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Very Hot Topic (More than 100 Replies) Re: Whangarei Heads (Read 141295 times)
davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #885 - Oct 20th, 2017 at 5:09am
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I am certainly winding down work wise, but I am still adding to my "bucket list". I reckon I still have about 5yrs SCUBA left, so I am planning to have a few of the (underwater) experiences I have always wanted but never found time or $s to have.

But meantime- off to the Powerstation in the dory last night to fish the last of the flood in 6M on the sand at the edge of the artificial reef.
6.30 - 8.30. Bloody cold when the SW got up.  Frozen squid, frozen bluemackerel, berley, and a mixture of light and heavy gear.

At first I was worried that we would be picked to death as we fed small snapper, but as dusk fell they seemed to come on the bite as predicted and we took a couple of nice fish.

Snapper 44, 37, 30. I only got to process the 37, which was a rapidly developing male.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #886 - Oct 27th, 2017 at 11:24am
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Same old same old.
Dory to the powerstation to fish the last of the ebb and the first of the flood in 9m. Berley, frozen squid and mullet. Mixture of light and heavy gear. Shitloads of gannet activity until right on dark, then finally caught a jack which went out under a balloon and swam about for 30 mins until we quit.
Snapper 30 female
Jack 31 male dribbling ripe
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #887 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 6:35pm
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Afternoon all that was available, and hanging out for fish, so me and Ellen drifted the dory down the shipping channel with med gear (substantial sinkers and long traces) baited with frozen mullet. The 10-15kt SE couldn't hold us  against the ebbing tide roaring out (3.5kt in the shipping channel).

One hit and one very nice fish which kept me busy for quite a while .

Not very pleasant, so Ellen and I decided to go in to Castle Rock and have a feed while we fished the back eddy with berley and hoped for a trev. No joy, so quit at 5.15 and pootled home towing a lure for 4 nice little kahawai.

Snapper 51 very ripe male with enormous testes - yummy!

Kahawai 31, 31, 31, 30 no gonads discernible.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #888 - Nov 18th, 2017 at 4:40pm
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Dory to the powerstation last Thursday night to fish the ebb in 9m. Launched at 7.10pm, first bait in the water at 7.35, and back on the beach at 9pm. Lumpy. NE swell of 1m, with the SE at 15kt knocking the top off it. Plus a bit of tide. Frozen Mullet and berley with med gear. I was on my own so there was plenty of room.

Once the berley bag was overside, I cut a couple of baits and set up rods in the holders, and then it was time to enjoy the evening and wait.  Most of the subsequent fishing operation was conducted from my beanbag, and I stood up only to fight and net a couple of nice fish. The two smaller ones were reeled up short and then swung into the cockpit pretty much at the rod tip.  I could almost hear Ellen saying "Now climb up the rod and strangle it!".

I thought the trip home was going to be a little unpleasant, with the sea fine on the bow and I eased the throttle up in stages, looking for the "sweet spot" for the load and conditions. I was surprised to find it at just short of full throttle, even where there was a fair bit of tide, so maintained a steady 11kts. Eventually, I overtook  a couple of guys in $50k worth of tinny. The conditions were wrong for their length and trim where the ebbing tide met the NE swell, and they had opted to come off the plane.

We have just had the fence/gate altered to make backing the trailer in easy (after I spent more than ten years learning to do it with he old arrangement). Haven't got the bill yet. Putting the boat to bed was super simple, and I was all done and processed by 10.15.

Snapper 51, female, 50 male, 41 female, 31 male. None of them even half as fat and ripe as the male I got in the shipping channel last week.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #889 - Nov 21st, 2017 at 3:45pm
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Fished the Powerstation with Ellen from 7.30 - 9.00 without even a nibble, so came homewards and as a last fling we decided to sit on top of Mair Bank and fish the last half hour of the flood and the first of the ebb in 7m.

Med gear, berley, mullet and squid. Took 4 good fish in a little under 2 hours and threw a couple back before going back to the ramp just on 11pm.

Snapper 43 Female, 41 Male, 41 female, 39 female  - all gonads ripening rather than running.
Kahawai 31 No gonads visible.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #890 - Dec 2nd, 2017 at 1:09pm
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Took the dory up on top of Mair Bank with a very old mate on Thursday night to fish the middle two hours of the ebb between 8pm and 10pm in 3m - 1.5m . I reckon that water depth isn't too important on the rising tide but shallow water on the ebb isn't so good and we should have anchored a bit deeper. A good bite until dark and then no interest from anything except shitloads of jacks in the berley and small snapper nowhere near legal, so came home.

Snapper 41, 39 -both female and ripeish rather than bursting and running.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #891 - Dec 6th, 2017 at 7:52pm
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Theres always joy in just being out there doing it Dav.. Head down and dont look back.  Smiley
  

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #892 - Dec 10th, 2017 at 2:51pm
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I am keeping on doing it, tho sometimes it hurts. Like Sat am when I woke feeling like some bastard had run over my upper body.

This reports on two trips

Thursday night I got out on my own from 7 - 9pm  drifting over the S edge of Mair Bank in 3-6m on my own with burley and frozen squid. Lots and lots and lots of small snapper action produced one pannie and two hours of feeding small snapper, throwing back four.

Snapper 32 female small gonads

Got out with a mate Friday night. Poor bugger had been hanging out for a fish for three stressful weeks, and I thought we would go out on top of Mair Bank to fish the middle of the flood in the dark. So we left the beach about 7.45 and pootled through the anchored and moored boats in Urquharts Bay. I was about to unleash the full 15hp of the mighty Mariner, when a shoal of sprats jumped clear about 50 m away and a couple of gannets went in. We tossed over a skirted squid type armed with a good solid double hook and trolled slowly round the Bay, taking a very nice Kahawai and then thee more small ones over the next quarter hour.

Then out to the edge of the shipping channel and 50 m beyond to the top of the bank. The sounder quit dead. Bugger! I was hoping to prospect the edge of the dropoff until dark, but even with a functioning sounder, it is quite hard to anchor and position the boat so that berley and baits are taken along the edge in 6-8m rather than out into the channel in 16m or back over the top of the bank in 1m. Shallow water is fine, but not until dark dark.

But Ryan was really keen to kill fish  and three attempts to anchor in the right place exhausted our patience, so we went back to Urquharts     Bay and trolled for another three small KY until just on dark. Then back to the top of Mair Bank in 2m with the tide racing through at 3.5knots. Good little wash from the dory at anchor and the burley bag was generating its own standing pressure wave.

The fishing was brisk as soon as it got really dark dark (as much as it ever does there with the Xmas lights of the refinery a mile to the E), and by the time we were ready to quit we had filled the icelocker and the bucket. At the end, baits were being hit by good fish before the bale arm went over, so it was cast, pay out a bit, bale arm, wind and "Shit I've got another one!". With all that tide, bringing the fish to the net was sometimes a fairly lengthy process, but we eventually quit before the fish did, and we were back on the beach by eleven.

The trip back to the beach required more concentration than usual, cos as well as the sounder having quit, the nav lights were also out, so we proceeded with some caution, on the lookout for some other irresponsible bastard at sea without lights. Today I found one of the terminal fittings had failed (or rather the wire crimped to the ring had come adrift), so neither the sounder nor the lights had power.


Processing took longer than usual, and we weren't done until 12.30am, but a couple of big heads and frames and 6KY went to the smoker, leaving one big KY for sashimi, and the snapper made a couple of big feeds for our two households and parcels for various whanau and neighbours.

An evening to remember!

KY 50, 37, 35, 33, 32, 31, 29 None ripe

Snapper 54, 45, 39, 38, 38, 38, 36, 34, 33, 33, 32. Nothing super ripe but everyone had gonads in some degree of maturity.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #893 - Dec 10th, 2017 at 7:35pm
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Always enjoy reading your reports Dave, sounds like a great night out. Had a good day up the BOI last week and came home with 12 snapper between 3 of us. On the water by 0630 but not a lot of action till 10, low tide. We called it quits about 11, no need to load up to limit bags, which looked like we could have. Fish from 16lb down to about 8, smoked the biggest 4 and 2 sets of roe.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #894 - Dec 10th, 2017 at 9:11pm
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Now those are big fish! And taken in daylight too!
Softbaits? smellies? drifting? burley? depth?
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #895 - Dec 10th, 2017 at 11:40pm
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I was on the softbaits/metal jigs and the mate and his daughter used baits. Much the same success, more fish on baits but then there where 2 of them. Started drifting not far past Tapeka 20 odd Meters amongst big bait schools and gannets but with no real bottom sign and limited success. Watching the other boats close by none seemed to be pulling in fish.
The decision was made to move out further into the true middle ground and check out some old marks I had. After stooging around a bit we found some good looking marks on the sounder holding close to the bottom. Motoring upwind we deployed the drouge and drifted, now in 42ish meters. In less than an hour we had enough fish to call it quitts and head back to Opoua.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #896 - Dec 11th, 2017 at 10:47am
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Thanks - that's very informative. It is always good to get information about how other people do it.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #897 - Dec 15th, 2017 at 10:52am
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An "interesting" afternoon on the water yesterday. I set up for diving, launched about 6.30pm, and pootled round the Gannets working in the Bay and towed a squidskirt  up harbour to Castle Rock and back to the inner channel out from McKenzie Bay. No interest.

I anchored up for a scallop dive, and discovered that my shoulders have tightened up since I had my wetsuit refitted. I couldn't do the back zip up no matter how hard I tried. Shit! Shit Shit!  But still I could dive and scallop and get moderately cold.  Then when the inflate button on my BCD jammed open, I decided the Universe was trying to tell me something, and aborted the dive plan.

So back to 4 kts towing the lure, and eventually took a med sized Kahawai 5m off the kelp along the E side of Urquharts Bay.

Kahawai 36 female with just visible gonads.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #898 - Dec 16th, 2017 at 8:24pm
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I solved my wetsuit problem with shitloads of detergent and my sticky BCD inflation valve problem with shitloads of CRC, so pootled out to get 20 scallops in the inner channel off Taurikura in the late afternoon.

All good except that 20 legal were pretty hard to come by and I burned 50 bar getting them. Still all good as I surfaced to locate the boat and then dived again to do most of the distance on the bottom in 7m.

I resurfaced with 25m to swim across the flooding tide and lost a bit of concentration, kicked sideways with my Rt foot and even though I have cut the end off my Rt fin against just that eventuality, I dislocated my Rt knee again. Bugger! Hurt like hell!

The pain and useless leg made tossing the scallops into the boat, tying off BCD, bottle and reg, shedding weightbelt and muscling that up onto the motorwell , and then getting fins off before tackling the task of getting back into the boat with a fukt knee quite a series of problems, but all was eventually well. Towed a lure home and picked up a small KY off McKenzie Bay. Then had to use a kedge to hold the boat stern to cos the SW swell on the beach/ramp at Urquharts bay kept pushing the dory sideways as I winched it on the trailer.

SCALLOPS AT WHANGAREI HEADS ARE THIN AND WATERY AND PROBABLY POISONOUS

KY 33
  
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