ISSUE 10 July 2011
// NZFisher gets
Fresh with Trout // LORD HOWE ISLAND!
THE RUM THAT INVENTED RUM www.mountgayrum.com Enjoy the adventure, drink responsibly 2 www.nzfisher.co.nz
CONTENTS Pg 6 SPORTFISHING 6 The Last Paradise -Part 1 GAMEFISHING 10 The NZLBG Nationals, Part Two BOATFISHING 14 Carrots on the Muddy
Interesting Facts: The Guts Of It
Fishing Video of the Month
NZFisher gets fresh â€“
We discovered Trout!
EDITOR Winter is a hard time to fish. It’s not
Like so many Islands of the South
just the weather or that the fish seem
Pacific, Lord Howe is something
slower to bite. It’s just not as pleasant
of an angling hot spot. Their
as lazing on the water under the spring
remoteness, strong cultural ties to
or summer sun. The southerly storms
fishing & progressive marine parks
of the last few weeks have kept most
programme makes for an incredible
fishers off the water whether they
recreational fishery. It seems in this
wanted to fare the cold or not.
area the Australians have got it right. Martin’s talk at the RFC hammered
The freeze in the south will keep the
home the need for realistic,
trout fishers at bay too. For the first
time we’ve bought Trout into the NZFisher stable with a great article
He was far from shy about the only real
from Australian Len Olyott who was
option that the majority of the world
over here for the NZRFC Conference
has turned to. You can watch Martins’
in New Plymouth. Admittedly Taranaki
presentation here. At the end I even
is not the Trout Mecca that jumps to
heard the editor of NZ’s biggest fishing
mind when you think of Trout spots
magazine surprisingly state he’d pay a
in NZ but Lens article will open a few
license if the conditions were right. You
eyes on the areas potential.
never know, maybe there is something to be said for user pays?
Also joining Len to talk at the conference was Martin Salter, former
Well license or no license, if the
British politician & spokesperson on
weather stays the way it is we won’t
Angling in the UK. Martin is also a fresh
be seeing a good feed of fish for a
water fisho, but having spent more time
while unless it’s from the shops!
on the water in more countries than I can count, he seems to have found his saltwater Eldorado in Lord Howe Island.
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 GROUP EDITOR / Trudi Caffell 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.NZ Fisher.co.nz
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The Last Paradise -Part 1
When it comes to places that you should fish before you die, Lord Howe Island is right up there as a must-visit location. MARTIN SALTER finally gets to tick a much anticipated box on his personal fishing bucket list. Reproduced courtesy of FishingWorld Australia
Benâ€™s hooked up!
bie, right, helps LHI local Gary Crom hardof the lagoon’s Martin land one ng, rod busting fighting, bread scoffi silver drum mer.
hard fighting, e of the lagoon’s Martin lands on mer um dr r sting silve scoffing, road bu
Gary Sexto n,
Local chart er operato r with a ty pical LHI Wahoo
The following story has been
those rare places in the world where
With surf beaches and rock platforms
provided by Martin Salter, a
a mad-keen fisherman can spend
on the west, the maze of the Admiralty
British Member of Parliament and
time catching that faraway fish of
Islets to the north and the world’s
Parliamentary Spokesperson for
a lifetime and still remain happily
largest ocean stack in the shape of the
Angling. Martin has been based in
married at the end of the holiday.
550m Balls Pyramid to the south, Lord
Australia for 18 months and this
Howe has every type of natural fish
story is written for an Australian
What’s more I reckon one of the best
audience. Never the less, I’m very
is less than two hours flight from our
grateful to Fishing World and Martin
temporary home in Sydney. Lord Howe
The Islanders enjoy a unique lifestyle
for the opportunity to publish this
Island is piece of unspoilt paradise on
aimed at preserving their pristine
article over two issues.
30 sq kms of rock hidden away in the
environment. A strict limit of 400
holding feature imaginable.
Tasman Sea and is the perfect place
visitors at any one time controls on
AS an Englishman enjoying a year-
for a couple to enjoy a romantic yet
new development and numbers of
long fishing sabbatical in this wonderful
adventurous holiday together.
vehicles coupled with a permanent
country, I’ve been privileged to have
population of just 350 has ensured
visited some amazing places and to
Discovered some 18 years after
that Lord Howe has avoided the
catch fish that were once only the stuff
Captain Cook’s first voyage by
ravages of commercial exploitation.
of dreams. On the windswept winter
Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball,
surf beaches of Fraser Island and in
commander of the First Fleet ship
This is place of honesty boxes and
the stifling heat of the mangrove-
Supply en route to Norfolk Island
friendliness – a reminder of a bygone
lined estuaries of Arnhem Land I’ve
to establish the infamous penal
age – where no door is locked and
experienced Boys Own fishing trips
colony, this small island contains the
keys are never removed from the
that will stay with me forever.
southernmost coral reef in the world.
ignition. Lord Howe is well known for
However, my wife has somewhat
With almost 500 species of fish, 90
attracts visiting anglers from all over
different holiday priorities. These often
different types of corals and such an
the world. With no commercial fishing
require levels of comfort that would be
abundance of flora, fauna and other
in the island waters covered by the
hard to find aboard a wave-tossed boat
marine life it came as no surprise that
marine park boundaries, a number of
or in some remote and dusty campsite.
Lord Howe was declared a World
the charter operators regularly provide
Luckily Australia contains some of
Heritage Site in 1982.
fresh, line-caught fish to the hotels
its kingfish and wahoo fishing and
40ft Blackwatch Double Trigger is pioneering some pretty exciting billfish action just three miles out from the island’s one and only jetty. But it’s not all about beefy tackle and big game species – there’s another side to fishing at Lord Howe Island that’s just as rewarding and possibly more challenging. Reef action The majority of the western shoreline is protected by an extensive reef system creating a substantial, shallow and crystal clear lagoon that is fishable in all but the most extreme conditions. Gary Sexton, Local charter operator with a typical LHI Wahoo
and restaurants. This practice has
customer choice is reasserting itself –
caused some controversy of late with
as it rightly should.
complaints from customers wishing to exercise their right to practise
Further offshore there is a marlin
catch and release. The message now
fishery that is hardly touched,
appears to be getting through and
although Garry Sexton and his
The lagoon teems with life and is home to some unique fish that can be caught by sight casting from a small boat – surely one of the most exciting fishing methods of all. For me the kingies could wait as it was this light line, shallow water sportfishing
that was my primary quest on a recent
Crom runs Oblivienne Sportsfishing
visit to Lord Howe. In particular I
which currently operates two boats:
wanted to achieve the local lagoon
a five metre Mako side console for
The same jetty that provided cover
grand slam of a trevally, a silver
inshore and lagoon fishing and a
for shoals of fish including trevally and
drummer, a bluefish and the strange
larger Eagle Ray centre console for
some resident, and apparently difficult
looking double-header in a single
offshore work. He and his wife Viv, no
to catch, big silver drummer. Since I
session. This last species is a strong,
mean fisher herself, also run one of
wasn’t due to meet Crom until late
bruising fighter and appears not unlike
the island’s general stores containing
morning in order to get the best of the
a Maori wrasse but is found only on
a tackle shop and bakery. This turned
sun and the tides I sneaked in a little
out mighty handy since we were fishing
session before breakfast. I watched
with bread for fish that proved pretty
the drummer steadfastly ignoring my
adept at stealing our hooks.
free-lined bread whilst mopping up the
My fishing guide was friend and Lord Howe angling guru Gary Crombie, an
was only a five-minute walk to the jetty.
loose offerings with gay abandon.
Islander descended from some of the
Now my partner Natalie and I
early settlers whose local knowledge
were lucky enough to be staying
All was not lost however, as beneath
is second to none. It was “Crom”
at the beautiful Arajilla Retreat
the big silver drummer lay the not so
who first encouraged me to visit Lord
situated towards the northern end
shy trevally and once Crom arrived
Howe and sample its special fishing
of the lagoon. Quite apart from the
to pick me up I was able to claim
and who promised me something a
sumptuous food, spacious apartments
that a quarter of our target had been
little different to simply towing lures
and gorgeous grounds, Arajilla had one
achieved, albeit accidentally and of
around the ocean.
great advantage for visiting anglers – it
somewhat diminutive proportions!.
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The NZLBG Nationals, Part Two Story by Saul Harman
Editor: After Saul’s epic first day in
we were once again planing on open
kahawai in the burley, only today they
last month’s issue, can we possibly
sea again. It suddenly occurred to
were matched in numbers by snapper.
expect anything more?
me, looking back at the land from
I have had many a time on the rocks
our dinghy; I was looking south at
where snapper would come up out
the northern most coastline of New
from under a ledge and take a chunk
We awoke to another pretty still
Zealand. Doesn’t get much more
of pillie or have a nosey at the burley
morning. With reports of the
remote than this – Let’s get into it!!
but this was something else. These
swell dropping along the north,
snapper were taking on the kahawai,
Ben suggested we launch out of
It seemed that we hadn’t got out
swimming about on the surface and
Tapotupotu and head towards a
of bed early enough this morning
smashing any morsel as it hit the
couple of ledge’s he knew that had
as the two ledges that Ben had in
water. And not just small snapper
produced good kings in the past.
mind already had guys on them! Not
Sounds good to me I thought!
to worry, this was a long stretch of coastline and we soon found a good
Eventually this became a problem.
While the bust out through the
looking ledge that was managing to
We needed big baits for big snapper
surf ended up in us getting pretty
stay pretty dry.
and catching kahawai was becoming
drenched (thank god for GoreTex),
difficult as the snapper became more
I would chose this over crossing the
As if a repeat of the day before, we
and more aggressive. They seemed to
bar any day. Within minutes Ben had
had livies out within half an hour
be more predatory and dominant than
us out the back of the breakers and
of landing. There were masses of
the kahawai who were competing for
our baits. I can remember us all having
While Ben and Mark were weighing
these trevs when a king of around
a laugh at each other at one stage or
this fish I had cast out another big fat
the 10-12kg mark turned up in the
another as someone would curse the
kahawai section. This time the bait
burley. Oh well I thought – bit of fun! I
“f***** snapper” while trying to catch
reached the bottom and I could feel
hooked a pillie through the head and
kahawai for bait!
it being touched up. A few moments
cast it in the kings direction. Within
later it was picked up and the fish
seconds I was hooked up and line was
As with yesterday a good snapper bite
took off. I locked it up and could not
peeling of the Stradic. This is a bloody
seemed to build just after lunch. We
believe the weight after I struck. The
waste of braid were my thoughts I
were throwing back good numbers
15-24kg T-curve doubled over and line
held the rod high trying to slow this
of fish in the 3-5kg range and the hits
was peeling off the sloshie.
fish in vain.
one stage, Mark and I cast out baits
I couldn’t believe the power behind
“Take it easy bro, big kings have been
at the same time. They hit the water
this fish as it stormed off for the
landed on pretty light gear” were
within seconds of each other.
foul like a steam train. I was leaning
the words of advice as I settled into a
back with everything I had but it was
good tussle for the next ten minutes.
were getting increasingly harder. At
Mark’s got picked up first and he was
not stopping and shortly after I was
into a solid fish. Within seconds mine
dragged through the foul and dusted!
On it’s couple of lightning fast runs
was also picked up and I came up
I don’t like to call a fish if I don’t see it
the fish seemed to run out of steam
solid too. These fish were coming up
but, without a doubt, this would have
just before spooling me and I was able
from the bottom and smashing the big
been a new PB for me!
to regain just enough line to cope
baits as they sank through the water
with it’s next run. By this time I was
column. After a solid run I dropped my
Many more snapper were landed by
standing on the highest most point I
fish but Mark was into a good tussle.
all and many more released. Again, as
could on the ledge, trying to keep the
A few minutes later a solid red was
the snapper bite slowed our attention
braid away from the rocks.
washed up the rocks with the swell and
turned to the trevs that were in good
Mark had a new PB. This was a great
numbers in the burley. I had brought
The fish was heading around to the
fish and while we called it for 20 it was
my 4kg SP setup with me today and
left of the ledge and there was no
unfortunately just shy.
was enjoying sight fishing a few of
further I could go without a sharp
climb down a couple of metres to the
other than something harassing Ben’s
Unfortunately for us day three was
left, into a gutter and back up the
livie for a few minutes there had not
our flop day. After getting swamped
other side. Foolishly I decided to do it.
been any sign of a decent king all day.
by two big breakers in the surf on
My first step saw me loose my footing
There were still some decent trevs in
our way out things never got much
and that was it – head over heels into
the burley but the snapper bite had
better. The swell had obviously
the crashing swell!
slowed and the swell had picked up.
picked up overnight and we weren’t
Best to get off the ledge safely and go
able to land where we had hoped. In
get a hot shower we thought.
fact, we ended up moving twice due
Thankfully I was able to find a footing as the swell ripped out and by sheer
to the swell smashing up over the
luck was able to grab my rod and
Back at the weigh-in it seemed we
ledges we were fishing and making
reel before it was ripped out too! It
weren’t the only ones who had had
them too dangerous to fish.
wasn’t until I was standing safely on
a good day. No kings were weighed
the ledge, dripping wet with shaking
today (although a few had been
The last move saw us deciding to
hands that I realised I was still wearing
tagged) but once again big snapper
retrieve the boat and re-launch
my sunnies! However, looking down
started to poke their lumpy heads from
at Parengarenga in the hope of
at my bleeding hands, knees and legs
bags and bins as everybody gathered
live baiting up a king. However, I
I realised just how completely I had
around the scales with the biggest
hadn’t banked on me leaving the
going somewhere around the 10kg
headlights on and finding a flat
mark. Spared for another day I thought
battery back at Tapotupotu.
Shortly after this we called it a day.
with a smile and took a satisfying swig
The snapper bite had slowed and
from a fresh cold steiny :)
After an hour of sitting on a beached
hull on an isolated northland beach it
all the excitement and extremities
I can ever remember eating. The
started to feel a little like an episode
of the previous three days there
drinks were flowing and the stories
of “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”. Thankfully,
was something very relaxing about
and banter continued around the fire
just as I was contemplating who
standing on a comfortable sandy
late into the night.
would taste better, Mark or Ben,
beach, fishing a still harbour as the
a car turned up and we were able
sun set over the hills in the distance.
to get a pull start. Yeehaa, let’s go!
This was my first taste of both the Far North and a NZLBGC comp. Both blew
Down to the beach, back the trailer
That night at weigh-in many more
me away and I will most certainly be
up to the boat and what do you
20lbers were hung from the scales
back – after all, there is a big old yellow
know... No winch handle! This just
including one that went 10.22kg.
and green sub buzzing those ledges
wasn’t our day.
Luckily for me though, 11.26kg
with my name written all over it.
remained the heaviest of the comp I’ll spare you all the details but
and my first fish with the landbased
If you are interested in joining the
eventually we ended up having a few
club had been a memorable one.
NZLBGC or would like to know more. visit www.nzlbg.co.nz or contact
hours in the Parengarenga Harbour gathering a few fresh fillets for the
That evening a massive communal
President, Scott Bradley on 021 428
evenings’ communal fish and chips.
inner of fish and chips was cooked
219. It’s well worth the minimal joining
from plates of fillets donated by
fee and a great way to meet loads of
While it wasn’t quite the hardcore
those fishing the comp. This was the
other LBG fishos. You’ll learn heaps
rock fishing we had come for, after
single best meal of fish and chips
and meet some great people too.
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Image published courtesy of www.surfcaster.co.nz
Carrots on the Muddy Smudge share’s his finely honed skills By Michael ‘Smudge’ Parker
Gurn ard rig surfcaster.co.nz courtesy of www. Image published
Gurnard are an interesting fish
on top of their heads. Most apex
and another further up the trace. I
for many people, the first thing a
predators have eyes at the front of
think that second hook is the secret
novice fisherman will notice is their
their faces and most animals that are
to their success. It gives any gurnard
striking appearance, next it will be the
hunted have them on the sides of
in the area a good visual signal that
croaking noise they make when they
their heads. Gurnard are hardly an
there is food nearby. The hackle
are lifted out of the water and thirdly,
apex predator and being a fish that
or flash adds to that visual appeal,
well that will most likely be the nasty
generally swim hard on the sea floor
perhaps mimicking a shrimp or small
little spikes behind their head.
they need to see what’s above them
crustacean. The gurnard will swim
for survivals sake. As fishermen we can
over to where he sees the action
use all these traits to our advantage.
and then sensing the lower bait will
A quick search on Google will show that these colourful fish can be found in
decide that is an easier meal and
many parts of the world in some form or
Ask any gurnard hunter how to catch
take that. They will certainly take the
another. In New Zealand we mostly get
gurnard and almost every time you
top bait and often do, but most of
red gurnard although spotted gurnard
will be told to use a flasher rig. Most
your fish will be on the bottom hook.
can be caught and I believe one or two
likely you will be told that pink is the
smaller varieties can also be found.
best colour to use for your flashers.
Another advantage a flasher rig may
The next most popular rig these days
have over a straight dropper rig is
Gurnard are generally caught over
would probably be some form of soft
that the current or any movement
sandy or muddy sea floors where they
baiting. Pretty simple really but if we
will cause the hackle/flash a little
prey on small fish and crustaceans.
think about why those rigs work so
extra movement which will also
Flounder, stargazers, crabs and
well it will help to understand a little
catch the eye of an inquisitive fish.
shrimps are all common natural
about the fish and hopefully that will
Even the best gurnard fishermen
foods for them. Gurnard have a set
mean more fish in the bin.
will use flasher rigs but I think there
of ‘feelers’ near their mouth which I
are a few things you can do to make
believe they use to flush out crabs and
Starting with flasher rigs we need to
them even more effective. One is to
other mud dwellers.
start thinking about why they are so
choose a rig tied with recurve hooks,
effective. A feature of flasher rigs is
the other is to bait them just right,
I also believe that gurnard rely heavily
they have a sinker at the bottom of
hopefully I’ve explained that well a
on vision, their eyes are perched
the rig with one hook near the sinker
little further on in the story.
The authors son, Matthew with a nice 1kg gurnard caught in 5m in the Waiuku Channel the first weekend of July. It won him first junior gurnard prize in the CSFC Ice Breaker competition.
I am lucky enough to have fished
sinker preferably with the bottom
Even in 2 metres of water you can
with some very good fishermen and
hook tied to sit on the bottom when
get big gurnard right below the
two in particular who also shared
the sinker is lying down.
boat, they aren’t fazed by it. Get
my interest in catching gurnard (but
your baits in close to the burley and
mostly we just swapped stories,
I use a smallish bait on a 3/0 to 6/0
you’re away. I think my way of fishing
drank beer and told lies) are John
recurve hook. The top bait is usually
with a dropper rig works best when
Moran and his great mate the late
a longer narrow strip bait which gives
dropped straight down anyway, I
Tiny Coe. Although we all shared
the rig a little bit of action. A squid
guess that’s why it’s called a dropper
some common ideas there are many
tentacle works really well although I
rig! We all agree though that the
thing we also do differently so just
don’t consider squid a great gurnard
autumn and winter months in - our
remember that no one told these
bait. Skipjack tuna (bonito) is widely
areas at least - is the best time to
‘rules’ to the fish, all these things
accepted as the best gurnard bait, I
written here are just my thoughts.
certainly use it although I think that mullet and kahawai are every bit as
Some benefits of winter gurnard
One thing I do differently to John is
good, but many others including my
fishing: they are in prime condition, the
I don’t use flasher rigs. The reason
friend John will disagree.
first weekend of July we managed 20
being is that a flasher rig will cost me
gurnard between three of us and 5 were
more and I fish for the table. My little
Another point John and I disagree
a kilo or more. My best was 1.15kg - a
fishing hobby costs me a fortune and
on is the use of burley, I use it,
good fish but not huge and any fish a
if I can help to justify it by feeding
he doesn’t. If you are berleying
kg or heavier is a very good one – and
my family then that’s what I will do.
for gurnard get it on the bottom.
it was 44cm long. In summertime I’ve
I tie my dropper rigs in light line,
Gurnard will come right up to the
caught fish of an identical weight but
preferably 10kg. I use a tear drop type
burley pot and aren’t shy of boats.
they were up to 48cm long.
I’ve told you my thoughts but what
braid or 4kg mono as my ideal line
of silly light gear are very effective at
I haven’t explained is how to make
weight. Because virtually all of my
snipping through traces. Well this is
a dropper rig work more effectively.
gurnard fishing these days is on the
twice as long as I was hoping to write,
It’s quite simple really. I keep the line
Manukau Harbour on Auckland’s
so softbaits, alternative rigs, filleting
between the rod tip and the sinker
West Coast I may use heavier gear if
etc will have to wait for round two as
taut giving just enough movement
sharks and rays are out to play and it
will recognising a gurnard bite.
to allow that tear drop sinker to lift
is difficult at times to get your gear
up onto it’s tip and lie back down
back from a big eagle or sting ray.
flat again, just a nice slow action
I will just give one little bit of advice. My biggest regret with fishing is I
that will allow the fish to see the bait
It is certainly possible to get even a
haven’t taken the time to learn how
from the corner of it’s upward facing
large ray to the boat on light gear
to take a good photo. Gurnard look
eye. A trick worth experimenting
but it can take up hours of valuable
spectacular when their large colourful
with would be to add some bling or
fishing time and quite honestly the
pectoral fins are spread out. Once
colour to that sinker.
novelty of catching large rays of light
they are dead their fins fold back so
tackle wore off a long long time ago.
get your pics while they are live. Hold
Of course the same action will help
underneath the fish’s head with an
a flasher rig too, please remember I
Another common by catch for me is
upturned hand allowing the body of
never said my way was better than
seven gill sharks, once again relatively
the fish to lay up your arm, his ‘wings’
a flasher rig, just cheaper! Light line
easy to get to the boat but once they
will be colourful and spread out. Good
also helps to keep in touch with your
get to the surface they go nuts and
luck with the fishing and give gurnard
bait and by choice would fish light
although not likely to take out 300m
a go for a real tasty winter treat.
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The Guts Of It www.fishing.net.nz
I came across this excel-
hand man on the ITM Fishing Show
lent thread on fishing.net.nz
created a thread on the gut contents
recently while thinking about
of gamefish last season. Go here
the best livebaits for Broad-
to have a look, but be aware there
bill & subsequently Marlin.
are some pretty messy shots so it’s
Kezza, Matt Watson’s right
published with an advisory!
Competition This month’s competition is pret-
stream creek that flows into Lake
ty simple. In this case, we’d like you
Elsmere, just south of Christchurch.
to guess the weight of Adams HUGE
Hearts creek is renowned for its
Brown Trout. To make it interesting,
large fish. Especially when fly fishing
we’d like you to guess in pounds
at night. There are plenty of big fish
– like these freshwater fisho’s are
in there that are primo to look at and
keen to! Our prize is a mixed bag of
even more fun to fish for.
tackle goodies worth over $100 I didn’t have a camera on me at the Here’s a few words about Adams
time of landing this fish so the pic is
catch and the country he’s fishing;
from later that night. This fish was caught last season, before the quake.
The fish in the competition photo
Go to our facebook page to make
was from Hearts creek. It’s a little
Fishing Video of the Month Jigging from a Jet ski? What next!
Check out this inspiring jetski fishing video from Des Flurane, fishing.net.nz and YouTube contributor and kingfish slayer too if this vid is anything to go by! And here’s a bit more Jetski fishing, but this ones from South Africa – interesting species including Yellow Fin Tuna. Anyone remember what they look like?! And just for the landbased team, here’s a mate of mine from indoor cricket landing a King from the rocks at the Paku, Tairua. Matt had just cast out a half pillie for a snapper when his king hit and hit hard. The video’s a bit blocky, but you get the picture.
NZFisher Gets Fresh – We Discovered Trout!
By Len Olyott
Australian Fisheries scientist &
find fish, they will usually be around
September which seems to make for
keen trout angler Len Olyott
in numbers either getting ready to
a sensible compromise. Regulations
came across for the 2011 NZRFC
spawn or having recently completed
do change from season to season so
Conference in New Plymouth early
spawning, they will be looking for a
it is vital to consult the Fish & Game
in July. As a sweetener for the trip
free feed of nutrient rich trout eggs –
website for the latest regulations.
we set Len up with Taranaki local
hence the egg patterns.
Trout guide Kyle Adams
The Taranaki Region is one such Rotorua and Taupo are well known
region which offers keen trout anglers
Taranaki Winter Trout
destinations for their winter fishing and
the opportunity to tackle good quality
Flyfishing for trout in winter on the
the Tongariro River spawning runs of
trout, both brown and rainbow in a
North Island is not impossible, you just
steelhead rainbows are world famous.
variety of settings that remain open
have to be committed and prepared.
In fact, at one stage in the history of
over the winter months. The sheer
Prepared for the cold with appropriate
the fishery, the average sized fish was
range of fishing opportunities within
layers and waders – wet wading is
between 8 and 10lb. The problem w---
easy access of the main centre New
not an option and prepared for the
ith famous rivers is that they are prone
Plymouth is astounding and it’s
fish with a full range of flies including
to becoming crowded and waiting
somewhat confusing as to why more
a few egg patterns. You have to be
for a turn to fish a popular beat is not
people don’t talk about the Taranaki
committed to putting in a lot of casts
everyone’s idea of a good time.
as a prime trout destination.
trout usually have one thing in mind
Thankfully there are other options
Mount Taranaki/Egmont is a 2518m
and it’s not feeding. Winter time
available and several Fish & Game
high dormant volcano with your
means that typical trout fare like
Regions offer year round fishing in
typical Mt Fuji conical shape.
mayfly nymphs and other underwater
many rivers and lakes. Of course, it’s
This coincidence was not lost on
beasties are at their lowest stocks and
not exactly in the best interests of the
Hollywood and the region proved the
the cooler water temperatures also
fishery to disturb spawning fish so in
perfect substitute for 19th Century
make the fish less inclined to actively
most cases, the upper reaches of the
Japan during the filming of the 2003
feed. On the plus side, when you do
rivers remain closed between May and
Tom Cruise epic – The Last Samurai.
and covering a lot of water – winter
20 www.nzfisher.co.nz www.nzfisher.co.nz
Rumour has it that Billy Connolly and
tight schedule, I reckoned that I could
have a slight leak’ but would fit my
some of the other crew members even
just about squeeze in a day of trout
size 12 feet, I was given the contact
took time out to sample some of the
fishing but where to start?
details of my guide for the day – Kyle
fantastic trout fishing.
Adams. A quick call to Kyle confirmed I had circled a few streams in the
that we were on for the morning with a
More than 40 recognised trout
Fish & Game brochure that I thought
7.00AM pick up and a suggestion to go
streams and many more tributaries
would do the job but with my limited
light on the sauce the evening before.
along with seven lake fisheries offer
knowledge of the area and being
Already I liked this man and his sense
an un-crowded fishing experience.
short on time; I definitely needed
of dedication – no way was a hangover
Most of the streams originate on the
some help and headed to the local
going to ruin a good fishing trip.
slopes of Mt Taranaki and form the
Hunting & Fishing New Zealand store.
Taranaki Ringplain drainage system.
People’s attitudes towards guided
Bundled up like an oversized package
With streams flowing in almost every
fishing never fail to amaze me.
destined for China, I stumbled out into
compass direction, there is likely to
Statistics show that those that hire a
the pre-dawn chill of a New Plymouth
be fishable water regardless of wind
tax professional to assist with their
morning. The wind had begun howling
direction and this is one of the major
income tax return, routinely do better
around 3.00AM and I had my doubts
attractions of fishing the Taranaki.
and reap greater rewards than those
that we were actually going to get any
The backdrop of Mount Taranaki and
that don’t. Why wouldn’t you pay the
fishing done. Kyle assured me that
its snow capped peak is also pretty
same attention to your fishing? With
we would fish today as we hurtled off
special and makes for stunning photos
limited time or on arriving in a new
towards the Surf Highway and our
when combined with blue skies and
location, it makes sense to maximise
destination, exchanging pleasantries
the pleasure and minimise the
and talking about all the fish we would
frustration. The smart way to do this is
catch – as you do. After a short stop
by hiring a fishing guide.
for some ‘real’ coffee at one of the
Through a series of rather fortunate events, I found myself in New Plymouth
numerous small towns along the Surf
for the New Zealand Recreational
After chatting to Shay Fairhurst and
Highway, it became apparent that this
Fishing Council Conference. With a
picking out a pair of waders that ‘might
region was probably better known for
its surfing than trout fishing although it
to sea and return to freshwater to
This last section of leader connecting
would take seriously hard core surfers
breed. Whilst at sea, these fish feed
to the fly is referred to as the tippet
to brave this chilly winter morning.
extensively on high protein baitfish,
and traditionally its breaking strain is
This got me thinking that fly fishing
prawns, squid and other beasties that
designated by the X system with the
and surfing have a lot in common –
their stream bound resident cousins
more Xs equating to lighter tippets. Fly
both are extreme sports in their own
can only dream of. Sea-trout typically
fishing has many such oddities like this
special way and both are a unique way
return at large sizes and 12 pound
which hearken back to days of Tweed
of communing with nature.
sea-trout are not uncommon in rivers
jackets and horsehair lines. Thankfully,
where they occur.
the trout don’t know that and you really
Did I mention that was in a state of
don’t need to buy into the jargon and
euphoria at the opportunity to fish for
Kyle didn’t think that the browns of
technical stuff to catch fish – unless of
trout for the first time in two years?
the Kaupokonui migrated out to sea
course you really want to.
After numerous bridge crossings
but certainly there always seemed
offering tantalising glimpses of the
to be some present in the estuary. A
Kyle has a fairly no nonsense approach
water we would be fishing, we cut
large school of Inanga swam rapidly
to leaders – the longer the better and
off the highway and followed a small
past as we watched the river and it
I ended up with an additional 18 feet
country road down towards the
was fairly evident why brown trout
of flimsy fluorocarbon attached to the
Kaupokonui Estuary. This was a new
would choose to remain in the estuary
end of my fly line which I was expected
concept for me – fishing for trout
reaches as long as schools of these
to deliver with great style and finesse
within earshot of crashing surf.
tasty native fish were around.
so as not to spook the trout. A yarn
Kyle explained that some of the brown
We quickly rigged up a leader with a
make it slightly easier to detect the
trout in this stream were at least
floating line and strike indicator. The
fish taking the fly and then a fly was
estuary resident, if not fully fledged
leader for flyfishing comprises either
selected from Kyle’s box of tricks. He
sea-trout. They seemed to spend
a readymade tapered length of nylon
had politely looked through my box
most of the time in tidal reaches of
or a custom ‘roll your own’ version
of meticulously tied trout patterns
the stream and as a result acquired
using different lengths of nylon or
more to humour me than anything else
the silvery colour with a gun metal
fluorocarbon which progressively get
as clearly I did not have the required
blue sheen over the gill covers more
lighter in breaking strain and thinner in
offering. Lesson number two for the
reminiscent of sea-trout. Sea-trout by
diameter until you reach your chosen
day was the fly itself; Kyle selected a
definition are brown trout that migrate
final breaking strain.
nymph of monstrous proportions to my
strike indicator was attached to
way of thinking for wily wild brownies
I think Kyle was too. When the next
what I had set out to do and four good
(a size 12 or 14) that resembled a
cast resulted in a similar fish, I was in
trout and some fantastic stream craft
somewhat stunted dragonfly nymph.
fishing heaven and the day felt like it
learnt along the way was definitely worth
He explained that this nymph very
couldn’t get better.
the investment and time well spent.
Dobsonfly nymphs that are extremely
It did, and each new pool revealed a
With the range of options available,
abundant in Taranaki streams.
new challenge and new opportunity.
the Taranaki Region should be well
Sight fishing in Taranaki streams is
up there on the list for those after
My first cast was slightly off target and
challenging, especially in the lower
some good quality trout fishing. It is
rusty but my second and third were
reaches with the water often slightly
possible to take a DIY approach to the
improvements on that and I began
cloudy, especially after winter freshes.
region but I would recommend calling
accurately represented the creepers or
to revive the old rhythms. A fourth
in at Taranaki Hunting and Fishing and
cast was spot on for distance and
A dark boulder strewn bottom also
asking for Kyle – it may just be the
drift and my eyes were fixed to the
makes spotting trout difficult and
difference between a successful day
bright yellow strike indicator when
wading extremely tricky. We spooked a
and a blank. Just don’t hire a pair of
it suddenly darted forward. A reflex
good fish of four pounds or more which
Size 12 waders – they do leak!
lifting of the rod had me connected
darted from under our feet but it made
to my first Taranaki winter trout which
sense to concentrate on the runs at the
NZFisher would like to thank Shay
was quickly brought to the net for the
head of substantial pools. This tactic
and his team at Hunting & Fishing
obligatory photos and congratulatory
resulted in two good sized rainbows.
Taranaki (Hyperlink: http://www.
high fives. At a little over two pounds,
huntingandfishing.co.nz/) for their
it was not the biggest fish in the river
By this stage, my lack of casting practise
support in getting Len on the water
but with the unmistakable silvery
was showing and my casts were getting
& a big thanks to Kyle for putting Len
colour with a hint of golden butter on
sloppy. When Kyle suggested we think
onto some great fishing. If you are
the belly, this was one of the famous
about heading back, I really didn’t put up
interested in more from Kyle, check
estuarine browns. I was relieved and
much resistance. I was happy; I had done
him out here.
Bay of Plenty Source: Rick Pollock
As we are well into the second
month of winter, we have experienced
Probably the most inconsistent and
While not nearly as vibrant as last visit
a real mixed bag of both weather
least visited region over the past few
there, still some good fishing to be
conditions and fishery. While there’s
weeks. The few that have ventured
had. Hapuka predictably dominated
been a few decent stretches of
forth have had mixed results but
the catch yet again with all males
weather, especially inshore, the fishing
primarily on the poor side of the
in the predominantly 10-15 kilo
has generally been quite rewarding to
ledger. Kingis are biting well – that’s
category. A few nicer fish flirting with
all putting in effort. On the good days
not the problem. While quantity is not
30kgs are in the mix to keep everyone
it’s great to see the boat ramps and
the issue, quality certainly is. Lots of
honest on drag settings! Again, kingis
coastguard radio so busy. Obviously
rats to eight kilos are keen to please
are biting well but quality is the issue!
many anglers don’t believe there’s no
on all manner of offerings but good
Many rats throughout the water
point in being out on the water over
luck on getting much of anything you
column in anything between
the cooler months. Good on em and
want to keep without doubt the larger
subsurface all the way down to
long may it last!
fish are there and ripe for the taking –
80 metres. Jigs and baits working
just have to be there on the right day
equally as well with one nice (29kgs
and right place.
slingweighed and released) fish
Inshore The juggernaught continues! Snapper
among all the rest. In a good look at
still cooperating in so many different
Otherwise it appears to be springtime
a large albacore reported to be in the
possies and depths, it’s remarkable.
at White Island judging by the amount
region, some interesting results came
And they aren’t just pannies either
of surface activity about. Mao mao,
to light. In spite of getting out to
with a good number in the three to
trevally and the ubiquities rats can be
nearly 2000 metres of water norwest
four kilo category! Have heard of
seen actively feeding on krill – unusual
of the bank and seeing surface long
good catches off kayaks in a mere
for this time of year. The trevs are large
line boats working, no albacore of any
nine metres of water and limits in 45-
(4 plus kgs) and hungry, supply plenty
size were apprehended. Instead, in
50m out off Ohope/Opotiki.
of light tackle gratification. Otherwise
multiple strikes, skipjack came thick
Historically this bonanza shouldn’t
the reef fishing. Uncharacteristically
and fast! Hitting the lures and swivels
last too much longer but who’s
difficult for the normally abundant
alike, these fish acted more like mid
complaining?!? Terakihi are not biting
terakihi but some of the very largest
summer rather than mid winter! Water
all that well but should improve
pink mao mao and leatherjacket
had dropped from 17 plus last week
markedly soon as water cools with the
(creamfish) one will lay eyes on.
but only just under 17 now, again very
southerlies we’ve had of late. Some
warm for June let alone July.
big kahawai (a few over 3k’s), trevally
Both, while not exactly target species,
and miniscule gurnard (few over a
are at the top end of their size ranges
paltry 600 grams) make up the final
at nearly three and one and one half
Finally got our first cold snap of
composition of the current catch. Te
kilos each! Water still relatively warm
winter but the southerlies have had
Kaha/Waikawa Point are also sharing
at 16 plus degrees C and clean/clear.
little effect on water temps thus far
in the melee with good snapper on
Little doubt should be some XOS
– but they will! Will be interesting to
albacore somewhere about!?!
see where we go next week. Rick
Hauraki Source: Espresso www.catch.org.nz
Man vs Wild is more like what it’s
40cm snapper brought home
been like just to try and go fishing
sounds like a successful fishing
lately. Gusts of 60kts plus at Tiritiri
session to me.
have been common, with eerie variable winds only long enough
Out in the middle of the gulf the
to get your attention, then straight
various fish species are there,
back into it, hard core storms and
lethargic and tentative on the bite
battling the elements like Bear.
most of the time, and it’s just too
Quality fishing time is certainly
rough most days to be out - but when
limited right now.
the fish want to feed its fantastic! Everything seems to feed hard out all
While the weather has kept most
at once, even if sometimes very briefly
keen anglers grumbling at home,
– you just need to be in the right
there’ve been a few who heed the
place at the right time, bite times can
Boy Scouts motto – be prepared,
be very short in the big chill.
swiftly taking their action stations at a moment’s notice with Mother
All fish need to feed even while
Nature’s recent erratic mood.
in near freezing and hibernation temperatures so when it’s the right
12 footers either quietly drifting
time, it’s a mad feeding frenzy out
or anchored burleying up big time
in the gulf - may I suggest being
have been successful close into the
fully sorted and ready to go fishing
leeward side of land masses around
so when the forecasted calm day
the gulf, and some on surprisingly
comes a day early, or a day late – a
blustery days. Small chunks of bait
well earned day off from work is on
or little anchovies on a single hook
the cards surely? There will only be
with no weight sent back down the
a few days of blissfully calm fishing
burley trail, or the smallest of grub
over the next couple of months,
tailed soft baits are doing the trick.
follow Nike’s motto.”
Not too many big snapper lately
but a chilly bin with ½ a dozen
Taranaki/ West Coast Source: Duncan McIver www.amfboats.co.nz
Duncans report this month was shy on fishing reporting & high on expletives bemoaning the wind, rain and very impressive swells. If you have never seen New Plymouth Harbours’ legendary swells in action, go here.
In the next issue of NZ Fisher… • Rawhiti; Zane Grey was right – NZ’s own El Dorado • Lord Howe Is; Part 2 • Big Snapper Hunting: Where, When & How
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