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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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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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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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.

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.

Big Snapper Off The Rocks IX – Aotea

I was feeling energetic walking along the coast with the fishing pack on the back, the rods in one hand and the bucket with bait and burley in the other. It was Sunday morning, about 10 o’clock, and the plan was to arrest a few fish for dinner. I was so eager about this rockfishing mission that I even took the live-bait rod. Burley hard, catch a decent snapper and send a live bait out under a balloon before low tide at 12 o’clock. Not a bad plan… Conditions seemed great, the sky was overcast, the wind variable and the sea slight. As I was walking up and down those big boulders, telling Rani for the x-th time to either …

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Big Snapper Off The Rocks VIII – GBI

A successful fishing mission usually starts out with a solid plan. Watching the sun rise over Medland’s Beach on a beautiful morning on Great Barrier Island, I anticipated that we were in for a treat today. Mateo had contacted me a few days earlier and since he seemed very keen (about fishing) and was heading to the Barrier, we arranged to go for a serious fish off the rocks.

Big Snapper Off The Rocks VII – Great Barrier Island

In this part of my Big Snapper Off The Rocks series, I write in detail about how I target big snapper. On this particular day, well more an adventure than just day, I got up early and by about 0700 I had the burley deployed; low tide was at 0800. The sea was moderate, no swell, but a lot of wash hitting the rocks, the winds were slight.

Big Snapper Off The Rocks VI – Great Barrier Island

I had a remarkable landbased fishing session on Easter Friday. I listened to the marine forecast, looked at the tides, climbed up a tree and had a good look at the harbour. Well, things looked quite promising and I decided to go to a spot close by for a quick snapper fish. Also decided to only take one rod and reel and to pack light, leaving most of my gear at home. Pre-tied 5 rigs and took only the bare essentials. I was keen on burleying up, but the shop didn’t have any and I decided to purchase two packets of frozen pilchards. One for casting, the other for cubing and attracting the big snapper.