Small Snapper? Getting
Contents 6.. Tired of Catching Small Snapper 10.. Legasea Update January
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14.. Getting Sorted for Off-Shore Yakking
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Cover image: Mark Starns with his PB trev (and first on a Slow Pitch)
Cover Image: Alex 8.79 snap on January 15th.
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Editorial HAPPY NEW YEAR New Zealand! 2015 is shaping up like a big year for NZ: The Cricket World cup is just around the corner, the Rugby World Cup later in the year. So, are you planning your fishing trips too? I’ve found that if I don’t make a point of locking in trips, the weekends come and go, leaving me without my fishing fixes. So, I’ve booked in the Century Beach & Boat − I’ve not previously fished this one − but I like the format they’re planning for the 2015 event. The B&B is the premier ‘snapper’ event in New Zealand, taking over from the traditional Furuno events. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the website. They’re putting more focus on the catch & release aspect of sport fishing and making it very worth-while prizes wise. From what I’ve heard the event is well organised, but in 2015 they’re committed to making the prize giving shorter and more entertaining (considering the winning fish, I hardly believe it needs a rev up!). As mentioned above, what I like the most is the ability to measure your fish & return it to the sea, utilising a uniquely designed phone app that lets you photograph your catch (with a specially designed ‘unique identifier’) against a measure and send the image via text to enter. You can then decide to release or keep your fish – something you cannot do if you decide to enter it traditionally. I can see this system becoming more and more popular, especially as pressure increases on fish stock. Even as perceptions change, bringing greater emphasis to the preservation of stock (even if there isn’t actually pressure on them). I was pleased to see a picture posted on the web a few days ago of three fish that look a lot like Yellowfin Tuna (or possibly Big Eye) caught wide off Whakatane. I hope they are indeed YFT and a sign that a few more will be seen in the new year too. What’s also been
really positive is the two tagged & release Marlin captured before Christmas. The first was taken in 600m wide of Tutukaka − a bloody long way off shore, but even further when you consider it was landed by a 4.75m tinny! The weather was sublime and they were well prepared, what a result, the first marlin for the 2014-15 season and the first before Christmas for a few years. Here’s hoping the warmth and gentle easterlies continue and more warm weather is bought close to the coast. I’m looking forward to blooding the new boat too. We needed to get a bit bigger boat on the water and went with the new Frewza F18 hardtop; not a hard decision after such a good run from the Frewza F16 side-console we recently sold. We paired it with a 100HP Honda − there was never a question over the brand of out-board, they’re just too good! We’ve had the new Fyran 550 out a few times recently too; it was also supplied with a Honda BF100 so I feel like I’ve been using one for a while. I’m still blown away by the economy − just 13.6L/ hour when we’re travelling at 20 knots with three 100kg guys on board. Until a few weeks ago, fuel costs were the biggest concern every time we headed out. Admittedly the recent fuel price drops reduce the costs, yet I’m so happy with the performance and rate fuel economy so highly − the Honda is again our choice. Hope we see you out there! Enjoy your break, fish hard and keep safe in 2015!
Catching a few decent snapper is much more fun than landing heaps of small ones.
It can be quite frustrating to land one small (throwback) snapper after another. By Ben Assado Article reproduced with permission of Ben from his Blog www.bensisland.co.nz
THE FIRST SNAPPER I landed was about
yesterday, when I went for a land based
30cm, I threw it back thinking ‘I’ll catch bigger
mission in Schooner Bay. When I go fishing,
fish’. Yeah right! Fortunately, my mate landed
I expect to land a feed. Period. Anything else
another similar sized snapper, otherwise
is a disappointment. For the fishing mission
we would have left empty-handed. I was
to be a success, a couple decent snapper (40
disappointed and also slightly frustrated.
cm+) have to be caught within 2 hours.
Mainly because I knew I screwed up
Living on Great Barrier Island enables me
Instead of writing about what I did wrong
to set such a standard and this is how I go
last time, let me write about what I did
about achieving it:
Instead of going fishing (potentially for a long time) when you’ve got time, make some time to go fishing when conditions are good
• Instead of going fishing (potentially for a long time) when you’ve got time, make some time to go fishing when conditions are good • When good spots are accessible, when
give. Focus on attracting and catching a small kahawai, mackerel, mullet, piper • Especially, when you are fishing with a mate, don’t both keep doing the same things. Keep your eyes on the water, put
the tides are the way you like them,
a small enough hook on your second
when the tidal currents are very strong,
rod, have it close by, when that kahawai
when…. I could go on, fish eat every day!
rushes through, make sure to catch it
• It takes me usually less than 2 hours of
• Take two rods with you! One with your
fishing time to catch a feed for a couple
favourite rig, one with a rig designed to
of days • Don’t skimp on the bait; rather spend 10 bucks more and come home with a full bag of fish than coming home with less than a feed • If you don’t want to spend the money on bait and burley, you must spend the time to catch, salt down bait or freeze and to make your own burley and so forth. This is perfectly doable and also commendable, but you’ve got to spend either the money or spend the time! • If you are sick of landing one throwback snapper after another and start saying
land bait fish − after fishing a spot a few times, you’ll know which bait fish are most likely to appear • When you’ve landed a small kahawai, cut its head off, put two hooks through it and cast it out far on the big rod • Once you have fresh bait, cut the frozen bait into small cubes and chuck them into the water, right next to your feet • Cut small strips of kahawai flesh and fish – using the small rod – the water at your feet • While the big rod is in the rod holder,
stuff like: ‘hmm, only small ones here
you fish with the small rod the area right
today…’ focus on catching fresh bait!
in front of you, where the burley and the
Seriously, this is the main advice I can
bait cubes are dispensing
Often you have to catch a small kahawai first to catch those nicer snapper…
Essentially, this means that the big bait is
getting nervous. After 10 more minutes,
far out and you can safely put the big rod
the small kahawai appeared and I was
in the rod holder and just leave it. Chances
smiling! My bait rod, rigged and baited,
of getting snagged on the bottom are much
was right next to me and it took me five
less when you cast out far.
minutes to land three small kahawai. Off
I actively fish up close and passively fish
came a head and out far it went. It got
out far, I hope that makes sense. You would
hammered before sinking to the ground.
be amazed how many big snapper hide
I had a 40cm snapper in the rock pool. Now
further back and happily eat on the burley
I was even smiling more. Second head,
chum, especially on an outgoing tide. At the
another five minutes and another, slightly
same time, you’d amazed by the few big,
bigger snapper in the pool. I kept cubing the
unnoticed snapper that are actively feeding
frozen pilchards and emptied the remainder
right at your feet.
of the burley. I can’t even say I was that
By fishing the two rods, you are targeting
surprised to land the fish of the day on the
the aggressive big fish that are so often
bait rod right at my feet. It had a dozen
not seen right at your feet, and you are
pieces of pilchard in its stomach.
targeting those that are a bit shyer on the
Three decent snapper, then a bigger
bite. They might merely nibble at your
kahawai for the dog and it was just
frozen bait, but can’t resist that bloody,
1.30pm. I cast another kahawai head out
fresh kahawai bait. I had my first bait in
and started gutting and cleaning the fish.
the water at noon yesterday.
Well, the bait got taken but I just didn’t
By 12.30pm, more than 3/4 of the burley
get the hook up. So I packed in and walked
had dispensed into the water and I still
back home. The outcome could have been
didn’t have a solid bite or any sign of
very different though, I could have just
usable bait fish. It was really calm, I was
caught throwback snapper. ●
Update January 2015 www.legasea.co.nz
WE CAN FISH SMARTER TO AVOID WASTE SINCE LAST YEAR’S rule changes there has been an increase in the numbers of gut hooked snapper being released. These fish will most likely die. This outcome goes against all notions of conservation and makes us feel bad when we watch these wasted fish floating away or being eaten by birds. However, this is a consequence of changing the rules without any meaningful educational initiatives involving the recreational sector. As we witness more of this wastage over summer there is likely to be a greater call for a process to talk about what we can do to reduce this waste. There is some suggestion the 30cm minimum size needs to return to 27cm, or have no minimum and land everything.
There are downsides to that approach. The alternative is to find ways to reduce the numbers of under 30cm fish being caught so they can grow and we can enjoy an abundant snapper fishery in the future. LegaSea is keen to support the alternative strategy because there is more yield from harvesting a mature fish with decent sized fillets than killing a juvenile
Success for us is a rapid rebuild of the fishery. To achieve that we need to fish smarter to avoid small fish, not rationalising their harvest because “we can’t help catching them”. www.nzfisher.co.nz 11
fish. And, as the stock rebuilds, we get a
to have a conversation with all fishing
more productive fishery and the average
interests about strategies that will rebuild
fish size increases. We will never get a
the fishery and reduce waste over the
high quality fishery if most small fish
next few years.
do not get the chance to grow. The good news is it appears the 2007 spawning season was a cracker and that is one of the reasons why there are so many small snapper around this year. This could be Mother Nature’s way of
Success for us is a rapid rebuild of the fishery. To achieve that we need to fish smarter to avoid small fish, not rationalising their harvest because “we can’t help catching them”.
trying to rebuild the stock where we
The ongoing use of indiscriminate bulk
have failed. In a couple of seasons this
harvesting methods such as trawling
year class of snapper will be a better size,
inshore within the 100m contour, amongst
though it may take a few years longer
sensitive juvenile habitats and nursery
for resident fish in the Hauraki Gulf to
areas, clearly needs to be addressed as
develop as their growth rate has slowed.
this has the biggest impact on habitat and
LegaSea encourages fisheries managers
juvenile fish populations. ●
LegaSea is the public face of the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council. The Council has an experienced fisheries management, science, policy and legal team. On behalf of the Council LegaSea provides public-friendly information about a variety of processes that are important to the sustainable management of fisheries for future generations.
Call 0800 LEGASEA (534 273)
Subscribe at www.legasea.co.nz
Email us email@example.com
Read more at www.facebook.com/legasea
here’s a reminder to those stuck At a time when we should all be out fishing; e doing it. Check out some wicked at home/ in the office who can’t be out ther more tropical mission you’re after, Aotea/Great Barrier action here. Or if it’s a d on! And for the underwater guys n let’s go troppo with the Nomad guys – Hol girls? Check this out!
Ready for Battle
PROFISH RELOAD IS MY preferred weapon
blows up the Reload is the kayak I want to
when planning big days offshore. The Reload
be riding it out in.
has amazing hull speed and efficiency, the best deck layout for all that is needed on a big trip and an incredibly comfortable seat
A spare paddle is often over looked in the safety equipment; picture being 4-kms+
position making the long hours in the saddle
offshore, the wind blows up, and then you
very achievable. Although I have chosen to
snap your paddle! Lashed up under the bow
wait for a calmer weather window I know
bungee the paddle is out of the wayâ€Śno
if I was to get caught out offshore when it
Yak Adventure Equipment Australia PFD for comfort and safety
Thigh braces fitted as on this trip my options for the fastest route to the mackerel grounds is through the surf and back; thigh braces make this less daunting and give me greater control of the kayak in the surf. I have fitted extra saddles on my Reload to accommodate the thigh braces. Once through the surf itâ€™s easy to remove the thigh braces and stow away until needed again.
Chill pod loaded with ice to keep bait and then some Macks cool ready for the ride home âˆ’ also good for containing your catch to keep un-wanted visitors at bay. Letting blood leak is never a good idea, especially off-shore where the big biters live. The Profish Tackle Pod: truly a breakthrough in fishing kayak essentials. Its trips like this where you are on the water for many hours needing to carry essential gear close at hand that the tackle pod really makes a difference to comfort. I load tackle, safety gear and food in mine along with my Lowrance battery. Railblaza tracport 350 with multiple rod holders will allow me to set up to three lures to target different depths and avoid potential cross overs. I have added swivel ports to the
Sounder and Cup holder genius
two outer rod holders so I can easily re-
The sounder helps you to locate bait balls too,
position as required, plus this lifts the rods
great if you’re looking for livies or just to hang
slightly higher which is good for the rods with
with it until the target species arrive.
longer butts. Without this guy I would be relying on the birds alone, especially when targeting new
Lowrance VHF on hand for safety. This goes in my PFD – never leave home without one!
unknown areas the Lowrance sounder is my
Here’s something new to my tackle pod this
best friend to locate fish or areas that may
season is the Railblaza Drink Hold. Great little
hold fish at certain times. I take reef fishing
deck storage compartment for holding gear
gear out with me so if I spot something on
you’re using at the time. Along with holding
the Lowrance while trolling I will target it.
your drink of course! ●
READERPICS Liz Virgo with her new PB - 21lb Snapper landed in the Doubtless Bay Club comp in late 2014
Matto & the king
Owen with a serious Whangaparaoa King - first fish of the day too!
Neil Smart kayaking around bay of islands
Paul Philips & friends with a full bag of BIG Aldermans Kings aboard Epic Adventures
John Jones NZACA Life Member Words in remembrance by Graeme Dawber, friend & long-time NZACA Executive colleague
JOHN JOINED THE Kingfishers Surfcasters & Angling Club when he was just 16 years of age and remained a loyal club member all his life. He was appointed secretary of the club in the mid 1980â€™s and held club positions ever since. Looking through old material it was interesting to note that a business called CB Radio was the major sponsor of ACA Newsletters around 1984/85. CB Radio was John! John was elected to the Executive of the NZACA, from what I can ascertain, back in the late 1970â€™s. Certainly he was there and showing on AGM Minutes in 1981. John remained part of the Executive right up until this year when a controversial change of rules meant that Life Members were no longer automatic members of that NZACA Management Committee.
35 years plus − a length of service probably
I believe). John was not one to seek office
not equalled by anyone else in NZACA
or status in the NZACA or its Executive, but
history. In the mid 1990’s John took over
when he contributed one listened.
the administration of the Kiwi Fishing Club
He spoke with the benefit of his extensive
following the death of the club founder, Derek Flintoff. He held this position with this NZACA Postal Club until earlier this year. Back in 2007 when we put together the NZACA 50th booklet, John was the source of a great deal of the material that we included due to his keeping of Newsletters, Press cuttings, articles and other material. Without that, our 50th booklet would have been a much leaner publication. I have inherited much of that material but I am not sure if I should thank John for that or not – who do I pass it on to? John’s skills, abilities and knowledge of the radio and communications world was put to good use − for the NZACA with communications at Nationals and the like. We have a complete audio transcript of the NZACA Retreat held in 2011. John was a mainstay of the NZACA stand at the Auckland Boat Show a number
past knowledge, wisdom and basic common sense. John’s contribution to the NZACA was recognized in 2011 by the organisation bestowing on him Life Membership. This reward was well deserved and maybe should have been awarded a lot earlier. Over recent times the NZACA has made a number of decisions and changes that John was not fully in agreement with and quietly made his views known without fanfare or fuss, but folk knew where he stood and why. As a flow-on from those decisions a group of members who have had considerable experiences in the National Organisation have formed themselves into a body so that this knowledge is not lost and others can make use of such. John was a member of this group and it has recently affiliated with the National Body.
of years back. I also have videos that John put
John unfortunately could not be present at
together from past Nationals.
the last meeting of the group at which the
So his legacy continues. John was a ‘behind
NZACA Membership Cards were handed out.
the scenes’ worker and one who could be
So I now undertake that task and present
relied upon. However he, with Frances, were
John with his membership card.
very much to the fore with sausage and food
John rest in peace – knowing you have been
stalls at a number of Nationals (a task they
a good and faithful steward to the world of
performed for a number of organisations
recreational fishing in this country. ●
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Share an awesome photo this month and be in to WIN a $150 Composite Developments Voucher! Share an awesome photo of you with a fish to our Facebook page, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by ? and youâ€™ll be in to win an $150 voucher from
- click here to view. This months winner is Owen with his Whangaparoa King. He has won a $150
Composite Developments to spend on
Composite Developments voucher, happy
anything you like from their 2015 catalogue
spending Owen â—?
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