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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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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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 V – Great Barrier Island

In my youth, I aspired to be great at table tennis, arguably the sport they play in heaven, but ultimately, I spent heaps of time in gymnasiums and only thought about my choice of sport more consciously, years after playing actively, when a flatmate asked why anyone would want to spend a lot of time in a closed, unnatural environment and chase a ball with a racket. Duuh, it’s the sport they play in heaven, do I need say anything more? Rockfishing Is A Sport Imagine, however, mixing some of the things you enjoy most (nature, fresh air, the sea, walking, fresh food), spicing them up with adventure, excitement, and if you like, danger, the unknown factor, physical activity and, …

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Kingfish Off The Rocks IV – Great Barrier Island

On my last mission – some ten days ago – I landed a 12 lbs+ snapper off the rocks, after a challenging and long fight on light tackle. The fishing was even better two days ago, on another landbased fishing adventure with my top friend Chritian visiting from Germany. We planned to fish the outgoing tide and arrived at our destination rightt on the high tide mark. We deploying a small burley bomb and stray-lined squid and pilchards. Christian spotted immediately – while I was sorting out some gear – a big snapper in the burley trail and by the time I had a bait in the water, there were plenty of small bait fish and some other biggish snapper …

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Kingfish Off The Rocks III – Aotea

We had a few interesting and at times exhausting fishing sessions last week, and just a few days before my mate Paul had to leave to the main land, conditions were not too bad to take him to the Cape. Being a seasoned kingfish angler who has extensively fished the coastlines of the tip of the Coromandel Peninsular, Paul had always fantasized about a rockfishing adventure at Cape Barrier, looking at the Coromandel instead of the other way round. It would be our last fishing adventure for 2013 and the start of it was undoubtedly quite interesting.

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.

Kingfish Off The Rocks I – Great Barrier Island

I got up early again, eager for a quick, early fish off the rocks. The idea was to go hard for a couple of hours and be back at the car at 0900. All my gear was packed and I left home at 0500, the sun wasn’t up yet but there was enough light to see where I was going, although the sky was very dark. The sea-forecast mentioned rain and it sure looked like it could pour down any minute. Half an hour later Rani and I were walking on the beach, it was dribbling a bit. No wind at all, much more cloud cover than the previous day, a bit warmer as well. Good and comfortable conditions really; …

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