Pigfish Kahawai Snapper

Barry and I went fishing one more time, my top mate and avid angler Sinclair tagged along. The plan was to fish the outgoing tide in the late afternoon, have the first bait in the water 2 hours before low, live-bait with kahawai for kingfish and land a double figure snapper at the change of light with a fresh kahawai head. Textbook stuff really. The conditions were good, a five knot breeze from the side, no swell, lots of white water, the scenery was dramatically beautiful and there were three of us. We had plenty of bait, burley, the right gear, skill and motivation. Sinclair wore his new ninja-style rock-hoppers, Barry was looking to achieve his trifecta, I was hoping …

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Legendary Rockfishing – The Big Kingi

It was the last day of 2016 and the plan was to land a big fish off the rocks with my brother Barry L. Smith. Barry has a knack for fishing, last time he held a rod (we fished together) was abut 8 years ago also in NZ, and he landed fish in otherwise unfruitful conditions every time. Perhaps this was the reason why he had high ambition and higher expectations. I’ve taken less experienced and lay-people fishing many times. Be it clients, friends, family, it is always challenging, psychologically and physically. What am I going about, you ask?, after all it’s just fishing. No, it is not. You see, everyone wants to land a big fish, they want a …

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A Special Big Snapper

Roughly a month after our last fishing adventure (the best snapper fishing we’ve experienced so far), Sinclair and I hit another remote ledge on the Barrier. We met at 1430 and headed to the south of the Island. After about 45 min. of hiking we reached a small bay and rock-hopped for another 15 minutes to get to a ledge. The conditions were good, if not great and our timing turned out to be rather perfect. Low tide was at 1730, and we had baits in the water at about 1600. There was a small breeze, the sea calm, the sky overcast, the views outstanding and even the birds left us alone. For most of the day, I was confused, …

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Best Snapper Fishing

Whether you’re a fisher(wo)man or not, I bet you’ll like this story. It is a story of two friends who went land-based fishing on Sunday, 18th Sept. 2016, it is also of a perfect day, worry-free, adventure-rich, spontaneous, the sort you don’t forget. Let’s start with the morning. A windy, cold and rainy morning it is. Are we going fishing?, is it going to stop raining?, are we going to find a decent spot?, shouldn’t I rather stay in by the fire and have an easy Sunday?, I was asking these questions to myself whilst tying fishing rigs and sorting out my backpack. Take only the bare necessities, one rod, one reel, a handful of pre-tied rigs, one camera, one …

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Land-Based Fishing

About a week ago I took Chris and his sons Max and Alex on a landbased fishing trip. We met up in Tryphena and headed to a fishing spot on the south-western part of the Island. Our plan was to walk around the coast to the headlands of a small bay and fish a few hours before and after low tide. The boys were fit and fast on the rocks, and we arrived on a ledge, looking toward the Coromandel Peninsular two hours before the low tide. Conditions & Tide The conditions were good, a cool, pleasant, northerly breeze, calm waters and we had the first bait in the water two hours before the low tide. The burley was deploying …

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Great Barrier Island Kingfish 2016 – Part 2

Third Attempt Third times a charm, that’s what they say and that’s how it shall be done. While I was at work, Paul and Connor went rockfishing for kingfish at a rather easy spot. The conditions were such that the East Coast spots were not safe to fish and since we had a couple of long hikes under our belt, Dad and Son thought it would be best to have a good, but easier go at catching kingfish off the rocks. He was right. I had just arrived home after a rather frustrating day of helping youth with formal education. My plan was to open a beer and go for a walk with Rani in the bush. It was about …

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Great Barrier Island Kingfish 2016 – Part 1

Landbased fishing for kingfish is best during February and March. For over a decade, I have watched his majesty being targeted, hooked and landed off the rocks. The first kingfish I saw was protruding from a large hiking pack at Port Jackson in the Coromandel. I stopped to have a chat with the chap who landed that monster of a fish. His name was Paul (the angler’s that is)… We became top friends and meet once a year during his extensive New Zealand Rockfishing Holiday. This year, he arrived earlier than usual and brought his son Connor. We had 11 days on the Barrier, this was Connor’s first time to New Zealand, and our plan was to catch kingfish, talk …

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Rockfishing Adventures On The Barrier

I had the pleasure on Friday to take a keen father and son on a rockfishing adventure. Granted, our timing could have been better, but we had a great, memorable and successful fishing day nevertheless. The team (Morlin & Benjamin) came from Auckland to the Barrier for one important purpose, fishing. As we were walking on a rocky beach toward a productive ledge, they told me that the previous two days charter fishing had not been rewarding. They were struggling to catch a feed on the first day and nothing was landed on the second day. I was astounded to hear that because my pick for the best day out of the week was the previous day (Thursday). So yeah, …

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Rockfishing – The Benefits of Berley

Wow, last time I went fishing was three months ago. Glad to back on the Barrier, and writing about another truly great day on the rocks. Monday was the day, it had to be the day, conditions were good and comfortable, I was keen, and the plan was to catch a feed and have a go at live-baiting in winter. The Spot I enjoy walking on a rocky beach, especially on a crisp but sunny winter day, and when access to the headlands of a bay is easy, it doesn’t matter if it takes 30 minutes or an hour, you just have to walk the extra mile. This is where you find a good current and deep water. Sure, you …

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Big Snapper Off The Rocks XI – The Big Surprise

Last week I was asked whether I was available to take a couple who were visiting Great Barrier Island fishing off the rocks. They were staying with a friend of mine and since I hadn’t been to her place, I decided to check the area out the day before. After meeting and having a chat with everyone, I walked down from the house to the bay pictured below to suss out the track and where to fish. The Spot In spite of the rain we had lately, the track was still very manageable and my plan was to fish off the point. Like most of the spots I fish regularly, this too, is a low tide spot. While this spot …

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Rockfishing With My Dad – Part III

Conditions & Tide Low tide 1630, tidal flow very strong, overcast, calm sea, no wind. Sunset at 1745, and the plan was to burley hard and catch decent snapper before it got dark. In German they say “Aller guten Dinge sind drei” (Third time’s a charm), however, they also say “Einmal ist keinmal” (Once doesn’t count), so where does that leave us? I don’t know, it’s not important anyway, what needs to be highlighted though, is that Dad and I went rockfishing, for the third time, and it was almost perfect. When I got home from work yesterday, I hurried Dad, “Come on, we need to go, where are the torches, are you ready?…” “I just made tea Son”, he …

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Rockfishing With My Dad – Part II

Dad and I went rockfishing last week again. In part one of fishing with my Dad, I wrote about how to find a suitable spot, why it is paramount not to let the less-experienced angler call the shots in terms of where, when and how to go fishing and the advantages of using a circle hook rig. We went to the same spot, a 10 minute easy walk from where we parked the car. The plan was to land a feed at dusk, instead of early in the morning like last time. So yeah, in other words, a pleasure fish off the rocks. I was also hoping to drop some fish off at my mates. Conditions & Tide Extremely calm …

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