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Very Hot Topic (More than 100 Replies) Re: Whangarei Heads (Read 157454 times)
luvinit
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #900 - Dec 31st, 2017 at 7:19am
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was off the power station bouys yesterday 3pm -730 for two throws backs and then drifted back towards entrance and managed one b4 we pulled the plug at 9. water was 21 but no fish. Sad
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #901 - Jan 2nd, 2018 at 7:48am
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My son and his fiancee have been spearing fish (boarfish bloody amazing eating), so I havent been out, but a guy on the ramp last night had got a limit of big fish (40cm - 8lb) on top of Mair Bank on the flood in the late afternoon with softbaits.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #902 - Jan 4th, 2018 at 10:52am
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Bucket list dive!

Have been wanting to dive Bream Rock for nearly forty years, but have always been too chicken (or smart) to do it without a boatman/person or the sounder has been temperamental or.......

Anyway - I had a chance to get out there with my son and fiancee and get in and drop over the edge while they shot KY and trevs to satisfy our lust for sashimi.

Vis was 20m+ right down to the thermocline at 28m, but it was dirty below that to the bottom at about 35m. Lovely dive. Kina barrens and patches of kelp on the top, and lotsa sponges and hydroid trees below 20m where the weed finally gave out. 

Sweep and Demoiselles spawning and more Red Moki than I have ever seen anywhere. Usually if you see Red Moki in the open there  will be a cave or overhang somewhere nearby, but no caves and bugger all cracks so I didn't see even a little cray. Did see a yellow moray easily more than a metre, and I can't remember when I last saw one that big.

I quit with 80bar left with the idea of picking up a cray on the way home at #7 buoy, but even with a good sounder, we couldn't find the rock and by then tide was ripping through, so we would have needed to drop the pick right on it so I could hand over hand down the warp. 

Besides - by then I had also spent about three hours being boatman while the spearos slaughtered Kingi, Snapper and Boarfish around Bream Head and Guano, so I was starting to feel my age a bit.

The rock at #7 Buoy can wait for another day.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #903 - Jan 4th, 2018 at 11:15am
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Sounds like good fun. Good to have a bit of young blood around to keep you adventurous Wink
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #904 - Jan 12th, 2018 at 2:32pm
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Me and Ellen took my Dory to peach Cove for a short and dirty SCUBA for a look around.
Towed a squid skirt most of the way there and picked up some small KY before being broken off by something humungous which did its best to pull me overboard (since I had the lure line wrapped round my arm a couple of times as I held the tiller. Exciting! Probably a kingi since we were just off Busby Head.

Vis at Peach Cove was crap (<6m), but there were lotsa small baitfish and a JD stalking them. Lotsa weedy fish and good weed and crevice fauna and another big congregation of red moki with no cavern nearby. Must be a spawning phenomenon.

KY 38, 32, 31  Sashimi tonight!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #905 - Jan 13th, 2018 at 6:44pm
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Your still scuba diving.. good show.  Smiley
  

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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #906 - Jan 16th, 2018 at 10:16pm
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Yup, and took a charter with Yukon Dive out to the Poor Knights yesterday with Ellen. Neat dive in the garden and Wall, but most impressive was the big school of Bluefish that was hanging round. Haven't seen a bluefish since the last one I shot at C Brett in 1980. Stoked that they are coming back into the reserve.

I had a good day, but neither of us felt like a second dive, even tho we had planned to do two.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #907 - Jan 18th, 2018 at 5:01pm
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Good onya Dav. Head down and keep moving forwards. Your either on the bus or off the bus.
  

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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #908 - Mar 17th, 2018 at 10:22am
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Nearly two months without a fish - no wonder I have been hanging out!

Mind you six weeks of that was very painful. In late January I went out on a charter boat to the Poor Knights (first time for nearly twenty years). No diving ladder so it was a "seal onto ice floe" (or in my case a geriatric sea elephant) type manoever to get onto the boarding platform. Successfully launched myself out of the water onto the boarding platform, but landed with my tank pressure gauge between the platform and my ribs. Much pain, followed by six weeks of debility -  afraid to breathe deeply, cough, or laugh.

So last night I planned a trip to the top of Mair Bank to fish the last of the flood at dusk. But the fuel fitting on the 15hp mariner had broken and been replaced with a new one while I was "ribbed". And the new one didn't fit the hose from the tank. Shit! Double Shit!

So I mumblef**ked for about ten minutes before it occurred to me that I had a perfectly serviceable dinghy on the beach and there would be snapper in the Inner Channel just off the W point of McKenzie Bay.

So I rowed out and had a bait in the water at 7pm. Fed squid  to small snapper for an hour before the last of the mullet was thawed enuff to get two baits off (barely worth bringing it), and boated a nice fish around 8pm (nearly Dark) took another couple in the next half hour  and then a little Trev which managed to swallow a squid head on an 8/0 Mutsu. Sashimi if it isn't one of the small ones that taste bitter (some do).

Mint evening. Orange sky and big dark clouds going SW to drop their load on the Brynderwyns , and the Cook's Petrel that still lives on the Headland came home and detoured to investigate my berley right on dark dark.

Snapper 39, 36, 34. Indeterminate
Trevally 25 - too young to be thinking of sex.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #909 - Apr 2nd, 2018 at 6:38am
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On 21st March, with a new fuel fitting for the dory hose, it was out for an evening fish on top of Mair Bank as the ebb started to strengthen. Berley and squid as usual, with a mixture of light and med gear.
The trip got off to a really good start with a good KY, so with dinner assured, we were quite happy to feed small snapper for half an hour or so. Eventually put a couple in the bin, and right on dark a nice fish.
KY 52
Snapper 31, 32, 41.

Scallop season just about finished, and the inner channel has been hammered every weekend and most evenings during the week for a while, with up to 20 boats flying dive flags, but there are still scallops in among the moorings off the Urquharts bay ramp. So got out on 29th, 30th, and 31st to have a last pillage and put a couple of packs in the freezer.
Buddy diving for scallops is pretty unsatisfying, so Ellen and I tend to alternate, so one can be boatperson while the other gathers. I noted lotsa  snapper over the scallop beds when I was down. They looked legal or close so I tried a bit of squid on a longline hook. Two legal fish at 2pm right among the moored boats 50m off the beach. bugger me!
Snapper 30, 30 Female - some gonad development.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #910 - Apr 2nd, 2018 at 5:37pm
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Always enjoy reading your reports Dav..  Smiley
  

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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #911 - Apr 3rd, 2018 at 5:48pm
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Coupla afternoons in the dory.

Yesterday was mint. Bugger all breeze from the SW. Light airs really, with the odd mirror patches on the water and the rest with tiniest ruffles.

"Go to sea!" she said. "I need some time on my own!". How I suffer!

An hour trolling a squid skirt from Busby Head  to Castle Rock past a few really lovely shorescapes produced a nice Kahawai, which I dropped off at Mckenzie Bay with a phone rendezvous on the beach. Then off to the seaward end of Mair Bank at a bit before 4pm. Tide flooding about a knot and still pretty bright in only 4m, so didn't expect much for a while. I was thinking that in the dusk and even after dark dark, with the tide taking baits and berley right up on the bank I would take some good fish.

But in the meantime, I tossed a couple of big bitsa squid well back on med gear, and set up the berley. Mussel berley isn't what it used to be. Lotsa shell and it doesn't seem to produce too much visually, even when new, but there I was, 50m up the bank from the narrowest part of fairway, with everything set up and the sun shining on the beanbag in the sheltered cockpit. Coffee and tucker to hand. Tugs and logships  and boats of all shapes and sizes from PWCs to god knowswhat coming and going over the next couple of hours. But the big ones would be aground before they hit me, and none of the small ones had any reason to come anywhere near me. So I lazed in the late afternoon sun.

And twice the Starboard rod got hit, and pulled string, and both times I eventually brought a nice Kahawai to net.

The second time was interesting though.  The wind had gone round to the E, and got up to gust around 8kt, and the tide was really ripping through at a bit more than two kts and hitting the edge of the bank (such as it is). Some of the bigger shipping was making waves. All of this square on my starboard beam, cos the tide and the anchor were holding me heading S.  No problem at all in a beanbag. No problem seated in the cockpit pumping and winding. No problem standing braced in the hatchway  pumping and winding a little more circumspectly.

You have to leave the hatchway and stand in the cockpit to net a fish. My net is quite new. I got one of those rubber ones. Try holding one of those at full arm stretch completely underwater against a couple of knots of current. Good! now lift the rod in your other hand to bring the fish closer to the net and coordinate all that with the roll and odd lurch. I was a happy lad when that one was finally on ice.

With 3 good Kahawai, we had more than enuff, so I came home to find Ellen had already processed the one from earlier and it was very fresh Kahawai for tea (and every meal since!)

KY 56, 53, 51.

  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #912 - Apr 3rd, 2018 at 7:52pm
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headcase wrote on Apr 2nd, 2018 at 5:37pm:
Always enjoy reading your reports Dav..  Smiley


What that man said.

Cool Cool
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #913 - Apr 3rd, 2018 at 8:00pm
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I got summoned to eat more fresh Kahawai before I finished raving about today, but now I'm fed and happy so -

Tons of fish in the fridge, but another mint day and a hard morning with some difficult problems, so I jumped at the offer of a snorkle with Ellen.

Dory to the Frenchman and cruised the kelp forest inside it and along the shore to Busby Head (where Ellen got "buzzed" by about a dozen kingis that were "easily legal". I was happy to see a big male butterfish, and noticed shitloads of parore under 150mm. Must be a good yearclass, though I have no idea how quickly they grow.

New belt - rubber, very comfortable. But took it off and held the wrong end and dropped three of the weights off the end. Shit. Double shit.
I will have to go back with a tank tomorrow and have a look.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #914 - Apr 7th, 2018 at 9:18pm
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Four weights!
And I thought it would be a breeze - but even wringing the tank out 70 bar wasn't enuff to find them. I'll have to go back. And do it properly.

It is a really nice bit of the local underwater world. Really high relief territory, with a whole variety of angles and surfaces and cracks, and everything except the sandy guts smothered in kelp, with all the usual stuff underneath.

Yesterday there was something "going on" with the red mullet on the sand. About sixty, all sizes from 15 - 30 cm in an area the size of an average double garage. Some feeding, some apparently paired (but no flashy colors so maybe not?). Some nearly legal snapper hanging about in midwater. But I kept looking for the weights.

And on the way home took three nice KY on a trolled squid skirt in the little stretch between Home Pt and the beach at Urqharts Bay. I recently got told by a commercial fisherman that it is better not to cut kahawai or trevs until they have been in the chiller or fridge overnight, and we have room, so I tried it. No processing whatever. Out of ice seawater, triple plastic bag, and straight and into the fridge. I processed them this morning. Easy work. Beautiful firm, white, creamy flesh.

Kahawai 54, 46,46
  
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