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Very Hot Topic (More than 100 Replies) Re: Whangarei Heads (Read 225087 times)
davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #930 - Nov 8th, 2018 at 1:27am
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A mint afternoon yesterday and I was feeling frisky straight from the Osteopath, so went out to the Chicks with a mate in my dory.

A mixed school of Trevs and small Kahawai were feeding on krill on the surface off the Old Woman. Some day I am going to get near a school with a suitable setup (fly on softbait rod probably) to see if I can catch one properly, cos various jigs and lures were (and have always been) totally ineffective. I have binned a few with a bloody gigantic treble cast over a school and jerk retrieved, but even that didn't work yesterday.

So we carried on to the Chicks and anchored in 10m over rocky kelp with the very light NW pushing us back to the sheer shore and the flooding tide taking the berley along the face. Ideal! Pillies and squid on medium gear went out the back and we settled down to wait. It wasn't long before we were steadily feeding small snapper.

I had just replaced the JW eggbeater with its ($30 special) twin and soon found that the "problem" with the old reel was actually a "problem" with the rod. It gets noisy and munts the line when I play a fish. Something to do with a bend in the rod and a sharp edge on the metal housing one of the the ceramic rod ring liners. Bugger! So it was just as well all we caught for a couple of hours were small snapper. Four in the bin and about a dozen back. The 8/0 mutsus meant that everything was lip hooked, but it was still a pain.

Just after six we took a couple of nice fish, but by 6.45, the tide slackened off and the fishing died. Not a nibble for ten mins, so we came home into the sunset and were all cleaned up and processed by 9.30.

Snapper 30, 30, 31, Females ripening 32, 39, 42 Males ripening.
  
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meathunter72
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #931 - Nov 9th, 2018 at 7:56am
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I have had success on those schooling trevs with very small jigs 7gm grim reapers.
  

Keep the wind in your face and your freezer full.
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #932 - Nov 9th, 2018 at 8:00am
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Thanks MH
I will get some and give them a go.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #933 - Nov 10th, 2018 at 10:02am
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"Boarded" by MPI Fisheries Inspectors in their flash Alloy pontoon boat this afternoon. Very happy to have everything ticketty poo, with nothing undersized and only 40 scallops (very thin and watery) in the bin.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #934 - Nov 26th, 2018 at 12:11am
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A couple of scalloping expeditions (though a couple of minutes from the Urquharts Bay ramp barely qualifies as an expedition), and then an opportunity to have a "day on the water" with Adam on Friday.

Big plans!   Light NE all day and a 3/4 full tank of gas with another 10lit up forward made the Hen or the Chicks an easy option. Crays then softbait and then scallops on the way home.

Load the fishing gear. Load the cold chicken and a couple of beers. Load the divegear! Shit! shit shit shit. Somebody taped an empty bottle! The nearest compressor is 20km away. 

Small plans! Use the 60 bar left to get scallops, then go fishing. Adam had a brand new softbait setup so that was the focus, but we also  took smellies and berley in a couple of marginally revolting frozen lumps in a bin.

So scallops sweet, and softbaited everywhere I could think of. Some good hits - monstered lime tigers, but no hookups. Eventually we had worked our way out to the Old Woman, and though there were feeding gannets and terns going in over a wide area, we just couldn't get a hit.

Tiny plans. Go home, shuck scallops and settle for an evening fish much later. Anchored and berleyed up in the inner channel from 7pm. Last of the flood. Softbaits monstered by small snapper, frozen squd very popular with the same. Bugger this!

Out to the top of Mair Bank - about halfway between the edge of the channel and the four poster. Fed more small snapper. The only excitement before dark dark was Adam catching 3 Octopussss. Hauled them right out of their holes with his new butty softbait gear. Only boated one ,but I was somewhat surprised to see him sticking his hand in very close to where I thought the beak was. I thought he was going to turn it inside out. I have read about that. I was even more surprised when he picked it up and buried his face in it and bit it!

I have read about that too. He tells me that if you do it right the animal goes limp. He didn't do it right. The octopus was about 40cm from the head to the end of its stretched out legs. Except that the legs didn't stay stretched out. They wrapped themselves all over his face and head The biggest suckers were close to a cm across. They were still sucking 20 minutes later when we were using them for bait. I can't imagine what it felt like, but it was pretty strange from my end with my son suddenly growing a squid head with writhing tentacles.

He sorted the thing out with a knife, and we thought prime bait, living bleeding smelling moving. Bloody useless. The biter had never been up to much and it stopped dead until we went back to squid.

Then it got dark and the tide started to ebb with a bit of energy, and the fishing got serious and busy until we quit just on 10pm with six in the bin and a feeling of manly virtue. (Which after the Ireland performance was sorely needed).   


Snapper 47 male 42 female 37 female 36 female 35 male 32 male all very ripe
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #935 - Dec 19th, 2018 at 1:43am
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Long time good weather with dory u/s (bloody throttle butterfly and pre Xmas rush - why can't you bastards get your boats serviced earlier?) . Then a scallop dive last Sat. Took 40. Fattest I have ever had I think. Meat from 39 scallops between 500-600 ml.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #936 - Dec 19th, 2018 at 10:08am
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Further scallop dive from a neighbour's boat this afternoon.

Note to self - before getting into the water it is good to think about how to reenter the boat. Sea elephants and icefloes - nothing graceful today.

Took 60 (spotter and boatman) and they are fat as. Meats from 60 scallops just over 900 ml. Yumm!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #937 - Jan 1st, 2019 at 6:47am
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Another trip with a different mate. His Haines Hunter hardtop is about 20 ft. Lustworthy. Sucked out a 70 bar "empty" for 28 scallops, then spent the rest of the afternoon parked up berlying on a reef in 12m between Waipu and  Ruakaka. Fed small snapper and lost a couple of big Kahawai. Put a couple of snapper and four small trevs in the bin. By the time anyone figured the berley, bait and gas they were expensive fish.

Snapper 31, 35 both male. Trev 26, 28, 28. 28.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #938 - Jan 1st, 2019 at 6:54am
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Last Friday set out to actually kill fish rather than "go fishing". Launched from Urquharts Bay at 7.30 pm and parked on top of Mair Bank to fish the first of the flood in the dusk in 4m. Burley, frozen squid. As soon as it got dark. we were busy. Took 6 in about an hour.

A big feed of male roe has so far not produced any popup ads for gay diving liveaboards.!

Snapper 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 39. All male but none very ripe.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #939 - Jan 4th, 2019 at 7:01am
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A big feed of male roe has so far not produced any popup ads for gay diving liveaboards.!

Whats sort of bait do you reckon would be good for tht Dav.

All the best for the coming year too. May you fish till the tide goes out.  Grin
  

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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #940 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 12:08am
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Your good wishes are appreciated.

Ellen and I took the dory to the top of Mair Bank last Friday to fish the first couple of hours of the flood over dusk/dark/darkdark. The summer plague of Jaffas is nearly over and maritime behavior has gradually improved, but a few still continue to drive their pwcs and a variety of fizzboats and gin palaces too fast, too close and too often towing biscuits and skiers through the divers  and kayaks and people fishing at anchor. I am clearly becoming (or have become) a grumpy old man and I sometimes find myself wondering about .50cal Hotchkiss, RPGs and even personal nuclear weapons.

But by 7.30 pm peace is usually restored, and though the smell of reindeer shit clearly lingers in the inner channel, it is still business as usual out on Mair Bank. We generally fish the rising tide a couple of hundred meters on the seaward side of a line between #10 Buoy and the four poster, and about halfway between them. 3m at the very bottom of the tide and correspondingly more as it rises. Small snapper until it gets dark and the tide starts to rip through.

Berley, frozen squid and some very mushy blue mackerel (which proved very popular when the bite started as dusk turned to dark. At that stage every bait was being monstered as it drifted back down the berley trail into the strike zone. Busy fishing.

The only unusual catch was an eagle ray of a bit over 70cm span that kept me busy for a good ten minutes before we pulled it alongside and cut the leader. It had just about completely lost the blue spots, but it still retained the juvenile pale yellow color.  I think every other one I have seen at that size has had the dark adult coloration.

Snapper 39, 38, 37, 36, 34, 34, 32, 31, 30, 30. None ripe and most well regressed.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #941 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 12:21pm
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Good result and I appreciate a good old man grump report, make me feel normal and right at home Grin
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #942 - Jan 16th, 2019 at 6:51am
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Completly understand the grumpy bit. Always a pleasure to read the reports.
  

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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #943 - Mar 18th, 2019 at 12:12pm
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Two months with no local activity. Had an absolute blast diving off a liveaboard in the Coral Sea and then felt really tired after I came home.

Quite a lot of days when the weather was suitable and I could have hurried through my work and then gone fishing, but found I just couldn't be bothered. Getting old is a real bastard! Then I went off to Whananaki for a menz workshop for for five days and watched the bulk of the other 80 guys cavorting and frolicking and fishing, diving, kayaking and sailing in the bay while I sat under a pohutukawa and drank coffee. And when that was over I still didn't feel motivated.

So what eventually moved me yesterday was the need to get my buoyancy sorted in a new heavy suit and vest/hood and bootees and neoprene gloves before I go off to Fijordland with my son so I can SCUBA while the testosteone poisoned young ones spearfish and slaughter deer. 

So a scallop dive before the season ends. Pootled out in the dory with a neighbour and got sorted. 16kg  on my belt and another 4 in my BCD does it nicely, and I took 40 scallops and then softbaited without result for the numbers of easily legal snapper hanging around on the bottom. The inner channel has been thrashed all season with 10+ divers every weekend day, but there are still legal scallops there. I took 40 for 100 bar.

Scallops are well past their best. Only two out of 40 were fat and bright enuff to count as first class fare.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #944 - Mar 20th, 2019 at 11:18pm
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Ya never can tell!

Pootled out for another 40 scallops to the inner channel off Taurikura in the mid afternoon. I saw some legal snapper last time I was on the bed a few days ago, so I encouraged Ellen to bring her gear and, thawed some squid so she could keep herself amused while I gathered scallops below. I thought she might take one legal fish in the 45 mins I would be gone.

But my regulator was still on the peg in the cupboard, so there we were, anchored in 8m over a flat featureless bottom in the middle of the afternoon. Bugger! - but might as well fish. Immediate interest, and in a little less than an hour we took 4 legal snapper and a trev.

Snapper 32, 31, 30, 30, All females regressed to the point they were hard to sex.
Trev 32 Male ripish
  
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