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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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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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

Having my dad over for a visit is great. It is his first time on beniSland and one thing I wanted to make sure of was that his first rockfishing mission on the Barrier would be a success. Partly because I want him to land and eat decent fish, but also because I would probably not hear the end of it, if I took him fishing and we ended up empty-handed. Fishing is an awesome sport and I’ve come to notice that anyone feels like an expert and is hardly ever shy of making suggestions, theorising and making conclusive remarks based on, well, pure assumption and thin air. When it comes to taking less experienced people rockfishing I’ve learned that …

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Kingfish Off The Rocks VIII

On our last rockfishing mission, Paul and I targeted kingis on the east coast of the Island. It was a great day, there was no wind at all, the small swell was also very manageable. I was anticipating to hook into a 40 pound fish, that was the goal… Conditions & Tide Sunday, 01.03.2015, Great Barrier Island, calm sea, half a meter swell developing, hot, clear sky, variable 5 knots of wind. Low tide at 1100. We had the burley deployed and the first baits in the water by about 09ish. Catching a Kahawai – Using Two Rod & Reel Setups There used to be a time, when schools of kahawai were frantically swimming in the burley trail and picking …

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Kingfish Off The Rocks VII – Great Barrier Island

My friend Paul from the UK is here, visiting the Barrier during his annual rockfishing holiday. We’ve been going hard, walking the extra mile, buying the extra burley, getting up early and all the rest. However, we experienced extremely poor fishing too many times in the first week of his visit. We had a great session last Saturday and Sunday though, and, once again, were proven that it’s best to go fishing when the conditions are right. Conditions & Timing Saturday, 28.02.2015, Great Barrier Island, calm sea, hot, no cloud in the sky, variable 5 knots of wind. Low tide at 1000. We had the burley deployed and the first bait in the water at about 08ish. Early Morning Low …

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101 Things I Know About Rockfishing

There is quite a bit to rockfishing, and I want to find out what the most important 101 things to know are. In order to obtain a comprehensive list of practical and useful tips that will guarantee more and bigger fish at the end of your line, I collect things that have worked out for me in this article. Some of these suggestions are a result of empirical knowledge, a lot has been shared with me. Hopefully, there will be feedback from like-minded fishos and we can compile such a list together. 1. when stray lining, fish a big and a medium-sized rod simultaneously. 2. fresh bait stays better on the hook and big fish go crazy for it. 3. …

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Kingfish Off The Rocks VI – Great Barrier Island

As my friend Sinclair put it some time ago, “there is quite a bit to rockfishing”. The plan for yesterday was to target and arrest kingfish. Everything went according to plan and we experienced spectacular rockfishing action. We landed a kingi, but what we saw next was huge. 500 kg of huge and it almost took our bait. Conditions & Timing Sunday, 01.02.2015, Great Barrier Island, calm sea, cloudy, variable tail wind and very warm. Choosing the right time might not seem that straight forward but with low tide at 1230, I felt confident that there was no need to get up early. We had the burley deployed and the first bait in the water at 1020, the first kingi …

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Kingfish Off The Rocks II – Great Barrier Island

Finally, I get a chance to write in more detail about our recent land based fishing adventure. As any keen angler, I also enjoy putting friends onto the fish. At times this can prove difficult, mostly because fishing is not always the highest priority, but that is not an issue with my English bud Paul. He is an expert on catching kingfish off the rocks. He’s dedicated, very experienced and most of the times well prepared, and he uses the word kingi a lot during a day.

Big Snapper Off The Rocks X – The 20 Pounder

Sunday morning (04-11-14), 0630, Great Barrier Island, Tryphena. While the rooster is crowing, I’m putting pre-tied rigs into my fishing pack and am getting ready to head out. My plan is simple but sound. It is a calm day, slightly overcast, a northerly wind will develop later in the morning, low tide is at 0930 and while most are still in their beds, Rani – the fishing dog – and I are about to embark on a land-based fishing adventure.