Page 1


March 2011

Goin’ deep for the


Ones!// // Northern adventure scores

large for newby crew

Landbased – from the boat?// 1

THE RUM THAT INVENTED RUM Enjoy the adventure, drink responsibly


Pg 6




Land Based Fishing out of a Boat

Coromandel – last weekend

of official summer 2011


Boat Fishing

Newbie takes a shine to soft plastics


The King & I

On Kingfish in the Hauraki Gulf



Moments that get you amped


The Clubhouse

Ngawi Sports Fishing Club


Regional Reviews


New Products

Killer series stick baits


The NZACA National


Pg 22 3

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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

would like to extend our sincer-

had the pleasure of putting on to a


est condolences to both our fellow

few personal bests in the past, but this

Phone Derrick on 021 629 327

fishers, their families and friends in

summer Chris set out on his own and

or email

the results were fantastic.


Christchurch and more recently, more terrifyingly, the people of Japan. Kia kaha. We

We’ve bought a new underwater writer,

mourn with you and wish you the speedi-

James Gordon (creater of the Flikee Moi

est, safest path out of your troubles.

– watch this space), who shares the story

I was pleasantly surprised by the

of his first big king. James has a few

ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES / Phone Alastair on 021 866 036 or email

positive, albeit it reserved feedback I

years experience under his weight belt

received on my editorial last month.

but we look forward to more firsts and

ADDRESS / NZ Fisher,

Licensing is going to be the elephant in

big fish tales from James.

C/- Espire Media, PO Box 137162,

the room for a long time to come and I

The NZ Angling and casting

have enjoyed the opportunity to discuss

championships are being held from

the subject with a wide and varied

Orewa from April 20-23rd. The champs

kaleidoscope of fishing enthusiasts and

include both fishing and casting and are

a fair few intellectuals. So, while plenty

well attended. The difference between

of you would like to see me hang myself

the champs and most competitions

and put my stake in the ground, I’ll ask

(aside from the fact that there’s no

that you take the opportunity to talk

monetary prizes) is that anglers fish

about the future of our fisheries with

for the heaviest combined weight of a

your fishing buddies and decide for

multi-species bag over two days. Shore

yourselves – for all of us, what is the

compete against shore, Boat against

best way forward. It’s your fishery.

boat and now, kayak against kayak.

So, on to the important stuff. Fishing

year and welcome readers to join us.

of great readers stories – good ones,

For more info, please email the editor

with great results as some real newbies


Hadlee is an old mate of mine who I’ve


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!

NZFisher is looking to enter a team this

is cool! This month we have a number

getting into some serious fish. Chris

Parnell,Auckland 1151, NZ

Most importantly though – go fishing! The time is always right to fish!

Happy Fishing!

Derrick 5

landBASED feature

Land Based Fishing Out of a Boat! //Coromandel – last weekend of official summer 2011

By Forsyth Thompson

ell it’s been a great summer for fishing so far, having been able to fit in 2-3

Thursday saw the remnants of yet another tropical cyclone hit the north,

trips a week around Rangi soft baiting

meaning that the swell at the top of

out of the baby Stabi I’ve been well

the Coro was going to be really big,

served. But as always happens at this

coming in from the NE – far too much

time of year, I really start to miss land

for safely getting on and off a small boat

based fishing. So I headed down to

on the rocks. So we headed up the w

Coro with a keen young mate of mine

coast thinking we’d fish Blair’s ledge

for 2 ½ days to have a go at some land

up near Port Jackson. By the time we

based kings.

got to Fantail Bay though the wind was

I’ve taken Andrew on a couple of land

a good 20k SW and building, making

based trips previously and we’d got

fishing that western side no fun at all.

him his PB snapper at all of about three

Back down, round to Colville and up to

kilos but he’d never caught anything

Sandy Bay added even more time to

bigger, so I was confident we’d smash

the journey and we were itching for a

that for him with some land based

fish. In went the boat, I drove round to

kingy action. As it turned out, was a

Stony Bay to set up camp and we loaded

bloody good thing we had a Plan B!

the boat and set off round towards the

Both my best land based fish have


any time I’m heading up that way.

Pinnacles – a part of the country lots

come from that area – a 21lb snapper

of readers have probably fished and a

and a 21kg kingy so I always get a

place those who haven’t realy should,

bit of hyped up form anticipation

it’s some amazing country up there.

Excitedwith Andrew Best Personal apper ‘LBG’ Sn 7

Well, Plan A fell through really quickly:

it wasn’t and she’d dragged all the

as soon as we got out of the bay we

way across and out of the bay, but had

could see just how much swell was

caught the anchor on a submerged rock

hitting the ledges and there was just

not far from the point but far enough

no way we were going to landbase.

off to be completely undamaged in

So we switched to Plan B which involved land based fishing out of a Stabi 349! Anchored up just off some

any way, and not lost. The day turned from disaster to relief in seconds! Once the skipper had composed

great looking rocks, we got the berley

himself we loaded up with as much bait

going, cubed some pillies in and got

and berley as we could and headed

set up. Of course we had no boat

off for my Spot X thinking the swell

fishing gear with us at all just our LBG

had dropped off. Which it had - but

gear which was interesting in such a

nowhere near enough to fish where

small boat. But with a good sense of

we wanted. So on to Plan C we went,

humour, a couple of cold drinks and a

picking our gap in some big sets to

steady supply of snapper around the

get off at the Pinnacles and get set

40-50cm mark, it turned into a really

up. We’d got the berley in, the livie

fun afternoon – just two bloke bobbing

rigs set up and were getting towards

around the top of Coro in a tiny tinny

mid-tide when the sets started getting

with rods longer than the boat!

bigger and bigger and washing right

We didn’t look like being in any

over the ledge. Never seen it that big

danger of breaking Andrew’s PB

at that stage of the tide so we had to

but at least the weather had come

do the only sensible thing and get off.

right. Or so we thought….

It’s rare that I find myself in a lifejacket

Being such a nice calm night we didn’t

on the rocks but this was certainly one

bother getting the boat out of the water

of those days. By now it was fair to say

and just anchored in the bay and swam

things weren’t going according to plan.

in to shore, leaving all the gear on the

But after the previous afternoon we felt

boat. Nor did we bother putting the

like we were land based boat fishing

second anchor out. And that is the first

experts (!) so figured some LBG out

and last time I’ll ever make that mistake.

of the boat was the best option. Turns

In the night the wind got up and just

out Plan D was my best one so far – I

kept rising, howling down the hill and

guess in fairness the others hadn’t been

making the tent feel like it was going to

that great so I was probably due one!

take off. You can imagine how worried

We fished just off our chosen ledge

about the boat I was but at 3 in the

in about 20m of water which had gone

morning in the pitch black there wasn’t

from green on Friday to brilliant clear

a lot that I was going to be able to do.

bright blue by Sat. We could see the

As soon as there was any light I raced

burley a good 10+m below the boat

straight out only to be confronted with

and before we even had a line in the

a perfect view of flat seas all the way

water, a reasonable snapper sniffing

to Great Barrier. But no boat anywhere

at the bag. The horror morning was

to be seen. Raced down to the beach

quickly being forgotten as baits went

and all the way over to the eastern side

in the water and livey rigs got set up in

of the bay, just near the point, was a

anticipation. 5 rods in a 349 is something

very small shape that just might be the

the manufacturers probably never had in

boat, floating nicely off the rocks but it

mind. Fair to say it was a bit cramped!

seemed too much to hope for. Thankfully

Within minutes the snapper were on 9

Forsythhis with first Boat ‘LBG- per’ Snap

the bite, going to 55cm and feeding

at a time, only to lose it all again in

With trace in hand and net in the other we just couldn’t net her (the berley was tied on the other side of the boat), but we got a great look at her for a couple of minutes and had decided to let her go when the hook rolled out before we could get the camera. She was too big to go in the net and would have pushed 7kg. Andrew was one happy man but gutted that he’d not for the photo (His brother Nick Evans, former All Black is a mad keen fisherman working in the UK now and there’s more than a streak of competitiveness between them!). Thankfully the snapper weren’t done yet. Again the 8kg set went off and Andrew set the hook. If the last one went off

hard like I find they so often do after

another long run. 10 minutes later we

hard, this one was something else. 50m

a big swell, both of us fishing an 8kg

still had no colour even with the water

of braid later he was on the backing and

set and a 15kg. Before long my Stradic

being so clear and the fish was keeping

this wasn’t slowing down while I cleared

started making that high pitched noise

its head down but thankfully out of the

the other 3 rods. Then the mono started

when line is really being peeled off

foul. Andrew kept working it with a

to run out until I could see the spool

under pressure, and just didn’t stop.

lot more composure than you’d think

so there was nothing to do but put the

Andrew was clearly onto a PB but as

from a man who’d never even caught

hand on the spool and hope like hell we

the braid ran out and he got onto the

a 3.5kg fish. Eventually (Well, it felt like

got lucky. The rod bent round further

mono backing I started to wonder if it

for ever!) it came into site under the

and further till I could just about hear

might just be a ray. But then he started

boat but as she came to the surface the

the bust off then miraculously it slowly

getting some line back, a few meters

keeper hook caught the berley line…

came round as the fish’s head turned.


It was a great weekend of fishing an d adventures in a really magic part of the country. And the best bit? We know the fishing up there is just going to get better and better of the coming months.

But with an empty spool it was going

got turned straight round as a livie

small snapper to the boat. They were

to need a bit more luck. Andrew worked

and out the back under the 24kg set

both legal sized but not big enough for

the fish slowly back but every time he

while we continued snapper fishing.

the 3kg kahawai livebait but a whole

got 10m back it’d peel off another 9 ½

This was just like an LBG day but

pilly ‘skipbait’ later and I was hooked

so things were pretty tense. Surely it had

without the L! Minutes later the kings

up, the second fish following the first

to be a king with these huge runs and no

arrived, chasing everything they could

to the boat where Andrew hooked it!

head nods? Somehow it stayed out of

see – berley, cubes, baits, livies the

the foul and 20 minutes later we could

whole lot. Unfortunately they were all

for the net and with both of us on

see some colour and it was another big

on the small side, legal or just under

fish I lost mine at the boat trying to

snapper. Quickly got the berley line out

but when they’re around like that,

trace it. The second one wasn’t so

of the way and got the fish in the net

they’re just so much fun it’s rude not to

lucky and ended up in the very full

and into the boat. Another great fish

catch a few. So I hooked a jig onto my

bin. By this point we were more than

for Andrew, a little bit smaller than the

Rocky 2 (another first for the day!) and

happy to call it a day and head back

previous one but the best fight I’ve seen

proceeded to jig up 6 of them in about

to camp. But not before unloading the

out of a snapper of any size. It just never

40 minutes. Jigging to fish you can see

boat and getting it out of the water.

gave up and those little Stradics put

under the boat was another first, a lot

Lesson well and truly learned there!

out plenty of drag. You can see in the

of fun, and something I don’t expect to

pics how happy he was far better than

replicate off the rocks any time soon!

Unfortunately the fish was too big

The next morning the wind turned to a cooler SE and the fishing died with

I can describe. 2 PBs in 20 minutes!

The kings moved away, the kahawai too

Finally everything had come good

and we were back to snapper for a while,

It might not have been LBG in the

and we’d got a great fish for Andrew,

nothing big but steady 2-3kg fish until

strictest (ok, in any) sense of the word

smashed his PB and really got the hang

we saw the blue water being replaced

but it was a great weekend of fishing

of LBG in the boat! Meanwhile I’d put

by murky green and sure enough the

and adventures in a really magic part of

a 4.5kg in the bin and we’d got a few

small fish came out of hiding. By this

the country. And the best bit? We know

more around the 2.5 – 3kg mark.

point we’d had a few hours of constantly

the fishing up there is just going to get

special fishing and really just didn’t care!

better and better of the coming months.

smaller than about 50-60cm and

About when we were calling it quits we

Time to put away the softbait gear

smashing baits as they do. First one

saw a couple of better kings chasing a

and get back to the LBG. I can’t wait.

Then the kahawai turned up. None

it so we packed up and headed home. 11


Newbie takes a shine to soft plastics

By Chris Hadlee

By Chris Hadlee

Doubtless bay pannie

ust before Christmas I was lucky

had a parent’s batch in Rangiputa with a

enough to receive an early gift

nice new Surtees 4.7 available for us to

in the form of a 7ft Penn soft

use once the olds had had a morning fish.

the 14m mark of some of the beaches

plastic rod and reel set, thanks to a

Perfect for us- sleep off the hang-over then

around the Karikari Peninsula. For the first

very special lady. As is understandable

smash some nice late-arvo snapper. Our

bait I ‘had’ to go with the Nuke Chook that

I was gagging to get some new jig

first trip out was in the afternoon of New

I had heard so much about their fishiness.

heads and baits and get a line in the

Years Eve. I was all excited about having

One cast and “Bang” - I had my first hook

water. After enduring a rather shaky

my first turn at soft plastics and couldn’t

up straight away! Wow - so much fight and

Christmas holiday in Christchurch I was

wait to get out there. One wise piece of

kick on this light gear- I could feel every

even more enthusiastic about getting

advice was handed to me on launching the

head nod and my reel was making those

away from that fault line and up to the

boat from my mates Mum; “You know you

funny pinging noises that I usually only

Far North to try out the new gear.

have to throw you first fish back on that

hear on fishing TV shows- Awesome.

Our friends were back from overseas and 12

new rod for good luck?”to which “yeah for

sure” I replied. And off we went. We decided to take a tip of drifting over

Once I got first fish on board the call

went out that beauty was not going back

out and getting one on the tuna lure and

and in fact had dinner written all over it.

a hook up on the soft baits then a kingie

Not ever being one for superstitions I

amongst the tuna – life is good.

the Gulf – too easy! After a long battle with a Barracuda, my good friend Charlotte (fresh back from the

‘thought yeah keep it, get one in the bag’.

We decided to give the soft baits a flick

U.K) had another fight on her hands and

Well minutes later when my reel screamed

around some wash. Again not being one

it wasn’t until we saw that reddish colour

off again I thought this is easy! This one

to muck around I was the first to get a bait

coming up from the deep that the boys

was much bigger than the first and a call

in the water. Bang, big snapper right on

realised they had lost the ‘best fish of the

for the net went around the boat and a

the surface. Well that monkey didn’t last

day prize’. A quick weigh in revealed an

foldable net was deployed. When a mate

long. That great snapper (a new PB) was

18lb snapper followed few minutes later

went to scoop the fish the net collapsed

soon followed by a large rat kingie which

by Callum with a nice 15lber - both were

and the fish kicked about and I watched in

gave my gear a good test. We shifted and

successfully released. What a spot.

horror as my biggest snapper to date dove

found some good sign on the sounder,

for the bottom, with a nice new bit of nuke

so decided to throw the drogue chute

Peninsula on my soft plastics and was

chook bling to show his mates.....then

out and drift in from 40 metre mark over

amazed at the variety of fish I caught

nothing. Dam superstitions.

I had so much fun fishing around the

the good looking bottom. What followed

on them, Snapper, Kingies, Skip jack,

After the haze of new years we gave it

was one of the most amazing afternoons

Trevally, Dory, Kahawai, and a few less

another shot; I had to get this monkey off

fishing ever. We filled up the chiller bag

desirable species too. Now I can’t wait

my back, this time we headed further out

with nice pannies, also added two nice

to get back up there later in the season

to the Moturoa Islands. After running into

blue cod on soft baits. I threw back fish

and through winter and see what we can

a feeding school of Skipjack on the way

that would have been catch of the day in

get our hooks into.


s’s P B 13


The King & I Story and photos by Espresso

Snapper Free Zone

boosting the fun factor.

The King and I

“Catch any fish”? One of the most

The outstanding fish, the King of fish

Hauraki Gulf with not a single solitary

common questions asked on return to

are almost everywhere in the Hauraki

snapper to show for the days fishing,

the local neighbourhood. What they

gulf (and many other areas) this season

and being happy about it? Absolutely!

mean is, were any snapper caught…

providing some of the most entertaining,

I know - it just doesn’t sound quite

no… What? “Whaddaya mean,

powerful running, hoodlum of the sea

right does it. And no it isn’t the sign

skunked” (often with a devilishly

attitude ever. Their speed and agility,

of being skunked and in denial, of

inquisitive gleam)?!

tenaciously dogged fight right to the

Heading in after a day out in the sunny

shedding ones right to claims of being

“No, had a fast action packed day of

boat, and the inevitably the several

a fisherman, far from it. In fact some

catching fish and filled the bin mate,

encore runs that threaten knots, rod tips,

of the best fishing days are where

arms are stuffed, legs wobbly, great

lines, arm strength and all are thoroughly

everything but snapper is targeted,


rewarding. Many are ‘small’ or rats to

and to catch a snapper is a ‘fail’ can

”Say what”?

what they can become, but this is no

be a fantastic days fishing. Right now

“Yeah kingfish, and the biggest

matter. Kingfish without a doubt are

in the Gulf we have a real opportunity,

kahawai you’ve ever seen, and a whole

some of the most sporting, dirty tricked

one of broadening horizons of the

bunch of skipjack tuna – let the good

filled, hard out barrels of muscle in the

given norms of (snapper) fishing and

times roll”.

ocean. Excellent.


Smoked king and big snapper

This year is our chance to make the most of them, to go and experience that nitrous like burst of power on the strike, the sheer low down grunt of these fine looking fish with their beautiful racing stripe sheen

And this year is our chance to make the

lure, perhaps many times before one

kicks on route 66 – the kings highway

most of them, to go and experience that

take the bait so to speak. Then it’s all on!

so to speak, is always increasing,

nitrous like burst of power on the strike,

Whether you’re land based, spear-fishing,

being rediscovered or improved…live

the sheer low down grunt of these fine

in a dinghy, a Kayak, a trailer boat or

baits, stick baits, poppers, jigs, soft

looking fish with their beautiful racing

bigger – the kingfish really don’t mind.

plastics, dead baits…all good. And

stripe sheen, and a welcome lack of

Or maybe you like the livie approach,

right now the kingfish are here, there,

finger piercing teeth ticking an optional

perhaps a slow troll around your favourite

and everywhere ready and waiting for

extra box. In most places while many

headland or reef, or drop a livie down

the game to begin. Just a quick word

are under size, but many aren’t and the

the sides of a baitschool on the sounder

– cradle them well when handling as

surface takes and very visual aspect of

(whether being worked over by other

picking up by the tail can apparently

catching them takes your breath away,

predators or not)…feeling the change in

dislocate their spine, not good.

every time. Watching a gang of Kingfish

twitch of the livie as you let the line get

hone in on a fast retrieved soft plastic or

taken out by the king and after the turn

past trawlers along with other big

surface popper is always an eye grabber.

securing the hook in the jaw...their runs

predators and find their way into the

As they hunt down the fleeing prey and

heating the reel’s drag to ouch point. Ah

Gulf, north and east of Flat Rock has

it’s a wonderful thing, king fishing.

a few nice specimens at the moment,

work themselves into the strike frenzy. Bow wakes as they tail and harass the

The number of ways to get your

Skipjack tuna have managed to get

and trolling a little lure or SP at about 15

5kts behind the boat (just out of the bubbles) can be just like big game fishing, just downsize your reels (to whatever you have), look for any surface blips, flips or activity (often mistaken for surface kahawai), current lines and a new summer thrill awaits. On light tackle the skippies just explode on their own nitro-circus act runs and look incredible with their chrome and iridescent blue all lit up. They make great catching and when prepped well immediately, they can be darn good eating smoked – by bleeding, icing down and removal of blood lines when filleting, then their taste is fantastic straight out of the smoker. Skippies are a fish not often found in the gulf so while they are here, certainly worth specifically targeting and such a ton of fun (especially that light tackle approach!). And they do make some of the best big snapper winter baits around. Between the marauding Kingfish and the flash-harry Skippies, the Kahawai have been in all shapes and sizes too. Some stunningly coloured and patterned ones of the small to mid size have been schooling in an around the Noises and David rock areas, along with the big-as ocean goers all hassling the anchovy schools that are right in the shallows all around the edges of gulf right now. While I love snapper, change is a good thing and it keeps the thrills and enjoyment factor way up. When heading out for a fast paced fishing day is first on the agenda….head over to a shoreline, or an inner harbor channel pretty much anywhere, and you’ll find all the fish you can poke your rod at. The kahawai and kingfish are hunting in big packs and so either trolling or casting into them with a fast retrieve on your favorite spinning reel has to be the go at the mo’. Without having to spend a small fortune and many hours/days 16

trolling for big game fish – get into the smaller game fish approach and plenty of excitement is still to be had, without the time, huge expense and long hours of not much. Troll for some skippies watch out for a king strike or a monster kahawai that you’ll swear is a kingie with their dogged determination and hard-out explosions of line peeling speed. So whether it’s fresh kingfish steaks, smoked kingfish, crumbed kingfish, curried kingfish, battered kingfish…all absolutely divine especially when fresh. Similarly with the Kahawai when treated correctly from moment of capture, smoked kahawai flavor will often surpass that of Snapper and many others, it’s all in the technique of bleeding (I cut the jugular) then into ice slurry within a minute or two, then a simple boneless fillet at days’ end, cured in various flavour concoctions for 3 days, followed by a whole days cold smoke (hey use a hot smoker if that’s what you have). The flavor is totally mouth

What an encou nter!

watering, and once smoked they can be frozen and keep well for months, especially

excellent fishing at the moment. The

bigger tuna and other predatory

when vacuum packed (for smoked fish

inner harbor channels, all around the

game fish are in the northern areas

cakes second to none).

big volcano, the Kawau islands, and

of the gulf!!) are all around, so take

over the eastern side of Waiheke,

off the snapper blinkers and go for a

rule, where the food is, the fish arew,

great results are being achieved on

new experience if you haven’t already

so the snapper are right in close too,

a daily basis. I hear so often, and fair

and enjoy a new way to spend the

have been for several weeks, and

enough lately that many times the fish

day, bring home some exciting tales

should remain there for a few more.

just aren’t interested…well yes the

of triumph and woe, as well as some

In some of the busiest water highways

SNAPPER may go off the bite, but

different tasting fish for a treat. Most

there are excellent snapper schools,

think a little more than just one fish…

excellent adventures are to be had and

the harbor bridge area for instance –

the kingfish, kahawai, tuna (some

yet return snapper-less.

Oh yeah and of course, the golden 17

underWATER feature

Moments that you get amped Story and photos by James Gordon

here are some moments during

drivers in 6 metre plus boats who are

them are overseas and the remaining

winter when you’re reading a

thinking, “now where’s mummy and

few are ‘whipped’. Luckily, Nick, a

good fishing story that gets

daddy’s big launch?” This little boat has

Scottish fella from work, cut the mustard

you very amped for summer missions.

had some modifications, the obvious one

and we had locked in a date: a date that

After an infamously poor New Zealand

being a substantially larger gas tank to

neither of us would ever forget.

ski season, i.e. no snow, I had whittled

fuel the 30 mighty horses attached to

it down to two activities: running and

the transom.

pondering the next spearo mission in

Preparation for the day involved endless refreshing of the marine met

Warmish weather is the key to surviving

service page and Never

in such an exposed little boat, so our first

mind the gear, it was all streamlined to

mission was saved for the beginning of

only the essentials and already packed

is the looks I get when I am 20-30 miles

December. Finding enthusiastic, marine-

into a pre-fuelled boat.

off shore and whipping along the coast

minded and endurance savvy boating

of an island. I get sideways looks from

mates can be a challenge when half of

my 4.3 metre RIB. My favourite thing about my little boat


The day finally came and we were up at the crack of dawn and on the road

Nick hunting to Mangawhai. Nick was in good shape

-we could smell the kingis. We spent the

workout and had nothing to show for it,

this time - his last trip involved multiple

next few hours warming up and chasing

but we still felt the vibe that our prized

burley bombs over the pontoons after

baitfish, butters and a few porae - next

kingi would show up. Two more dive

trying to keep up with his kiwi in-laws

stop the copper mine.

spots, lunch and a few more fish for the

the night before. A quick launch and

Limited to a depth finder, we spent

bin saw us well into the afternoon.

two yanks on the pull-start had the tiller

a bit of time trolling round doing the

Our final stop was the reefs off

yearning to be opened up.

typical search pattern, trying to locate

Lady Alice. Still dead calm seas, the

the copper mine. With the help of

conditions were idyllic. The run in

surprises. Good strong currents and

a growing sun, a large white patch

saw us pushing out wide to allow for

peeling waves makes dodging surfers

emerged in about 7-8 metres: bingo,

two boats who were being swarmed

fun. Not this time -we hit the point to

anchor down. An hour of pushing into

by large ocean-going kahawai. We

find it a millpond: brilliant! We wound

the current with our guns, and one up/

anchored in two metres of water (the

up the 30 horses and hit the weed line

one down diving the reef, we came up

beauty of having such a light boat) as

inside from the copper mine reef in a

with nothing but a few rat kingies and a

it pushed over the semi exposed reef

good half hour. The water was alive with

heap of koheru - time to move on.

in the mid-tide. The game plan was to

Mangawhai bar is always full of

baitfish, blue maomao, trevs and the like

We were a little beaten up from the

be sucked out over the back of the reef 19

d an ng hi fis of nd ke ee w t ea gr a as w It the adventures in a really magic part of the country. And the best bit? We know better fishing up there is just going to get and better of the coming months.

and work our way round. The incredibly

but I did what I’ve read in many spearing

and finger squeezing the trigger, and the

oversized dive flag went up and we

stories: turned again to face away, took a

spear ripped right through the fish as it

were out off the back of the boat in no

sharp breath and dove down. I kept him

thrashed to get the first shaft out. I came

time, in amongst the baitfish.

in view out of the corner of my eye as we

screaming to the surface claiming we’d

both swam into the current, but he was

got him! Nick obviously wasn’t convinced

steadily moving away.

as he wasn’t in the boat.

A few yellow-fins appeared, had a quick look at us and moved on before we could point our muzzles behind their gill

Back to the surface, I yelled at Nick

plates. We pushed on around the side of

where the fish was heading down. “GO

the fish, fighting to not get tangled and

the reef, remembering kingfish generally

DOWN!” My excitement must have said

keep the buoys above the surface. After

do the rounds every 20 minutes. Nick

it all. I knew we only had once chance at

several grabs, we finally caught him by

was in front of me. I was getting tired

getting this fish, as he would check us

the gills and put him to rest with a quick

and trying to conserve my energy. To the

out once and move on. I swam towards

icky to the head. We put him through

left I saw a large figure swimming into

were Nick had dived down. It was then I

the fish stringer attached to the float and

the current with me. I made the mistake

saw the flash of the white belly and Nick

bear-hugged him as we swam through

of trying to approach it and got a flick

swimming wide eyed. He knew he’d

the current and back onto the reef where

of a yellow tail - a 20kg plus kingfish.

hit the beast. I took a breath and swam

the boat was. It was pushing 5pm and

From the surface I yelled at Nick to keep

down to plug it with a second shot. The

we’d been on the water for ten hours,

his eyes peeled and we pressed on.

fish was going nuts, luckily, it was only six

but we had a second wind and it got us

The front of the reef was dead and we

to eight metres, but the fish was quickly

back the 22 miles we had travelled.

moved on to the next side. I was starting

heading for deeper water. Nick had

to feel it now and didn’t want to cramp

taken the shot from a good distance but

always fun; it’s just a dilemma as to how

up so I told Nick I was heading back to

landed it in the softest part of the gut.

big you cut the steaks, with the result

the boat. He was a good ten metres in

Unfortunately the flopper didn’t hold

a reflection of how much you were

front of me. I put my head back in the

and was lost, pulling through the fish’s

salivating at the time. Cooked simply,

water and swung my body around to

gut as it fought frantically along the rock.

and if anything undercooked, kingfish

swim in the other direction. There on

I dove deeper and chased the fish until

is my favourite. Sharing the story and

my tail, cruising in for a look was the

I had it broadside. I fully extended my

eating good food with many friends

distinctive white jaw and green head.

arm with tip pointed for the money-shot,

and family is more than half the fun. Its

With no buddies around him, I knew he

right behind the gill plate. Safety off,

moments like these that get you already

would spook easily. My heart was racing,

two 16 millimetre rubbers fully tensioned

amped for your next mission!


We spent the next ten minutes battling

Back home and filleting the beast is

  

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Ngawi Sports Fishing Club By Shona Zander

Prime Ngawai Snapper

Ngawi Junior, Sam with a sizable Groper

Ngawi Local, Craig with a good southern Kingfish

he Ngawi Sports Fishing

formed club decided to hold its first

anniversary this year with 487 anglers

Club was formed on 1st July

fishing competition.

and 141 boats - no small feat for the

1991with a financial member-

A large variety of fish can be caught in

small village with approximately 30

ship of twenty. This was quite an effort

the area, with the club having trophies

fulltime residents! The small fishing

for a small fishing village, but what bet-

for blue cod, groper (hapuka), tarakihi,

village swells to capacity with bachs

ter place to start up a fishing club than

trumpeter, kingfish, tuna, kahawai,

chocker and all the free camping area

on the southern-most (and fishiest!)

snapper, shark and billfish.

packed with campervans and tents.

coast of the North Island. Less than 3 kilometres out from the

Although the club has not (yet)

The Ngawi Sports Fishing Club runs a

weighed in a billfish, a broadbill of

full calendar for all it’s members. Club

coast, you can be in 100 fathoms (Thats

300kg was netted by a trawler off

days aimed at Children and small fry,

180m to the rets of us – Ed.) of water

the Ngawi Coast and it was taken to

and Woman anglers, with the Interclub

so the prospect of being able to catch

Wellington for weighing.

contests with Wairarapa, Pukemanu,

large sharks, both Mako and Blues, and

Our annual Ngawi Big 3 Fishing

Plimmerton and Kapiti Fishing Clubs,

broadbill being sighted and caught the

Competition which is held on the third

for the more serious anglers. These

odd occasion around the area, the newly

weekend in February had its 20th

Club days are fantastic fun, everyone


gets to know someone new, and a lot of

trailers with 6m plus drawbars. Every

laughter, threats, bribes and big white

trailer is hooked up to a bulldozer and

Deere tractors for its members to use

lies, in true fisherperson fashion, become

every breed of bulldozer imaginable can

when launching and retrieving their boats.

the order of the day.

be found there! Some have had a little

The Ngawi Sports Fishing Club, along

The Club has purchased two 3140 John

With no ramps, launching can be a

spruce up, new paint jobs - pink, purple,

challenge as the beach is of small shingle

with the Ngawi Hit Around Golf Club,

green!! - and some are in dire need of

which can change with each tide and

use the local community hall as their

one! To the bulldozer enthusiast, it is

rough seas.

Clubrooms. It is in this hall that the

definitely a must see.

tournament office is run from with an

The Ngawi Sports Fishing Club is

The Club has a large number of

proud of its history of participation in

18mx18m marquee, purchased by the

sponsors and it is the continued support

the fishery management, with delegates

club this year, being the competitors

of these wonderful sponsors that make

attending meetings around the country

base for prize giving’s and the necessary

the Ngawi Big 3 Fishing Competition

and submitting submissions on species

bar facilities!

the biggest in the Lower North Island –

pertaining to our club, trying to ensure

check out the photos along side.

that there will always be fish in the sea for

I believe Ngawi is one of the most photographed places in New Zealand

On top of the Big Three, the Club also

its members and their future generations.

with not a day going by without

has ten monthly ‘Club Days’ for members

someone taking photos. The small

with prize money jackpotting for any

with a fantastic group of people willing

Ngawi Bay is lined with commercial and

species not caught or a cancelled club day.

to ensure that all fisher people have a

Many a yarn is told after a day on the

great time, this is more than evident in

recreational boats, the former mostly

Ngawi is truly a great club to belong to,

for crayfish harvesting with a couple of

water over a beer with food and prize

the number of financial members the

wet fish quota holders, on large beach

giving at the end of the day.

club currently has.



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Coromandel/Tairua Source: Carl Muir

ell there are still plenty of

trolling, once again a striped marlin

marlin around and some

choosing to devour the Bonze Apache,

big kingfish to boot. We

in black over orange skirt. The angler

had some good fun over the weekend

Darren Cade who has been watching

fishing the Tairua Ladies comp, and the

our website for the last two years and

crew we assembled took out 1st, 2nd

in the end he just had to come and

and 3rd kingfish regular fisho Hayley

get into some kingfish action! The

Bonnici taking out biggest fish overall

stripey came from some very good bait

with this 23.5kg kingfish, caught in

sign in on the 100m line close to the

front of a big audience of other boats

Aldermen Islands very close to Tairua.

fishing the comp, and awesome effort! Well done Hayley!

The stripey was an added bonus and Darren managed to get his arms

It was an awesome week building

well and truly stretched on some solid

up to the comp and we managed to

kingfish in his three days of fishing.

bag another striped marlin on the

For more from the last week check our report and photos here.

new Senator from an hours worth of

Hauraki Gulf Source: Grant Bittle ‘Espresso’

ow what a wonderful fish-

Workups have been few and far

ing season this has been,

between over the past month or so

models are around, using lighter gear

and it continues. Good

further rout, but nothing lasts forever

and watching a youngster catch a king

healthy snapper are still in the 10-20m

good or bad and the sea ‘n sky vortex

is thoroughly rewarding even if the fish

depths all around the edges of the gulf

of gannets is a happening thing again –

is undersize and released, the thrill just

and the big sleepy volcano, with every

much to the pleasure of storm chasing

lasts and lasts.

type size shape and species of fish too

fishermen. Mostly though I’d keep

– like kingfish, kahawai, mako, thresher,

the gas budget for multiple close-in

on lightweight jigheads (1/2oz say)

even orcas in so shallow they must be

evening or morning fishing sessions

anywhere around islands and channels

scratching their bellies!

rather than the gas burner of heading

between islands, a flick of a popper at

out to 50m depths.

marker buoys or over surface schools of

The moons influence has been strong

gulf. Excellent fun even if lots of smaller

My pick – a morning drift with softies

and around that full moon the fishing

Skippies have returned and are out

various fish – again all in close, and keep

generally slows, but when the moon

east of Flat rock which are great fun to

your eyes peeled, you’ll see the anchovy

calms down along with the wind, the

catch surface trolling a tiny lure as you

schools in numbers (and some prawns!)

inner channels have been the place to

would for kahawai. Kingfish, well they

right into very shallow water – no

be rather than ‘out wide’ in the gulf

seem to be popping up pretty much

wonder all the big fish are there! That’ll

burning lots of gas leaving the best

everywhere, and near every marker

tell you what’s working bait or imitation

fishing behind.

pole or buoy in the entire harbor and

bait wise ay.


Bay of Plenty Source: Mark Armistead ishing over the past few weeks

just enjoyed one of the

has been a bit up and down, the

most memorable days

good run of kingfish that were

fishing I have ever had,

greedily taking down any jig on offer

with a couple of Aussies

seem to have moved on. But the good

on board we ventured

news is the snapper have moved in close

out to a secret location

in big numbers and there are some

and hauled in fish after

pretty big models in amongst them. We

fish right from the start.

have been landing some good fish but

We landed a few good

we have also been humbled by some of

fish but the really big

these monsters as well with some big

ones just kept eluding

bust offs occurring.

us, one pulled the

Big news for the past week was the

hook and another

A Snapper on a stick bait – and a 20lber at that!!

capture of a giant snapper on a stick

monster got mauled

bait, snapper on stick baits are a pretty

by a shark. Then finally

rare capture but this one was even more

at the end of the day we hooked up to a

special because it cracked the 20 pound

freight train, this fish fought well above

mark. This big snapper took an Angel

its weight class and it was a pretty tense

Tackle lure which are now available form

battle in shallow water. Eventually up

us for under the $100 mark, pretty good

popped a beautifully conditioned kingfish

value for top quality stick bait. The fish

in the mid to high 20kg bracket. But

was duly released and swam away well.

the most interesting thing we witnessed

Only two days later we hooked another

during the day was when a monster

big snapper on a stick bait but pulled the

kingfish come up and tried to eat a

hooks before we could land it.

smaller kingfish we had hooked up, it was

Even with the patchy fishing we have

absolutely huge.

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Taranaki/ The NZ Sport West Coast Fishing Nationals Source: Bought to you by The Taranaki AMF Team – he marlin have finally arrived off the Naki and boy are they hungry. Just days before going

The 2011 NZSFC Nationals were held in February and there were some outstanding results. In total 1,492 Anglers fished from 422 teams and 39 Clubs took part retuning 738 fish to be weighed and 642 were tagged and released. TOTAL FISH WEIGHED & TAGGED DURING THE 2011 NATIONALS The total number of fish weighed during the contest


to print (the week before the AMF boats 2011 Gamefishing Competition) ten marlin were landed in just one day including a 110kg beauty by Kevin Moratti, New Plymouth Sportsfishing and Underwater club stalwart and local fishing personality, caught on board

Total number of Billfish weighed


Blue Marlin


Total number of Striped Marlin weighed


Total number of Shortbill Spearfish weighed


Total number of Shark weighed


Duncan McIver’s AMF 660, Narcosis. Shot boys!

Blue Shark


Bronze Whaler




Total number of Tuna weighed






Total number of Slender Tuna

Kev’s 110kg Marlin

Total number of Skipjack


Total number of Albacore


Total number of Yellowtail


Total number of Kahawai


Total number of Snapper


Total Number of Trevally


Total number of Mahimahi


The best fishing has been just north of the port in anything from 60 meters or

Total number of Fish tagged and released


Total number of Billfish tagged and released


greater. With water sitting at above 21 degrees almost everyday and blue water everywhere, it might b hard to miss out. There are plenty of Albacore and

Black Marlin


Blue Marlin


Skippies too, but size hasn’t been great. For those hitting inshore species, there’s still snapper about but in reduced numbers than January. If you like kingfish, now is the time. Some of

Total number of Striped Marlin tagged and released Total number of Shortbill Spearfish tagged and released Total number of Shark tagged and released

the best kingfish in the last decade have been coming in and special mention has to be made of Kane Wrigglesworth’s

fish beat the club record of 21kg by a huge margin! Well done Kane – that’ll take some beating! 26

7 233

Blue shark


Bronze Whaler






Total number of Yellowtail tagged and released


36kg (ish?) Landbased king landed ‘south of Whanganui’ last month. Kane’s


Total number of tuna tagged and released


Congratulations to all who took part whether you landed fish or not, this was an exceptional competition.

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nationalbody REPORT

The NZACA National Championships 2011 //Taking it to City of Sails NEW ZEALAND ANGLING & CASTING ASSOCIATION 2011 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS he North Shore Surfcasting

the upper Hauraki Gulf is recognised as

are just minutes away. The Hibiscus

Club and Hibiscus Kayak Fish-

the best kayak fishing location in New

Coast is lined with stunning white

ing Club in association with

Zealand with many 20lb plus Snapper

sand beaches perfect for picnics and

the NZACA are excited to invite you

caught here by kayakers in 2009 and

summer swims with few waves to

compete at the 2011 New Zealand An-

2010. Early captures in 2011 have

burden the little ones. When the fishing

gling and Casting Association National

included 20.

is done you’re in the country’s biggest

Championships to be based at Orewa

For those chasing Kingfish they are

neighbourhood with 100’s of bars and

on the beautiful Hibiscus Coast north

abundant throughout the gulf until

of Auckland. The 2011 nationals are to

May and can be found chasing live

be held 20-23rd April 2011.

baits and jigs all day - if you can them

Charter Boats:

is the question!!!???

Gulf Harbour, on the Whangaparaoa

The Nationals are the highlight of the

restaurants within 30 minutes.

modern and very competent Charter

NZACA’s annual fishing calendar and an awesome event for all keen anglers


fleet happy to take you to where the fish

and casters.

Rodney is a tourist focussed region

are. The Kaipara Harbour on the west

with many options for accommodation

coast also has a strong charter fleet, but

gateway to the amazing Hauraki Gulf

from DoC Camping grounds in

be quick they’re in hot demand.

and stunning wild West Coast beaches.

Mahurangi, Motels on the Hibiscus

The 2011 Nationals will have extremely

Coast to rustic beach bachs at Snells


generous boundaries extending from

Beach. Finding a place to lay your head

The casting will be held at a very new

Bream Tail and North Head of the

will never be a problem.

venue (almost) tailor made for casting.

Orewa in Rodney District is the

The interest in this Nationals Casting

Kaipara in the North to Orere Point and


event is already strong with many new

The event is being held to coincide with

casters testing themselves in preparation

these limits. These waters are extremely

the school Holidays and the Hibiscus

for the 2011 Championships.

fishy waters and produce fantastic fishing

Coast offers a great base for family

every year for those luckily enough to

holidays. Plan to bring the whole family

day for both Distance and Accuracy,

enjoy them.

along and involve fishing in your activities.

thereby reducing the time commitments

the Waikato River to the south. Specific boundaries may be set within

The Casting will be run on the same

to compete in all sections.

These boundaries include many easy walking and productive spots as well as


innumerable boatfishing locations that can

If you’re bringing the family (and

For any information or if you

be accessed from over 20 boat ramps.

perhaps they don’t want to fish –

wish to enter, please email

Horror!) the massive Albany Mall and and go to

new Whangaparaoa Shopping Malls

The new Kayak section will bring plenty of interest to the Nationals and 28

// In the next issue of NZ Fisher… • The all new Ocean Kayak Prowler 4.1 – Tested • The NZACA Nationals – NZFisher’s efforts – Are we victorious? • A week at the Three Kings – A fisher’s El Dorado

Have you subscribed to NZ Fisher? It’s free!

Simply visit to get a copy of NZ Fisher delivered straight to your inbox every third Wednesday!

Next edition out 2011

Kayak Fishing Range Because one kayak won’t suit everyone

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