the most likely fishing spot, the

was one of the original signatories of the International

best bait for different species, and to form strong

Casting Federation along with eight other countries.

friendships with many people.

In 1962 the Rotorua and Pania Clubs in New Zealand

Secondly, by being a member of a club I have been

hosted the World Casting Championships. This was the

fortunate to have been able to attend national events

first time these had been held outside of Europe. At those

at venues all around the North Island (haven’t missed

Champs Mr Con Voss was elected as the first non-European

a Nationals since 1998) and have made many lifetime

Vice President. Casting in New Zealand has changed

friends. To have been part of this organisation for so

markedly since then; we no longer cast one handed or cast

long has been an experience that I will never forget,

plugs (whatever they are, spark or bath maybe!). We are

the good times and the bad.

now more aligned with the English.

So don’t just think about it, join a surfcasting club and learn

The NZACA was also one of the founding members of

to enjoy New Zealand’s wonderful coast. It is there for all of

what is now known as the Recreation Fishing Council

us to use. Tight Lines.


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 or 021737475 Proceeds will go towards the NZ team to compete at the 2014 World Champs in the Czech Republic 33


Know what you’re doing

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Phone 0800 40 80 90 or visit 34

NEXTmonth regionalREVIEWS

f sher Coming up in our March issue: -

Flounder in your bays


Live-baiting pays dividends


Propping your outboard correctly

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NZ Fisher Issue 33