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Very Hot Topic (More than 100 Replies) Re: Whangarei Heads (Read 140783 times)
davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Dec 13th, 2007 at 11:42am
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Hi Guys
I am starting a new thread in this section because the Whagarei Heads thread in "Saltwater Fishing" is becoming a fishing log which would be better here.  Anyway -
Out to no 7 buoy this afternoon.  Fished for just over an hour with tide half ebb with mullet bait.  Two pannies - 35 partially spent male, and 33 very ripe female.
  
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crayfish5
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #1 - Dec 14th, 2007 at 8:32am
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nice one its been to rough to get out at mangawhai, cant wait to get back out there get into some kingis
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #2 - Dec 15th, 2007 at 9:30am
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The weather hasn't been too good.  I went out to No 7 buoy on Friday and fished the last of the flood and the first hour and a half of the ebb. No snapper, but some excitement with a 1.2-1.5m Bronze Whaler.  I was fishing two heavy tackle rods - heavily swivelled 8oz sinkers and a 20m heavy trace 6/0 circle mutsu and mullet.  One went off and stripped off 20m not particularly fast, but against heavy drag.  Then, just as the other rod went off the first went slack.  I fought the second rod for about 15 mins, and I thought I had a big snapper.  Powerful rushes with big nods and lotsa weight on the line in between.  Eventually brought the sinker aboard.  By that time the fish was done -still nodding but mainly a big weight.  Handed the last 20m almost straight up.  The shark was absolutely beautiful!  It glowed. It looked as if it had been sprayed delicate bronzy pink with a metalic flake in it.  I would have loved to have seen what it would taste like, but there was no way I was bringing it into the dinghy, so I kept shortening up on the trace to get as much of it as I could back before I cut it.  As the shark was rolled onto its back by the pull of the trace I was surprised how small the teeth were.  The gape was about what I expected (say 200-250mm) but the teeth seemed much smaller than the cleaned jaws of that size I have seen - perhaps the gums hide them until they try to bite.  White pointers jaws seem to swivel to expose the teeth.   Both the hooks were in the top jaw, and I could see the trace from the first rod was trailing. I was thinking about making a grab for that when the shark moved its head and the second trace went across the teeth and that was that.  Neat  The trace from the first rod had been cut clean a metre from the  sinker, but I got almost all of the second one back.
The only other excitement was when a guy in a tinny "Rampage"  alongside hooked into a big ray which went around both my sets of gear.  I had a rod in each hand with the line zapping off at a great rate, and no chance of doing anything except holding the rod tips up and hoping he would stop it before I was spooled.  He was eventually broken off, and my lines went slack, but they were both intact, baita and all (unfortunately).
  
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cb
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #3 - Dec 16th, 2007 at 6:32pm
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bloody hell. i was at no7 on fri afternnoon till about 7. caught endless snapper and a small kingi. also a very nice blue cod.
Took out some work associates from down south who were blown away and got to take home about ten fish. lovin it.
hard case picking up a bronzy.  Smiley
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #4 - Dec 16th, 2007 at 9:27pm
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I was in the right place at the wrong time.  Bugger.  So you fished the last half of the ebb and the first hour and a half of the flood?  Have you found positioning at no 7 critical?  I have been fishing about 70m inshore of the buoy and about 100 m seaward of it.  Should I have been further into the channel?
  
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cb
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #5 - Dec 17th, 2007 at 1:19am
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i find anywhere within 50mtrs of it is fine, however when that current starts wrecking your efforts i go in towards home point just off the current. i'll probably be out there tonight after work.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #6 - Dec 17th, 2007 at 8:27am
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Thanks for the info on positioning.  I'm busy as tonite, hope you did well.  If I am a good boy and work hard I will maybe get out for a few hours late tomorrow.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #7 - Dec 26th, 2007 at 10:21am
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Fished No 7 for an hour and a half Xmas morning - Three quarters flood, heavy gear with salted bonito for pannie snapper - 34 ripening male, 33 partially spent female,  and 30 immature female. A 27 went back.  I think the foul that emerges as Home Pt reef must go nearly to the buoy,  I got picked to death, which often indicates cover for small fish where there is lotsa tide, and left my little danforth buoyed when it became hopelessly fouled.  I'll have a dive there at slack water tomorrow.  I used to cray dive the area in the 70s and spear kingies round the buoys, but I don't remember the reef going out that far towards No 7.  Perhaps an isolated rock with my anchor wrapped round it.  Lets hope it also has a shallow cave lined with feelers!
  
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cb
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #8 - Dec 26th, 2007 at 9:51pm
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we've been having a hard time of it. getting a few but mostly small as. a couple of trevs of reasonable size and four?!?!? octipus. we fished 7 for ages the other day for crap results then near dark moved over between the two red bouys and out into the bay a bit adn started getting nice pannies. bit bloody windy at the moment.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #9 - Dec 27th, 2007 at 11:36am
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Went out to get my anchor from 50m on the Hope Pt side of No 7 buoy last night at 5pm slack water..  About 15m of very dirty water.  Went down the fouled anchor line to really unusual territory.  Medium relief foul.  Bommies 3-4m high on a broken rocky bottom.  Shitloads of butterfly perch (probably saw 200 in the 5 mins I was down there in 3m vis) I have never seen such numbers this far north (except 3 kings where the water temp is lower).  Also saw about a dozen red moki, and spectacular sponges and hydroids all over the place.  There would be 1-2kt of current there most of the time, so it is only diveable at slack water.  My little danforth was fouled on a loop of 30mm diameter terylene that hadn't been there too long and which had been left wrapped around the bommies by some larger vessel.  Once I had cleared my anchor, I found there was nowhere to put it where it would hold but not foul, so there wasn't really any opportunity for any exploration.  Next time!
Came in to the inner channel inside Calliope Is and fished the rising tide in about 6m with light gear til dusk.  12 snapper from legal to 33, most spent or immature (probably put another dozen back), a couple of small trevs and a ripe female trev 38cm.  Me and Ellen got spooled and busted off four times between us.  Thought it was big trevs or kahawai , but when we finally got to see one before being broken it was hoodlum kingis.  Probably not quite legal, but still a pissoff.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #10 - Dec 30th, 2007 at 9:21pm
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My partner got skunked last night in the inner channel despite fishing til almost dusk.  She still had a nice time. We need some raw fish for the New Year so I went out early this am to no 7 for the last two hours of the ebb.  Heavy Gear, mullet, then over to the Mair Bank side for a drift up harbour for the first hour of the flood.  Not even a bite.  A guy in a Zego was fishing a nuclear chicken on the drift up the main channel, and I saw him take one reasonable fish, and I passed a guy on the Mair Bank side who claimed to have a binful to 4kg on squid.  Bummer aye!
  
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cb
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #11 - Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:47am
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tough life. we fished parua bay entrance night before last to fill up with yellow tails for bait. ended up using half of them. big baits(to beat the tiddlers and yellow tails), bit of a wait but some nice snapper.

jigged the bouys at the entrance a coupkle days back but just stacks of ratties.
  
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crayfish5
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #12 - Dec 31st, 2007 at 7:08am
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Been out at the hen and chicks last couple of days,bugger all snapper to be found but been having a ball with the kingi's.Lost a lot of gear to better fish but have managed to catch a couple around 11kg time to get some heavier gear.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #13 - Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:39pm
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Lovely day yesterday - fished Peach cove and the shore between Smugglers and Peach most of the afternoon without anything but Jacks and had a most unproductive scallop dive on my usual marks in Smugglers.  Then stopped off in the inner channel inside Calliope Is and fished for two hours until dark.   Thirteen pannie snapper from 28 to 42cm and a JD on mulllet and fresh jack.  Five smaller went back.  No Kahawai or Trevs and the little kingis that took lotsa gear last time were elsewhere.  V light gear (2.5kg). The 42cm snapper would have broken me off last week, but I have just started using the  method of tying braid that is shown on the Paul's Fishing Kites site - feeding the braid inside a sleeve made from dacron line before knotting.  Works a treat!
  
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iceman
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #14 - Jan 3rd, 2008 at 8:04am
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Cool
  
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MumDadand3kids
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #15 - Jan 4th, 2008 at 9:55am
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Hi,new to this forum. Got new boat and Me Dad and the 3 kids (aged 3 to 8) are getting out into the harbour. Where can we go to get some pannie snappers to feed our kids and show them that fish come from the sea not the shop? We've launched from Onerahi and One Tree Point (rather posh place that is) but as yet no keepers to be found. We're not greenies. We've fished heaps down Leigh way. Can only fish in the day when the water is smooth (couple of the kids get sea sick). Kids tucked up in bed at night. Any tips much appreciated. I know the best secrets will not be revealed but whens the best fishing time in terms of the tide? And perhaps the  rough area of ya 2nd and 3rd best spots. Only want a feed!!!!! Cheers  Wink
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #16 - Jan 5th, 2008 at 7:22am
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Here's my ten cents worth.

Launch at Urquarhts Bay.  Head out through the boats and turn Rt before you get to the island (Calliope Island).  You passed Urquharts Wharf as you drove to the ramp. It is about 400m up harbour from the ramp in the inner channel.  Drop your pick so you finish up 150 m out from and slightly seaward (on the ramp side) of the wharf.  You should now be on the very edge of the channel on the Island side of it in 6-7m of water. 

Burley if you can.  Use the lightest gear you have, but big hooks 6/0 or Paul's fishing kites modified hooks will stop you from having little snapper swallow your bait.  Salted Bonito  (yeah Iceman I know theyre skipjack tuna) $20/ bucket  from New World has worked best for me.  Berley and Sabikis will usually catch you jacks.   Change of light works best. 

This is my best spot - it can blow 35kts from E or N and still be fishable.  I can fish it in my dinghy in 25kts SW but it isnt comfortable and I wouldnt take kids out there in anything more than 15 kts SW.  I have caught more fish there than anywhere else.  Summer snapper - trevs and kahawai and kingis at other times.  Look through this thread and the Whangarei Heads thread in "Saltwater Fishing".

Everything I have said above (except the location) is subject to change.  I have been skunked on a rising tide at dusk with berley, bonito and fresh jacks, and I have had a dozen keepers in an hour in the same circumstances.  I have got good feeds at midday on a falling tide (sometimes).  This afternoon I was out there with guests in mid afternoon and one hooked a 45cm snapper on kingi gear about 30sec after she threw a chunk of salted mullet in the tide and before any berley went in.  Then we got nothing for two hours -not even jacks, tho berleying bigtime.  Eventually I opened the emergency supply of squid, and we took another three pannies on the ultra light gear.

Good luck and keep us posted on your adventures
  
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MumDadand3kids
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #17 - Jan 5th, 2008 at 9:26am
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Thanks for that davflaws. We will certainly give this a try though not for at least another week as we are off to Wellington. Most definately will let you know how we get on. Maybe you'll see us out there in our fyran. you'll recognise us by the noise of 3 screaming kids. come and say hello and tell us to bugger off if we are in ya spot. Really enjoy your post and have bookmark for future reference. Love hearing how others get on. Next best thing to being out there since we don't get many opportunities. Cheers Jan.
  
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MumDadand3kids
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #18 - Jan 5th, 2008 at 9:28am
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p.s i think all that information might have been worth more than 10 cents.  Grin
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #19 - Jan 7th, 2008 at 11:29am
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It goes to show ya never can tell.  Took some guests desperate to catch a fish out to the inner channel at 5pm tonite to fish the last two hours of the flood.  Wind against tide was unpleasant, and an hour and a  half of berley, and  trying mullet, mackerel and squid (all salted) with light gear produced not a single bite. 

So out to the main channel between the port hand buoys and Mair Bank just on the harbour side of Home Pt for the last of the flood.  Heavy gear, mullet and mackerel, no bites.   

So jigged all the channel markers up harbour  to the reserve and soft baited the oil wharf for an hour.  No hits.

Decided to stop briefly in the inner channel again on the way back to the ramp.  About 8.30pm. First hour of the ebb.  First fish before the berley hit the water, fished for an hour for eight pannies to 33cm and a good JD (livebait).  Once the snapper started to bite they were happy to eat anything
  
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cb
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #20 - Jan 7th, 2008 at 6:58pm
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were you just off the island dav? you aren't wrong about that wind against tide last night.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #21 - Jan 8th, 2008 at 12:31am
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Hi Luke.  We were in a blue and orange dory, and fished the inner channel a lot closer to Urquharts Wharf than Calliope Is from 5-6.30 and again from about 8 to dark.  My mate Kerry from AK was in a 440 Fyran much closer to the Island and to seaward from about 7-9pm  He took 6 pannies from 30cm to about five pounds.  I know he used to fish braid and softbaits, and he was fishing with braid last night, but I don't know whether he took those fish on softbait.
He reports huge schoos of trevs and hordes of not quite legal kingis about a mile off Taiharuru and big snapper on the foul about 2-3 miles off.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #22 - Jan 8th, 2008 at 11:05am
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Took a guest for a dusk fish in the inner channel tonite - further towards Calliope Is than I usually fish since my mate got good fish there last night (see prev post).  Our limited berley was soon gone, but sabikis produced livies (small Trevs) on the bottom for a dory and under a balloon for a kingi (no luck with either), and we settled down to fish our lightly weighted 2.5kg braid well back in the ebbing tide.  Thirteen pannies from 29 to 38cm in just over two and a half hours. A few smaller went back. They kept biting long after any trace of berley remained.  They also seemed to be biting freely no matter what bait -squid, mackerel, frozen jack, mullet, or nuclear chicken.  The only thing they didn't seem too interested in was the Atomic chatreuse wiggler.  We both got the impression that the fish got bigger as it got dark. No wind, but bloody wet.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #23 - Jan 17th, 2008 at 10:43am
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I havent been out for a week, and have been hanging out for fresh fish so got out tonight  in the inner channel.  No berley to speak of but minced some mackerel from time to time.  Not much action until just on dark then lots. In about an hour and a half boated nine pannnies 32-39cm on a light gear with a variety of baits (mullet, squid, mackerel and jack) and a 40cm trev on a nuclear chicken (the same one used a week ago).  Definite increase in the size of fish and freedom and boldness of the bite as dusk deepened.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #24 - Jan 22nd, 2008 at 11:26am
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Inner Channel in 6m with light gear, berley, mullet, squid, and mackerel.  Fished two rods for the first hour of the ebb until dark. Pannies 28, 29,31, 34cm.  All spent.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #25 - Jan 27th, 2008 at 4:20am
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Ellen fished the Inner channel on Thursday night for an hour from 7pm.  Last of the flood.  She fishes fairly heavy gear and used the last of my salted mackerel but doesn't berley.  One 30cm pannie but was bitten off twice by substantial fish.
We went to the Inner Channel again on Sat nite (two in my dinghy is snug).  We fished in 6m with both light and heavy gear, berley, mullet, and squid (best). Fished for last two hours of the flood and threw three back but came home with Pannies 29, 30, 30, 32 34cm.  All spent, but the 3 males were showing signs of fattening again.
Curiously, the heavy gear was just as successful as the light, although usually light gear outfishes heavy there. The only thing that hit the sabikis (right under the boat)  all night was a 28cm snapper (went back).
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #26 - Jan 28th, 2008 at 10:54am
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Inner Channel again tonite in 6m from 8pm to 9.30pm.  Half flood.  Light gear with squid and fresh jacks. Pannies 30, 35, 37cm (all spent) and a couple just under 30 that went back.  Yellow eyed mullet, piper and jacks in the berley, but the sprats and jacks were taking the sabikis while the piper wouldn't.  Broken off by a ray that moved off sedately and just kept going slowly and inexorably seaward.
  
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cb
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #27 - Jan 29th, 2008 at 6:39am
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howzit dave, was out busby off the rock yesterday arvo. had a couple of real big bronzy at the rocks. a couple of mean fights on 24kg from high on the rocks. the first one would have been an easy 140kg and close on 9ft. sec charge off like a nut case incuding a mean jump clear of the water. i didn't bother with the snaps but the missus and mate caught some little ones. also saw a few kings but after chasing my sad livie around they left it to the the sharks.


shark in against the rocks somewhere



full speed away from me...100mtrs of 24 so the boats were the biggest danger.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #28 - Jan 29th, 2008 at 6:48am
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looks like fun cb very cool Smiley
  

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crayfish5
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #29 - Jan 29th, 2008 at 8:40am
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You fishing with a jelly tip rod cb
  
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cb
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #30 - Jan 29th, 2008 at 9:43am
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yeah mate, pretty heavy but nice and long for off the rocks. i love it when it's under pressure.
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #31 - Jan 29th, 2008 at 10:58am
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You look like you were having fun! - there seem to be lotsa Bronzies about at this time every year.  Do they come inshore to pup or something?
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #32 - Jan 29th, 2008 at 7:07pm
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supposedly they come in to breed but the only shark eggs i've ever seen have all been out at the gap. certainly plenty to eat in the harbour thru the summer. i'm off down the line after deer this morning so they're safe from me for a wee while.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #33 - Jan 29th, 2008 at 10:20pm
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Good luck - I'll try to leave some fish for you!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #34 - Jan 30th, 2008 at 10:24am
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And I was successful in leaving plenty for Luke in the inner channel tonite.  Fished for an hour and a half from 8.30.  First few hours of the flood.  I'm starting to wonder about tide again.  Two nights ago it was relatively quiet until just on dusk and then a lively bite until an hour after dark.  Tonite, fishing was lively with 45mins light left and went dead as dusk fell.  After dark even the fresh bleeding front end of a small jack wasn't touched.  Light gear, berley, salted squid (popular) frozen sprats (so so) and later fresh jack (very popular up til dark)  Pannies 30, 32cm both immature.  Put 4 marginal snapper back. Piper still won't touch the sabikis.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #35 - Jan 31st, 2008 at 11:31am
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I guess I'm taking the "Fishing Reports bit in the forum title seriously.  This thread is becoming an on line fishing diary for me - that means I really have to report every time if the record is to have any value.  I tried to keep a fishing diary ten or fifteen years ago, when I was setting a longline on the sand in Wooleys Bay once or twice most weeks.  Started with a hiss and a roar - database, water temp, bait, length sex  - blah de blah every time I went out - but I soon got slack and it fell away and this time WILL be different!.
Out tonite in the inner channel.  I have been looking forward to a fish all day and planned to get oput a little earlier than last night.  Fished from about 8.15pm for half an hour of the outgoing tide over low water at about 8.45 and for the first half hour of the flood  Dark by 9.15  - by dark I mean get out the headlight to use pliers to unhook a fish or see why a cast landed 10m away rather than 50 - not that it made any difference in the short term -= the tide took the lightly weighted baits well away as they sank, but if a cast was a short one when I was trying to go well away back to the strike zone in the berley trail - that meant the bloody braid had wrapped itself round something and it was always good to find out what before a fish charged off with the  bait.
There was lots charging off tonite.  I always get a bait in the water as soon as I anchor, then another, then attend ot the berley, then to adding seawater to the 3 frozen litre milkbottles in the chilly bin,  then to some sabikis and then wait.  Except that sometimes there isn't a wait.  I started with salted squid and frozen jack filets, and the first few fish were taken on that,  then frozen sprat, then the sabikis produced some jacks and eventually a piper.  I shagged around for all of ten seconds, left the piper on sabikis, and started to set up the kingi gear.  An at that point it all went pretty silly and quite exciting.  The light gear got very busy and the piper got left just below the surface and got pretty unhappy before I thought of it again.  But the snapper got bigger and started to bite freely as it got darker. At that stage they were biting on anything.  I should have tried the Atomic Chartreuse tthat I have never had a hit on.
9 came home 38, 37, 35, 35,34, 31,31, 30, 30, 30, and five legal fish didn't. None sexually mature and for most I couldnt even tell the sex without avery close look.  But there were 3 males that were ripening and I coulld sex them as I took the first fillet off.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #36 - Feb 3rd, 2008 at 6:20pm
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damn, some good fishing then mate. my suspension has failed on the trailer so i must say i'm jealous.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #37 - Feb 4th, 2008 at 11:28am
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Got out with my 6 yr old grandson last night and tonite.  Inner channel inside Calliope Is for the last 30 mins of light and the first 30 min of dusk 'n dark.  Light gear in  6m,  with berley and fresh and frozen jacks, salted and frozen squid, and even the odd chunk of salted mullet.  Ebbing tide both nights.

Last night pannies 39, 37, 35, 35, 32, 31, 28, 27(gut hooked) and another four went back.  The 4 big(gest) fish were all male and seemed to be starting to ripen again.

Tonite we quit early with pannies 38, 31, 28, 28 (both guthooked) and another three went back.  The 38 was a ripening male. The others were all thoroughly spent.

I got the impression (again) that the bigger fish don't really come on untill twilight/dusk, but when they do they bite boldly and freely.  I always use circle hooks and leave the rods in the holders while I tweak the berley bag, tend to the sabikis, check the livie under a balloon or on the bottom, and generally goof off and enjoy the evening while I wait for the pannies to hook themselves.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #38 - Feb 8th, 2008 at 11:20am
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Out tonite in the inner channel with Ellen and a guest in the dory.  7.45-9.15 in the inner channel inside Calliope Is in 6m  Berley, frozen and fresh jacks, some frozen squid, and the ubiquitous salted mullet  A new salty Dog bomb in the onion bag on the surface.  There wasn't much wind, but it was holding us on the pick so the flooding tide came through from the port quarter.  Richard and I were fishing light gear, and Ellen was handlining much heavier nylon.  It did make a difference, even though our terminal gear was similar.  When the bite was hot in the gathering dusk and the last of the tide, I think she caught just as many fish as we did.  At other times, we were often catching fish or replacing baits steadily while she was doing a freeze. 

Richard got the fish of the night.  He used to be a Paua Diver in Cook Strait but he hasn't really fished for more han 50 yrs = since the days of cotton codline with a metre of monofilament nylon for trace.  He was very interested in Ellen's gear because he had never seen anyone use a nylon line for a handline.  I set him up with the $15 telescopic  rod I have gooped up so that it no longer telescopes, but works really well with a little Shimano ($25 on special) with some 2.5 kg braid.  I am running a bit short on the  special hooks from Pauls Fishing Kites so it was armed with a 6/0 mutsu with about a quarter of a medium jack on it
The hit was bold and positive when it came, and the reel was screaming and I was very pleased that I had undershotted the braid with 70m more 25kg monofilament last week.  As the fight proceeded it became clear that the drag wasn't right, and the fish was taking line long before the rod was fully flexed.  I kept reminding Richard to keep the rod tip up and not to wind when the ratchet was screaming, Ellen was telling him to stop winding so she could reach round to adjust the (rear mounted) drag adjustment.  Richard was telling us both that the fish was "nothing much", and a good time was being had by all.
When Ellen eventually worked out how to tighten the drag, things briefly got quite interesting.  The fish "woke up" and took lotsa line with the rod in full flexion.  One run did it though, and it came to the boat  very quietly.    I was pleased that the drag hadnt been properly tight to begin with, becausae as it came aboard, the 15 kg flurocarbon trace parted (bitten through).  Richard was very pleased with a 40cm pannie.
We brought home 16 pannies from 40cm to 28 cm (guthooked), and put another four legal fish and one undersized back.  All the bigger fish were spent or immature.  Three ripening males 30 31, 31cm.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #39 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 4:16am
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I got out in the inner channel last night from 8pm to 9.15 with a couple of guests.  Half flood.  Light gear, berley, salted and fresh jack and a nuclear chicken.  Lotsa just legal fish biting freely, and it wasn't until I put on a nuclear chicken that we boated a 35 and a 36.  That was after dusk.  Brought home 6 from 36-28cm.  None mature.
Even the jacks were nibbling at the nuclear chicken in the berley.  Little snapper bite the tails off, but bigger fish strike even with a mangled and tailless lure.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #40 - Feb 13th, 2008 at 11:03am
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Out at 6pm for a bit of an explore, so drifted and dragged heavy gear with some newly ourchased salt mackerel down the Mair bank side of the shipping channel while I fished a nuclear chicken on braid. Last hour of the ebb. Lost baits steadily on the heavy gear, but no hits on either rod.  So came back to the usual spot in the inner channel about 7.45 to fish the first hour and a half of the flood.  Started to berley - kept fishing the softbait but also put out some frozen jack on light gear. Got picked to death for an hour -constant hits on both the softbait and the cutbait, but only hooked up on the cutbait and threw about five back.  Sabikis produced jacks as usual and a piper.  Then just before dark I broke the leader casting and lost the jighead and the last chicken.  Bugger! while I was thinking about what to do next, nice pannies started biting freely on the cut bait rod loaded with big baits of fresh jack and piper, frozen jack and salt mackerel (in fact anything).  The bite lasted til about half an hour after  dark.   I brought home 35, 35, 34, 31 30.  All spent and of indeterminate sex.
Some snapper have thick creamy opaque flesh - others have thinner translucent, watery flesh.  Why?
  
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Reply #41 - Feb 13th, 2008 at 11:37pm
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no idea ole chap, i was at hm pt off the rocks last night, just after kings. saw around 20 or so. couldn't catch good livies to save myself sadly and they weren't interested in the popper either. saw another reasonably big bronzy. missus caught quite a few snaps but nothin of any size.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #42 - Feb 14th, 2008 at 7:13am
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davflaws wrote on Feb 13th, 2008 at 11:03am:
Out at 6pm for a bit of an explore, so drifted and dragged heavy gear with some newly ourchased salt mackerel down the Mair bank side of the shipping channel while I fished a nuclear chicken on braid. Last hour of the ebb. Lost baits steadily on the heavy gear, but no hits on either rod.  So came back to the usual spot in the inner channel about 7.45 to fish the first hour and a half of the flood.  Started to berley - kept fishing the softbait but also put out some frozen jack on light gear. Got picked to death for an hour -constant hits on both the softbait and the cutbait, but only hooked up on the cutbait and threw about five back.  Sabikis produced jacks as usual and a piper.  Then just before dark I broke the leader casting and lost the jighead and the last chicken.  Bugger! while I was thinking about what to do next, nice pannies started biting freely on the cut bait rod loaded with big baits of fresh jack and piper, frozen jack and salt mackerel (in fact anything).  The bite lasted til about half an hour after  dark.   I brought home 35, 35, 34, 31 30.  All spent and of indeterminate sex.
Some snapper have thick creamy opaque flesh - others have thinner translucent, watery flesh.  Why?

why???its because they are so small and are still being breast fed Smiley
  

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Reply #43 - Feb 14th, 2008 at 7:52am
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Been having a lot of fun  on the kingis at the hen and chicks for the last 8 weeks.Havent found any monsters yet 90cm being the average.They have been biteing well usually getting a couple of hours action most times. Smiley
  
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Reply #44 - Feb 14th, 2008 at 10:14pm
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Desparate for a fish and having worked really hard yesterday, I set a 5am alarm and fished the inner channel  halfway between the main ramp and Calliope Is.  Little Mr Honda became unwell 20m off the beach and I was too lazy to row to my usual spot against the half ebb and 10kt  SW.   So I fished from 5.40am (it was dark dark) to 7.15am in about 10m  before rowing back down wind and tide with pannies 29 and 37cm on salted jack. The larger fish was an immature female, the other indeterminate. 
Ellen has plans for whole fish, so I scaled and gilled and gutted them. God I hate fish scales.
I am completely free to fish for the next three days, so its a tossup whether I give Mr Honda an internal examination and surgery and keep using the dinghy, or go a bit further afield in the dory. I felt really virtuous when I started rowing the dinghy, but it didn't last!

Since no one can tell me why some snapper have creamy flesh - can some one give me detailed instructions about  where is the best place to put a live jack in to catch a (preferably just) legal kingfish.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #45 - Feb 14th, 2008 at 10:44pm
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davflaws wrote on Feb 13th, 2008 at 11:03am:
Some snapper have thick creamy opaque flesh - others have thinner translucent, watery flesh.  Why?

thicker flesh= good condition
white coloured flesh can be not kept cold enough (first ones caught or top of chilly bin)
Since I have been using large blocks of salt ice and fill the chilly bin to the level of the fish with salt water they have all had the same colour of flesh but some do have more fat content that shows on the filleting knife. Smiley
  

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Reply #46 - Feb 14th, 2008 at 11:41pm
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that clear flesh from lack of care usuallyrequires quite some time without chilling. we used to have that problm fishing cape maria.
  
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Reply #47 - Feb 14th, 2008 at 11:47pm
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dave, i gave you the info on where there's plenty of kings.  they're everywhere, poppers have been successful right up at limestone.
I'm tempted to go after them again tonight depending on what happens with this rain.
Gave a tourist some advice to fish of the wharf. he was from kawhia and wondered how the fishing was. told him it was shit hot and try biffing a lie of the wharf near your place. saw him yesterday visiting the whangarei falls so stopped and asked how he got on. he was stoked as he'd got a couple of beauties. reckoned he was goin to stay on a few more days up here and was considering a move up...bugger...like we need more fishos up here Wink
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #48 - Feb 16th, 2008 at 1:18pm
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You have indeed  talked a lot about kingies Luke, but I guess I was hoping for some idiot proof instructions.  I have caught quite a few over the years, but it seems pretty hit and miss and there are people on this forum who target them specifically.  I am happy with my gear and methods - and I can even catch livebait with reasonable certainty - it is location that's my query.  I have spearfished round structures like buoys and reefs, but since we have dozens within a mile of my beach it would be good to have some tips about which ones most reliably hold fish at this time of year.
I can cope with a few more visiting fishos - right up until the second time I get skunked!
I got out in the inner channel again tonite - halfway between Caliope and the main ramp.  Burley and light gear with salted jack from 7.45 to 9.15. Slow all night but boated four 37. 32, 31, 29.  The 37 was a spent female, the 31 a rapidly ripening male, and the rest were indeterminate
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #49 - Feb 19th, 2008 at 10:12am
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Set off early to catch some livebait and balloon it off Home point in the hope of a kingi while there was still some light with the reserve option of a light tackle fish at dusk in the inner channel if unsuccessful.  Shit.  Mr Honda died again off the beach (now I know it is crook fuel rather than just suspecting it!), and that ruled out the master plan.  So I rowed out to the edge of the bank half way between the main ramp and the island and did the usual with berley, salted jacks, and (available again - YAY!) salted bonito.  My newly rigged sabikis distinguished themselves by catching nothing for an hour and then three undersized snapper at once, so I pulled them in.  The last of the flood was providing wind against tide, but was taking the baits up the channel in the berley, and I fished for an hour in full daylight for two pannies 31 and 36, both indeterminate sex.  The bite went off during slack water and never really got going even when the tide started to ebb, so I rowed home in time to cook fish for tea.  Mr Honda for another enema tomorrow.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #50 - Feb 24th, 2008 at 9:50am
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Weather has been shit for three days, but got out tonight with an american guest who guides trout fishers professionally and who also does lotsa saltwater fishing in Florida.  He was keen to try his no 6 flyrod, so we took the dory out to the inner channel halfwauy between the main ramp and Calliope Is as usual. 

Fished from 7 to 8.45pm - first couple of hours of the flood, and it was dark dark by the time we were back on the trailer.  Berley and light gear with salted bonito for me.  A variety of flies for him. 

It was fascinating watching Garrett fish.  He was really methodical, starting with a small fly and gradually increasing the size as he got tired of catching jacks, fishing shallow near the boat and then deeper and deeper and further and further back.  He didnt mind that I was catching pannies steadily.  He said that he came to have fun and he was!.  Eventually he landed a couple of snapper 37 and 34, and fought what I took to be a big trev for quite a while before it dropped off. 

I lost a snapper that looked significantly over 40cm. Bit through my 15kg flurocarbon as I tried to boat it.  Shoulda used the net!  I knew the bloody fish was underdone.  Shoulda coulda woulda!.....

Tomorrow I'll buy some 30kg leader and try that on the rod with the 4kg braid and see if it changes the catch rate compared with the 2.5kg braid with the 15kg leader.

The bite seemed to slacken off as it got dark.  We brought home pannies 37, 36, 35, 35, 34, 32, 32, 31, and 27 (guthooked) put another three legal fish and one undersized back.  None of the fish had enuff gonad development to sex.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #51 - Feb 25th, 2008 at 9:34am
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The 15kg leader I keep referring to is actually 15lb Black Magic supple trace. (if all else fails - read the instructions!)  I now have some Black Magic 60lb tough trace.  Lets see if the buggers can chew through that!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #52 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 10:59am
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Out to the inner channel in the dinghy halfway between Calliope Is and the main Urquarts Bay ramp as usual. Fished with light gear, berley and salted bonito from 7.30 -9.00pm.  First two hours of the flood on a lovely calm evening. Had trouble with an allbright knot between the braid and the new 60lb tough trace I was planning to try as a leader, so after much swearing gave it away and tied on a leader from the 15lb supple flurocarbon I usually use.  Wham -and promptly got bitten off!  Much more swearing!, so fished one rod with steady interest while I tried and tried to make the 60lb flurocarbon hold still while I tightened allbright after allbright.   Eventually swallowed my pride and put on my reading glasses and switched on the headlamp even though it was a long way from dark.  Bingo! It helps if I can see.  No fool like an old fool.
Then first bait with the heavy leader I boated a 40cm snapper.  Biggish for there.  Came home with 40, 32, 32, 30, 29, 29, 28. No gonad development.
BUT the 40cm fish had white, dense, opaque flesh.  All the other fish I have caught for weeks have had (semi) translucent flesh.  It is not a matter of temperature.  They all go straight into seawater/ice in the chillybin and the water is too cold to leave my hand in for more than a few secs.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #53 - Feb 28th, 2008 at 11:23am
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Decided to make a pig of myself fishingwise today and went out in the dinghy at 4pm with the idea of a heavy gear fish in the main channel.   Met cb (finally) at No 7, but got picked to death for half an hour there, so moved up harbour to no 10 and fished between it and the bank for an hour without a bite.  Bugger the main channel!.  About 5.30 steamed off towards  my usual spot in the inner channel inside Calliope Is and the bloody motor quit again.  I'm over cleaning the fuel system myself! Tomorrow to the agent!.

So rowed a long way against wind and tide.  I parked up on my spot halfway between Calliope and the ramp and started to berley. Got picked to death for half an hour, but the 7/0 mutsus meant I wasnt hooking the wee ones (good good!).  I had brought half a bucket of salted bonito, and was down to the last fillet before piper and jacks showed up in the berley.  I was getting worried cos the sabikis had been catching nothing but little snapper, but when I saw the jacks and piper I thought I was in business.  But the sabikis were useless near the surface, and deeper still just caught 20cm snapper.  And by now I still had nothing in the bin and was down to half a fillet of bonito.  So I remembered how I did it when I was 8.  Tiny hook, tiny piece of white skin, no weight but drift it down in the berley to the edge of visibility, and strike as soon as the bait disappears.  Still works, and I soon had some jacks and a piper.

So I put out a lip hooked jack under a balloon.  And just after 6.30 the bigger fish came on the bite.  So I was busy until 7.15, when I packed up to row the rest of the way home.

REVENGE OF THE LIP HOOKED JACK  I was filling the bin.  The tide was eddying.  The livie was moving about as livies do.  What I didnt notice was that he managed to go right round the boat three times.  No problem, except that he was also round the anchor and berley bag, so when I came to pack up it was nasty.  Untangle a bit of nylon - sure, but not nice when it is tangled round an onion bag with fish slush oozing from it - and you can't even wash it so you can see what you are doing -that just results in clouds and cluds more berley in the tide and more slush oozing out of every hole in the bag. The dinghy doesnt smell nice.  Neither do I.

Brought home 35, 31, 31, 30, 30, 29, 29, 29, 28.  No gonad development.
  
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Reply #54 - Feb 29th, 2008 at 4:29am
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Grin Grin sorry to laugh, but isn't that murphy's law. Now i know who i'm lookin for. all of the bouys we hit yesterday had kingis on the. one was running round and round and round against the bouy. may have been cleaning himself. had gone home crook yesterday but funny how a mate turning up and suggesting i ttry out my repairs, makes one feel healthy again. i think we only took home 4 fish. the kingis were fun though. would ahve loved to ahve a livie as the big fellas wouldn't take the jig or popper, just the piper.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #55 - Mar 6th, 2008 at 10:55am
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Rowed out tonight in the dinghy (Honda in the shop) to fish the inner channel from 730pm until 9pm.  First hour and a half of the ebb.  Berley, salted bonito and fresh jacks on light gear.  A livey out for a kingi, but tonight a bigger balloon and a bit more wind saw the jack well down to leeward.  It wasn't bothered.
Slow bite until 8pm with nothing in the bin, then the bigger fish came on and it was steady until just after dark (8.30).  At 8.45, the bite stopped dead.
Brought home 38,37, 33, 33, 32, 31, 31.  No gonad development, but all seemed fatter than last week.
  
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Reply #56 - Mar 11th, 2008 at 8:51am
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We were out last night. caught heaps, lost count. saw a fair few kingis. bait for the big ones was butterflied yellowtail Wink Wink


and back he goes


a kingi
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #57 - Mar 13th, 2008 at 1:24pm
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Good fish  Luke!
I rowed out tonight half way between Calliope Is and the Urquharts Bay ramp.  Fished in 6m for 35-40 min from 7.30 pm on the start of the flood.  Light gear, berley, salted bonito. The bite started as soon as my first bait hit the water and I was busy as a one legged man in a bum kicking contest until it stopped dead just on dark.  Pannies 38, 37, 37, 33, 32, 31, 30.
The only one with any gonad development was the 30 - a  slowly developing female.
  
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Reply #58 - Mar 13th, 2008 at 8:58pm
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still plenty about then. we were out at the frenchman last night till dark. caught one kingi. weren't really fishing for snaps but picked up a couple none the less. both legal but put them back. had a wicked time with the kingis chasing the livies on the livies line and one actually grabbing the tiny peice of bait on the sabiki(broke off surprise surprise Roll Eyes
strangely there were few koheru around and the place was seething with jacks, whereas the other night it was the other way round. through the whole time i only caught one koheru and the kingis weren't interested in him(even though they're supposedly better livies). had two kings have a tug off war under the back of the boat with one of my livies and once it was dead they both decided they didn't want it.... go figure.
  
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Reply #59 - Mar 13th, 2008 at 9:00pm
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also, i removed a snapper snatcher from the kingi before i put him back. some one's 'one that got away story' Grin
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #60 - Mar 14th, 2008 at 9:38am
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Out tonight with a guest in the dory to the usual spot halfway between Calliope Is and the main Urquharts ramp.  Fished in 6m for nearly 2 hrs from 6.30-8.30.  Last hour of the ebb, over slack water, and after dark, the first half hour of the flood .  Light gear with salted bonito and fresh jacks.  Berley attracted piper (but I couldnt hook one which was a shame cos there were clearly fish (probably rat kingies) scattering them from time to time.  Eventually jacks turned up on dusk, but by that time it was too late for a livie.  In contrast to last night, the fish were small and the bite tentative for most of the night.  The bite was only hot for 15 min from 7.30 -and then the tide slackened and it tailed off-only tiddler nibbles from dark.
Brought home pannies 28,28, 30, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35.  No gonad development.  Jacks very fat with very well developed gonads.  Looked ready to spawn to me.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #61 - Mar 18th, 2008 at 10:36am
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Rowed out in the dinghy tonight. Usual place usual baits n berley, usual light gear.  The 60lb Black magic tough trace has lasted and lasted.  Nothing bites me off now.  I  fished in 6m from 6.45 to 8.30.  First couple of hours of the ebb.  No keepers until 7.15, then unusually big fish came on the bite and I was busy til just on dark at 8pm when the bite tailed off and only tiddlers picked me again. 

Pannies 30, 32, 36. 37, 40 and 42cm
The larger fish had creamy opaque flesh, but all the fish were immature - none were even  sexable with a close look.   

The Allbright between my 4kg black braid and the 12kg mono backing failed with a very big hit just on dusk.  It looked as though the braid cut through the mono, so there is a very respectable fish dying somewhere trailing 40m of braid, a tiny ball sinker and a 7/0 mutsu on a metre of 60lb tough trace . Bugger!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #62 - Mar 19th, 2008 at 11:04am
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Rowed out again tonight.  same place, berley baits blah de blah.  fished first hour and a half of the ebb from 7pm to 8.15 (dark dark)  Bite from 7.15 to 8.00 - before and after the bite, I was throwing back just legal snapper.

I took the opportunity afforded by the loss of my 4kg braid last night to try the same terminal tackle (1m 60lb Black Magic Tough Trace, tiny ball sinker  and 7/0 mutsu) on the 12lb mono that used to back the 4kg braid.  No question that the braid performed better.  The difference between the results from my rods with 2.5kg braid and 4kg braid was not significant, but the 2.5kg braid easily outfished the 12lb mono.

I also have half a packet of Atomic Chatreuse Wrigglers which I will be very happy to give to anyone who wants them.  I can't get a hit on them even when any real bait is being monstered as soon as it hits the water.

Only real excitement of the night was when something (a very substantial snapper from the way it hit - though I suppose it could have been a little kingi)  took the front half of a jack drifting down in the berley, doubled my rod in an instant, and broke my 2.5kg braid.  My drag is set so it yields line just as the rod comes into full flexion, and there doesn't seem to be a problem when I am fighting a fish.  I think this breakoff was just inertia

Brought home pannies at 36, 34, 33, 32, and 30.  All immature.  Jacks are ready to spawn (dribbling like a monk in a whorehouse).
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #63 - Mar 20th, 2008 at 2:15am
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Why have you got 60mono with light braid??? bad mix if you ask me(which ya didnt Wink)

We have been having a whale of a time. the snaps are goin nuts at one spot. night before last had a us with two 10lbers and a kingi in a triple hook up.
Bronzy turned up and i had to pull my only livie from the water for a wee while but as soon as he was returned another kingi hammered and has lost. meanwhile the snaps were constantly on the go. halved dead livies were the go. let them pick up and after a few mtres of line bang. All happened over in about 25mins before dark. before that we were trying to catch livies at the frenchman. kicked myself for not heading to the spot earlier. Took home a couple of pannies, realeased all the big ones.
PM me dave, if you want to know where. You'd need the dory though.

  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #64 - Mar 20th, 2008 at 8:43am
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[quote author=cb link=1197546177/60#63 date=1205979312]Why have you got 60mono with light braid??? bad mix if you ask me(which ya didnt Wink)

It is 60lb Black Magic tough flurocarbon.  I used to use Black Magic supple 15lb flurocarbon, but I got really sick of being bitten off - but it is a tossup I suppose.  Tonight  I lost three very good fish through breakoff. All on 2.5kg braid. Two down near the flurocarbon trace and the last one just on the braid side of the Allbright joining the braid to the 20lb mono backing on the little reel.

My experience with the bite in the inner channel is the same as yours on your "spot" - a really limited bite time with a clean cut off.  I rowed out again tonight - usual place, baits, berley, light gear from 7pm til 8pm.  Top of the tide and first few minutes of the ebb. (dusk -but the bite had stopped)  First fish (breakoff) at 7.20, last at 7.55 (tiddler)/
Brought home 35, 30, 29.  Put back four legal and three undersized.
  
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Reply #65 - Mar 20th, 2008 at 9:34pm
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i like my trace to break before my main line, hence what i said. 60 seems way too heavy but i also would use as light as 15. I use a 33lb usually or lightest 25. rarely get broken off on snapper.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #66 - Mar 20th, 2008 at 11:41pm
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Quote:
i like my trace to break before my main line, hence what i said. 60 seems way too heavy but i also would use as light as 15. I use a 33lb usually or lightest 25. rarely get broken off on snapper.


Perhaps I should come down in trace weight, but its not practical for me to have a trace lighter than the light braid I am using. 

Thinking about the breakoffs I have had over the last few days, I have come to the conclusion that at least some of them are the result of a hard summer's fishing without any gear maintenance. My drags are sticky, the last few metres of the braid I originally spooled has had a hammering in and out of the car, the shed, and various boats.  It has been regularly rubbed on the gunwales, and suffered the inevitable abrasions from nearly a hundred fish. 

I'm not ready to give up the braid in the hope of landing more of the bigger fish that seem to be hitting, cos I catch a lot more fish with the braid in the shallow water I usually fish in than I ever did with even light nylon monofilament.  Similarly, the 15lb flurocarbon trace increased my catch rate substantially and the 60lb tough flurocarbon has raised it again (at least for fish boated - I'm not sure about strike rate). 

I was planning to spend an hour or two on my gear firs thing - but the morning kinda disappeared, so I guess the lawns might have to wait!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #67 - Mar 21st, 2008 at 9:48am
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I spent an hour this afternoon respooling both my light rods with some 4kg braid and rowed out (I'm starting to enjoy it) to the usual spot  to fish the last hour of the flood from 7pm to 8pm.  Usual baits, light gear and berley.  Pickers til 7.20, then one in the bin and I thought the bite was on as usual.  Then the evening fell apart.  A big hit, but the gear all held together.  I wished it hadn't.  I had no idea how much of a tangled mess one rat kingi could make of a couple of braid lines and a berley bag and an anchor line - so there was much swearing, and much patient untangling, but no more fishing.  That was me for the evening.  One pannie  34cm.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #68 - Mar 22nd, 2008 at 1:01am
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I caught the bigger fish in the link below on some run of the mill 4kg main line and the 15 pound fluro I use for some of my more agressive brown trout fishing. It would have taken a good twenty minutes to get it up. It was a real shame he ran out of steam and we could not release him.
http://www.fishnhunt.co.nz/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1204494842

There is always a bit of luck involved. I was surprised the 15 pound leader held up. Having a closer look it was in good order. The hook placement had meant no rubbing on the teeth.

Great fun on the light gear!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #69 - Mar 22nd, 2008 at 9:43am
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Rowed out again tonight usual place usual ight gear baits and berley.  Fished from 6.50 to 8.15 on the flood.  It was dark at 7.55 and dark dark at 8.15.  The bite was different tonight. Little pickers until 7.40 then a couple of keepers (just) and then nothing til 8pm by which time it was dark and I thought there were not going to be any reasonable fish biting.  Then three good fish in a row over about ten mins.
Pannies 30, 30, 35, 37, 42.
None sexually mature, but the two 30s had creamy opaque flesh
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #70 - Mar 29th, 2008 at 10:12am
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Out in the dory with Ellen and a guest  to fish the inner channel tonight.  Usual baits, berley, and a mixture of light and heavy gear.  Fished from 6.15 pm until dark dark at 8pm.  Last hour and a half of the ebb and first half hour of the flood.  Nothing but (just) undersized and barely legal fish all night.  Saved by two sashimi perfect trevs.  Busy busy, but bait disappearing and no snapper in the bin til 7.30.  Even the pickers stopped biting when it got dark.  Brought home snapper 31, 30, 30, 29, 29, 28, 28, 28, 27.  None sexually mature.  Put back about a dozen just under.  On some other thread someone was saying that these fish are all over the place at present, and probably represent a particularly good year class spawned in 2003.  I hope he's right.
Lotsa jacks.  I think they have just spawned.  I took lots to make berley with and none were dribbling.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #71 - Apr 2nd, 2008 at 11:30pm
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I haven't had time to fish for what seems like yonks, so I rowed out in the dark this morning to the usual spot in the inner channel.  Fished the first hour and a half of the flood from 6.30 til 8am.  Light gear, salted bonito and fresh piper, limited burley.  First pannie (just) legal at 6.45 went back, then very few bites (and pickers at that) until after 7.15am.  Three legal fish when it was well light between 7.30 and 8am.
Brought home pannies at 30, 29, 28  plus a young rabbit that ran onto the road on my way to the beach. I thought I had just clipped its head, but when I went to skin it, the whole thorax was munted and the guts and contents had burst through the abdominal wall and was just under the skin.  Not nice, but the back end will be OK.
  
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Reply #72 - Apr 3rd, 2008 at 12:03am
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try the rabbit as bait, i haven't myself but have heard it works good as a snapper bait.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #73 - Apr 3rd, 2008 at 8:38am
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The posterior spine and hind legs of the rabbit casseroled a treat with onions, mushrooms, garlic, bay, thyme, marjoram, and red wine.  Cooked the onion and garlic til soft and browning, Jointed, dusted liberally with flour and browned the rabbit.  Deglazed the pan with the wine.  Into a covered casserole with carrot, mushrooms  and the herbs in a slow oven for 2 hrs.
Yum!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #74 - Apr 4th, 2008 at 10:37am
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Out tonite to the inner channel in the dory- usual spot halfway between the main ramp and Calliope Island.  Took another old mate who hadn't caught a snapper for twenty years.  Usual berley, light gear and a new lot of salted jacks precut into a variety of sized baits.
Fished from 6.30 til 8.15 (dark dark).  Jacks came early and piper never showed.  Put out a livie, no interest.
Pickers until 6.55, when we put the first one in the bin, and one good fish about 7.30 - then nothing.   I know that slack water coincided with the best bite time lightwise, but I sense it is more than that.  I think the golden weather might be over for the year.  Lets hope not...... but on the other hand, if I have to go looking for a feed I'll get off my butt and go adventuring. Snapper 29, 35 (and fat as!). No Gonad development
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #75 - Apr 5th, 2008 at 9:42am
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Off for an adventure in the dory with my mate Dan just before lunch.  He does sea kyaking and has just come back from a semi circumnavigation of Stewart Is, so he was keen to follow up last nights short fish with a bit of an adventure.  15kt E blowing as predicted, so we knew the Chicks were on.  Went out comfortably enuff, after saying hello to cb at the Frenchman as he sat surrounded by legal kingis.  Several schools of trevs at the Tara Rocks, and a good school of fish in midwater that turned out to be nearly legal snapper.  Gave up on the snapper and decided to toss a cut bait under the trevs.  A horse kahawai broke my favourite little $15 rod with the 4kg braid  (don't know how - since the drag was set as usual - maybe angle, with the fish straight down).  Boated it anyway.  Then tossed sabikis at the trevs and fished a floater on heavy gear under them for another horse kahawai.  Then played with locating concentrations of snapper over the foul with the sounder and bombing them with heavy gear.  Lotsa little hits but no hookups.  We had gone to 7/0 mutsus, and little snapper often don't hook themselves (fine fine).  Too many snags on the foul and lost a couple of big sinkers, so came back to Peach Cove, where cb had said some people had done well.  Burleyed for an hour with light and heavy gear and little baits, one pannie and a nice trev.  Finally home to the usual spot in the inner channel for an hout from 7..5 -8.15.  Two pannies.  So brought home kahawai at 54 and 56, trev 40 and pannies 31, 31, 28.
One kahawai was a ripe male, no other fish sexable.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #76 - Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:23am
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Cheers for that balloon, I lost it twice more and upped pick, drivin round the island to pick it up once each fish was in Grin

Caught three and lost three.




lots of dolphins around yesterday
  
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Reply #77 - Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:25am
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All were releasesed again Cool
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #78 - Apr 6th, 2008 at 4:02am
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You don't like to eat kingfish?
  
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Reply #79 - Apr 6th, 2008 at 4:50am
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Smoked they're nice but i don't have a good smoker, just the little hot ones and that's not smoked so much as cooked. such an awesome fish i prefer to put em back. one was caught when i spotted him below the bait fish and dropped a livie down with no float.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #80 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 10:21am
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Rowed out again tonight usual spot, baits, burley, gear (1 rod only since I haven't yet replaced my little $15 kids rod broken on Sat). Fished from 5.45 - 7.15 (dark dark)  Slow. Pickers until 6.35, then a brisk bite til 7, then pickers again. .  Threw back one just legal.  The 7/0s mean I don't catch lotsa pickers.  Pannies 32 and 36 no gonad development.  Some guys on the ramp came back from the Powerstation with a binful.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #81 - Apr 9th, 2008 at 10:11am
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Off in the dory to the Powerstation tonite.  Fished 300m off the beach with a mixture of light and heavy gear in 5m with berley, squid, salted jacks and salted bonito from 6pm -7pm. Tide half flooding, but didn't seem very strong.  Steady bite until dark dark - then nothing.  Squid most popular, and my mates heavy nylon outfished my light braid by 8:1.  Just as well I'm not competitive!
Pannies 28, 29, 29, 30, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36. No gonad development.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #82 - Apr 15th, 2008 at 10:57am
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Rowed out into the inner channel again tonight.  Various dramas with  new (and as it proved inadequate) ground tackle combined with the tide ripping out and a brisk NE put me on the edge of the bank and well E (seaward ) ofmy usual spot.  Fished from 5.30---645 with berley, salted jacks, and light gear. Threw back one just legal fish and brought nothing home.  Hope the powerstation is still producing in the weekend.  By then the wind will have dropped.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #83 - Apr 17th, 2008 at 10:59am
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I've known Dave for thirty five years.  We used to dive and spear kingies and yahoo round the place like a pair of testosterone poisoned clowns.  Now Dave is 72 and has just sold me his SCUBA gear.  I never thought he was a fisherman, cos when we have been out together he has always seemed pretty laid back and not all that interested in killing fish.  The other night at the Power Station in Bream Bay, we got a good bite and he caught lotsa fish and after a while his hands were shaking with excitement as he baited up.
He has been back there on his own boat and done well so tonight we thought we would go over in his 14ft 6in Sea Nymph.
We left the beach at McLeods Bay at 5.30, just on the top of the tide. The 90hp pushed the wee boat at 28kt all the way out and over to the Powerstation where we anchored just inside the inner NW buoy.  I was feeling stupid, cos the newly purchased burley bomb was still sitting in the dory in my driveway attracting nothing but flies and wasps.So the first hour was slow as I chopped some squid, frozen jacks and salted bonito very small and tossed it.  After a while Dave picked up a couple of sashimi sized trevs, and I boated a pannie that didn't need measuring.

As the light faded, we got quite a good bite with excellent fish, and the fish of the night was a real joy to watch.  I was fishing light gear and Dave had one heavy rig and one light rod with 6kg nylon and a 3/0 hook.  He had just boated a fish on the heavy gear - a snapper of better than 40cm, and it was glistening in the net in the bin.
Then the light rod in the holder doubled over and the reel screamed. Bigtime! Dave dropped the net and reached across for the little rod as it bucked and the fish took line at a rate of knots.  he pulled the rod clear of the holder just as the fish really went ballistic.  The little rod bucked and jumped out of his hand and jerked a good metre to lie horizontal across the starboard quarter, with the reel jamming itself against the aft bulkhead, and stopping the rod from going over the stern. Dave dived for it and got one hand on the butt.  Just.  But as he straightened up and lifted the (still screaming ) reel clear of the bulkhead it jerked out of his hand again and over the stern.  The rod was in the water lying horizontal.  The reel was almost in the water.  The butt was just resting on the top of the transom on the starboard quarter.  Everything stopped! It was like time was frozen and my mouth was opening and Dave was diving for the rod. Then the rod was moving and the but slipped off the stern and fell into the water and Dave was lying over the sternand grabbing the butt and then was holding therod high by the butt in his right hand while the reel screamed again.  He got back to his seat and started fighting the fish before I realised that the groans were not just piscatorial ecstacy
. Dave had nearly gone over the stern.  What hd stopped him was the top of the dive ladder hitting his breastbone.  It hurt a lot.  It will hurt more tomorrow.  The fish took about 15 min to land.  It was 48cm and very very fat.
I was really impressed with Dave.  I'm 10 years younger than him and there is no way I woud have thrown myself about like that.  It was just like I remember from thirty years ago - just do it and don't think about what might happen to your body - after all - you're bulletproof!
Had the virtuous experience of quitting before the fish did and coming home at 18kts into the SW.
Brought home snapper at 48, 44, 41, 41, 31, 29 and trevs 31 and 35.   The 41cm snapper wre both female and showed some sign of gonad activity.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #84 - Apr 20th, 2008 at 8:59pm
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25-30 kt Southerly backing SE on Saturday night made the Powerstation a pretty uncomfortable prospect, so Marcus and me took the dory out to the usual spot inside Calliope Is in the inner channel.  Fishing there has been getting harder over the last month, so we were not enormously hopeful.  We fished the last hour of the flood with light gear and salted jacks and  squid, berley etc from 5.45 - 7.15 . No "bite" as such, pickers all the time, and the 7/0 mutsus made sure we didn't hook the wee ones, but during the hour and a half fishing, we boated pannies   34, 33, and 29 (foul hooked).
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #85 - Apr 26th, 2008 at 7:41am
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Out on Anzac Day with my 6 yr old grandson Sol in the Dory.  The heads was crowded as, with 30+ boats in the "mad mile" - so went over to the Powerstation early on a lovely calm afternoon to join eleven other boats.  Berleyed bigtime, but fished for an hour with not a single bite - and it looked as though no one else was getting any interest either.  So back to the seaward side of the Frenchman  to fish on the ebb for half an hour.  Koheru and jacks, kingies and a big JD in the berley, so I set up the kingie gear with balloon all ready to take a jack but then couldn't catch a livey to save myself.  The baits on the bottom were being picked to death. Foul hooked a small snapper and lost more gear to snags in the weed.  Just as we were thinking about leaving. I hooked a spotty under the berley.  Tossed it back and it wasn't until we were back at the ramp that it penetrated my thick skull that it would have been a perfect livey on a ledger for the JD.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #86 - Apr 28th, 2008 at 8:47am
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Out with Sol in the dinghy last night to the usual spot in the inner channel.  Fished the last hour and a half of the ebb  from 5 to 6.30.   Berley and salted bonito, light gear.  Only pickers and very few of them at that.  Put out a livie under a balloon without success.  Even the pickers stopped as the tide slackened.  Even a fresh jack front end was untouched for the last 15 min.  Came home snapperless, but Sol kept himself happy catching half a binfull of jacks, which have been cut into suitable baits and salted down.
Who is catching snapper - and where?
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #87 - Apr 28th, 2008 at 8:57am
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a few still being caught under the gannets in the gulf dav
  

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Reply #88 - Apr 29th, 2008 at 5:39am
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Don't worry dave, everyone's struggling round the harbour.  I did alright last week off ngunguru but anzac day on the mile was a bit slow. huge numbers of jd's but could we catch one...nah. a few kingis but large numbers of huge kahawai kept wrecking my livie. i was also struggling to catch koheru and very few jacks out there. Still caught enough to use the dmaged etc as snap baits and picked up a few little ones. pretty lame tho'. Went out to fairway and watched hundreds of little kingis feeding on the surface. cool to see but pointless to fish.

Sat was pig hunting but back out sunday. Masses of livies but no kingis Roll Eyes.  again the jd's turned up. Anna put down a nearly legal snap to wriggle around and sure enough a jd grabbed it and got it stuck in the mouth. We only needed that fish for dinner and only barely legal snaps had turned up. Moved out to the magic kingi spot and sure enough they were still around but due to the nasty chop i didn't bother fishing and we headed for home and a fish at No7 which was crap.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #89 - Apr 30th, 2008 at 11:03am
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Not just me then.  Went over to the power station last night with Sol in the dory in the hope that the shit weather coming would provoke some fish to move in there and monster our baits.  Fished some big and encouraging echoes under a big school of baitfish a few hundred yards off the powerstation buoys without success, then berleyed up at the buoys.  No joy.  Not even an echo on the sounderin there.  Came home a wee bit before dark, cos the wind had gone round a bit to the NE and built from 15kt to 25, and we had a slow and bouncy trip home.  I was pleased we had quit early, cos by the time we got back to Home Pt the odd gust was hitting close to 40kt, but there was no fetch so the sea was pretty flat for the wind speed.  Unless the weather is absolute shit tomorrow we will spend some time round the buoys and the Frenchman in the afternoon.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #90 - May 10th, 2008 at 9:24am
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Haven't been out for yonks, and when Thursday dawned bright and calm (despite the forecast), I couldn't resist putting the work aside and taking the dinghy to the Frenchman.  Spent 3 hrs from 10am in cb's possie in the back eddy (ebbing tide) on the seaward side of the island. 

I think winter is apon us so I swapped the 60lb tough flurocarbon for 15lb supple flurocarbon and the 7/0's for 4/0s and the strip baits for bonito cubes and tried for some trevs.
And was promptly bitten off/frayed through by a monster kahawai. 

Fished softbait shads for an hour or so until I was taken into the weed by something substantial and broken off.
Berleyed bigtime for the whole 3hrs and had a mixture of jacks, piper and koheru round the boat.  Put out a series of livies (back hooked piper and lip hooked jacks) under balloons.  Had a reasonable sized kingi on for about 5 mins after taking a piper.  As the ebbing tide got fiercer, some small snapper came on the bite, and I threw back three just legal. Eventually got a nice pannie on an unweighted cube of bonito in mid water.  Bronze as, had clearly been in the weed for a while. 

Brought home snapper 34, kahawai 53 and 55, some big jacks for smoking (very hard to light Grin) and some piper for the cat (who turned up his nose until they were headed, gutted, and diced).
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #91 - May 13th, 2008 at 8:18am
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Dinghy to the Frenchman from 12 til 2pm to fish the last two hours of the flood tucked into the back eddy on the W side.  Planned livies for kingis under a balloon and on a big ledger for JD, so got the berley underway pronto and drifted a tiny bait on an even tinier hook on a 2kg handline down the berley trail.  Just managed to jerk it away from a largish kahawai before it had sunk more than a couple of metres, and transferred to plan B since Kahawai (with Trevally and kingfish) is right up there for us as an eating fish. So tossed out a strip of bonito on the livebait kingi rod (minus balloon - which is easy on my setup) and boated 4 good kahawai in short order.  Put the last (and smallest) out under a balloon for about an hour with no joy.  Then turned my attention to catching a livie for a JD.  Eventually fished home made sabikis in the berley way way back and got a spotty, which went down on a ledger with a very heavy weight.  Snagged and broken off before any JD monstered the spotty so came home and I am now full of raw and fried kahawai, farting and belching and happy as.  Kahawai 49, 48, 48, 45.  Two males, two females. All with some gonad activity
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #92 - May 15th, 2008 at 9:40pm
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Out at the bouys yesterday arvo, Nothing at most, fairway had huge schools of little kingis but not worth catching. Picked up a couple on the jig but they weren't much bigger than it.
It was so so so fantastically calm. didn't bother achoring just fished the deep without moving. huge schools or trevs turned up and feed on krill. It was so quiet you could hear the collective intake as they all rose and sucked in water. Crazy.
Back to the kingi spot, berly down...no livies to be seen...not surprising as below the boat were a go 8-10 kingis. They would eat all the little scraps of bait dropped down. the only livies i could catch were the kahawai that hammered anything before it could get down to the smaller mackerel and trevs. Good for the big kingis but these were alljust around legal. Had fun as they chased the kwhai around. Lost one when it took the livie line(10lb) doh!
A couple of snaps, but i wasn't looking for them.
Over the couple of hours at least 30 probably more kingis seen but then i'm certain they were the same fish rising up out of the green again and agin. And boy is it green.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #93 - May 16th, 2008 at 10:18am
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Weather superb, so I quit at afternoon teatime and left Urquharts in the dory at 4pm in all respects ready for sea.  45 min to Bream Rock, and by the time I found it there was not enuf time to get out to the  Chicks and berley up before dark, so I decided to just fish there.  Berleyed for a livie and put out a koheru under a balloon til dark with no luck.
Magic time on the ocean as the light faded.  Tried for some of the big blue maomao in the berley, but hooks big enuff to stop the small ones swallowing them are too big to be struck at, so I used tiny hooks and gave up after guthooking 3 small ones (mind you there is half as much meat again on a maomao compared with a snapper the same length.  Nice pannies out of the weed (bronze) as it got dark dark.
Came home with pannies 36,35,33, no gonad development ; blue maomao 28, 27, 25, all female and all ready to spawn ; and koheru for the smoker.
Ellen loves to cook small fish whole, but I HATE scaling snapper.  Blue Maomao on the other hand are a dream to scale.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #94 - May 18th, 2008 at 1:58pm
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Small blue maomao cooked whole are something else again!  They are thicker through than small snapper, and you can get the outside crispy (crispy pectoral fins are amazing) while the inside is still slightly rare.  Yummy.

I have kept looking at the foul along the shore between Home Pt and the Frenchman and thinking it would be good for winter snapper, so took the dory out tonight to give it a try.  I fished between 4.30and 6.45 in 4m over broken foul and patches of sand.  Last two hours of the flood and first 15 min of the ebb. Lotsa berley, and tried for a livie straight off.  Hooked a 40cm Kahawai on my 2kg handline, which was exciting for a while.  Put it out under a balloon but no interest.  Right on dark, a just legal kingi picked up my snapper bait (big strips of bonito back to back on a pair of 8/0s) but broke me off round the motor - bugger!  Nothing else but jacks. The  Kahawai was bloody nice fresh.
Next time I will go a wee bit deeper.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #95 - Jun 1st, 2008 at 10:30am
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Fished the Power Station in the dory with Ellen this afternoon from 2.30-5.00 on the  last of the flood.  Berley, salted and fresh jacks.  Nothing but rat kingis  and little sweep (first time I have ever caught them on sand) for the first hour and a half.  A rat kingi on a 2kg piper handline is fairly exciting nonetheless.  There were big rafts of petrels about a mile out, but none of the boats following the schools seemed to be catching much and we stayed put.  About 5pm, a school must have moved through. cos we picked up pannies on the two lines in the water at the same time.  Snapper 36,35.  No gonad activity.  My son was fishing up in the Pataua estuary on the top of the same tide.  Shitloads of Kahawai to 6lb.  Smoking tomorrow!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #96 - Jun 11th, 2008 at 11:31pm
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Lovely snorkel along the shore between Home Pt and the Frenchman.  Butterfish 42cm.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #97 - Jun 12th, 2008 at 11:36am
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Out in the dinghy to cb's spot in the lee of the Frenchman from 2.30 -3.30.  Burley, squid and salted bonito for the first hour of the ebb.  Light gear with 4/0 mutsus.  Nothing in the burley til I picked up a 30cm Trev on my 2kg piper line way back, then a 40cm trev on my 4kg braid before the first was landed.  Much swearing!  A few mins later got a pannie, and then undersized snapper started to bother me so I came home.  Snapper 32- female beginning to ripen with quite large very watery gonads. Trevs 40, 30 - no gonad activity.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #98 - Jun 13th, 2008 at 12:39am
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didn't see any kings by any chance?
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #99 - Jun 13th, 2008 at 11:11am
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Not a one - no jacks or piper in the berley either. 
Saw shitloads of jacks, piper, and little trevs inshore today while diving.  Eventually I went round and round with my sounder to look for the foul I hooked up my anchor on just inshore and up harbour of #7 buoy at Xmas but couldn't find it .  A few fish on the bottom, but nothing took a bait even when I backed up and drifted over them
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #100 - Jun 20th, 2008 at 9:08am
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Out and about in the Dory from 2-5 this afternoon.  Tried in close between Peach Cove and Smugglers where there were fish on the sounder, but no joy.  Then spent a couple of hours in the lee of the Frenchman berleying and with a jack under a balloon fishing light gear with salted jacks and bonito for 1 snapper 47cm of indeterminate sex.  No interest in the livie.  Then dropped a weighted livie to what the sounder said were probably kingies near the bottom under No 5 bouy with no interest, so drifted with heavy gear and a big fresh jackhead on the bottom from No 5 to No 9. No joy.  So came home and ate snapper.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #101 - Jul 10th, 2008 at 9:48am
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Weather shit for ages, so looked at the big high and the forecast for 5-10kts NE rising 15kts and planned an afternoon at the Chicks.  Dive Tara Rks, spear kingies, find a cray, berley up large, put out a livie for another kingie, catch some snapper, or at the very least some maomao for the smoker. 

By early afternoon there were 25kt gusts with the odd one pushing 30kt at Peach Cove.  Had my son Adam and Grandson Sol.  Adam was still willling but not keen to go to the Chicks - but he is used to driving a Frigate.  Sol was very keen to go back to the Frenchman.  So we stayed at Peach Cove. 

Shitloads of Gannets were feeding all along the shore for a couple of hours, and we towed lures and strip baits through the area for a while with no interest.  Adam had a SCUBA, but no crays, and said he had never seen so many jacks while diving -  clouds and clouds and clouds of them in all sizes.  They never came near the berley, and a small piece of squid tentacle on a small hook which is normally deadly when fished well back caught only a 20cm snapper (very bronzy and dark and weedy), while sabikis took scarlet parrot fish.  The half dozen other boats there seemed to be doing a freeze as well.

So we parked in the back eddy at the Frenchman for a couple of hours, where sabikis on the bottom soon produced a couple of livies.  One under a balloon for a kingie.  No interest.  One on the bottom for a JD.  Still no interest.  Nothing in the burley.  No Trevs, no Kahawai, no lost snapper.  Still it was nice to do the 3 generations thing - but bloody cold.



  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #102 - Jul 14th, 2008 at 5:26am
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Dinghy yesterday pm with Sol (6)  my grandson to Castle Rock.  Fished the last of the flood  on the edge of the bank.  Lotsa berley and light gear.  Strip baits of salted bonito and a 10cm nuclear chicken.
Sol fished both rods and took two sashimi sized trevs on the strip baits and two Kahawai on the softbait.
The second Kahawai was a horse and took him 15 mins to land, cos I had left the net at home (had the bailer and the boatbag tho Cheesy).  He thought all his birthdays had come at once!  Trevs 29 and 33, Kahawai 39 and 57 nothing with any gonad activity.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #103 - Jul 15th, 2008 at 12:09pm
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Dinghy this afternoon with Sol in the inner channel on the edge of the bank for a last fish before he  goes home tomorrow.  Berley, strip bonito and a nuclear chicken for 1hr on the middle of the flood. Not a single nibble.  Had the net as well as the boat bag and the bailer too! 

Sunday's big Kahawai was amazing, with a bit of top fillet 20cm x5cm x5cm cooked like a piece of fillet steak - seared in v hot ricebran oil on all sides, then the heat cut back and a knob of butter dropped in the hot pan and covered. The rest of the top fillet sashimied. Remaining fillets cooked last night in Tom Yum paste with a little coconut milk.
I love Kahawai!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #104 - Jul 19th, 2008 at 10:48am
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Shitloads of Gannets feeding in the inner channel right up until slack water at the bottom of the tide this afternoon, so I took my dinghy to the four poster on Mair Bank for the first hour of the flood in the late afternoon in the hop of a trev or a kahawai.  

Burley, sabikis, a strip bait and a nuclear chicken.  Nothing but rain and cold for an hour, so I came back to the edge of the bank in the inner channel for about 15 mins.  A couple of very tiny and timid nibbles on the strip bait and the sabikis was the only sign of life all afternoon.  T

Thats skunked twice in a row!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #105 - Aug 10th, 2008 at 8:48am
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First time out for three weeks.  Fished the first couple of hours of the ebb from 1pm til 3pm just inside Home Pt in the dinghy, with good berley going back into and round the reefy area on the point.  Light gear with salted bonito, sabikis and a scrap of bait on a small hook all produced nothing until I fished the sabikis 50m back on the bottom.  That got me a spotty which went back down lip hooked on a ledger.  But there were no JDs either.  Didn't even see a jack in the berley.
Talked to lotsa other unsucessful fishos, including a couple of kayakers who had fished all the way out to Peach Cove and back without a hit.  Bummer Aye!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #106 - Aug 14th, 2008 at 9:14am
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A week of serious anticipation, watching weather and tide.  This evening got out for the last 90 min of the flood and the first hour of the ebb, fishing light gear over dusk on the edge of the weed between Home Pt and the Frenchman.  Copious burley attracted lotsa koheru and jacks, and I baited up with salted bonito and fresh jacks.  

I am really hungry for fish so I took a lot of care, fishing baited sabikis under the boat, a tiny hook with a small scrap of bait on 2kg nylobn well back in the berley, a butterflied bleeding jack on a 15kg strayline well back, and two lightly weighted strip baits on #4 mutsus on  braid and 8kg nylon respectively.  Everything very carefully presented and changed regularly. No hits.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #107 - Aug 23rd, 2008 at 11:20pm
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Still hanging out to eat fish so tried again last Wed.  Fished the middle of the flood from 5pm til dark at 7 on the edge of the inner channel with light gear small hooks (#4 mutsu), berley, and salted bonito and fresh jacks. A jack under a balloon for a kingi. A few tiny snapper on sabikis but no hits.  Pleasant enuff but bloody cold.  My neighbour got a couple of keepers further up  the inner channel by the yellow trimaran in Mckenzie Bay, then did really well with half a binful of snapper, gurnard and tarakihi in 50-60 m out past the old woman yesterday.  Blowing forty bastards from the North today - but at least its not cold.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #108 - Sep 1st, 2008 at 9:39am
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fished friday night south of tutukaka, tried a few drifts in 15 to 25mtrs with soft baits but never got a hit, on the way in to my strayline spot we ran over a really good group of rocks in 15mtrs with low fowl and sand all around, never knew they were there so that was a bonus. did a few drifts over with the softys cause there was a big cloud of fish on it, first drop i got a small kingi with heaps of his mates following him up, it was 5 oclock so took some marks and went into the reef to get the burley going, very slow with only 3 average pannies in the bin after dark, it stayed dead till the tide was half out. we started getting solid hits on whole pillies and slabs of skippy, i lost 4 good fish in a row, including a fat 14 pound kelpie right beside the boat!! bro in law lost 2 goodens and by then it was 12 oclock at night and dark as so we left with a good feed of 6 in the bin up to about 3.5kg. we were fishing 8kg, floating baits. will go and have another crack at them as soon as this bloody winds pisses off!!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #109 - Sep 1st, 2008 at 11:41am
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Neat!
And (as you say) - now if the bloody wind would drop.  I hope to get out in the dinghy tomorrow night - Home Pt or the inner channel, before going off for 10 days diving at Bunaken in Indonesia.
Busy as right now.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #110 - Sep 24th, 2008 at 10:28am
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Back from a fornights diving in Sulawesi - Bunaken Marine Park - which was the best holiday of my life.
Needed an avoidance to stop me going mad over the pile of paper on my desk so did a couple of trips in the dory on Sat and Sunday. Usual baits and gear at the Powerstation, ad then the inner channel towards dusk on Sat for 1 gurnard 34, and snapper 34, 29.
Heavy gear and butterflied jacks 400m North of Chicks in 60-70m on Sun afternoon for nothing, then into the shallows and burleyed for two hours fishing light gear for a pannie 29.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #111 - Sep 26th, 2008 at 10:33pm
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Inner channel in the dinghy last night between 6pm and 7.15 (dark dark.  First hour of the ebb.  Light and heavy gear with berley, salted bonito and fresh jack.
Pannies 34, 31, 30, 30, and 29.  The 34 was a rapidly ripening female, one of the 30s ditto male, and the rest indeterminate.  The heavy gear caught most of the fish, which got bigger on dusk at 7pm.  By dark dark it was dead, with even a bloody bit of fresh jack attracting no interest whatsoever.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #112 - Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:36am
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been getting solid pannies right on dark in the shallows, 3 to 5 mtrs, floating baits and lots of burley, my sons also been getting good pannies off the rocks, six snapper on each of his last two trips. got some nice 30 pound hapuka at the trench, behind the poorknights islands, 250 odd mtrs of water, also gem fish and plenty of sharks. water temp at the trench is 16 degrees, still pretty cold.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #113 - Oct 11th, 2008 at 9:05am
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Busy as for a while and got out twice but didn't report til now.  Last Sun got out round Busby in the dory in the afternoon with my grandson (nearly 7) and an old mate.  berleyed like buggery and Sol caught shitloads of jacks (which I am eating in preference to anything else since my cholesterol is 7.5).  One jack under a float for a kingie but no interest.  One pannie 32, ripening  female.

Out in the dinghy to the imnner channel from 6-7pm Thurs.  Sol was into the piper and also got a couple of pannies 30, 30.  One male, on female - both ripening.  The bite would have been good if we had stayed til dark, but the lad gets bored/cold/hungry remarkably quickly when the bite is slow.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #114 - Oct 15th, 2008 at 10:17am
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Got out Sun night in the dinghy for an hour on dark. Light gear, usual bonito and berley in the inner channel for a pannie 34, rapidly ripening.

Out again tonight same place from 6.45-7.45.  Last hour of the flood. Nothing whatsoever in the berley all night, but about 7.15 a school of pannies moved through and fishing was brisk until I quit with 6 good fish in the bin.  39, 36, 35, 34, 34, 33.  half males half female - all nearly ripe and fat as.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #115 - Oct 28th, 2008 at 10:29am
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Out in the dinghy from 6.30 - 8.30 (dark dark) in the inner channel tonight fishing the last hour and a half of the flood.  Light gear, berley, salted bonito and fresh jacks.  Slow as. I changed back to #8 Mutsus in Sept so as not to guthook anything small, so got picked a bit, but there weren't even small fish there most of the night.
snapper 34 ripening male. 29 put back.
  
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Reply #116 - Oct 28th, 2008 at 9:19pm
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monday, took the piglet out to begin the fishing season.

crap as hell. painfully slow with only a couple of big porae worth keeping which we released anyway. can't be long before the harbour starts up again.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #117 - Oct 28th, 2008 at 10:41pm
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Badly in need of a fish for a friend, so I had a dawn start and fished the inner channel from 6.30 - 8.30am .  Last two hours of the flood.  Light gear, berley, salted bonito, salted jacks, fresh jacks and piper.  Hits on everything, but very slow.  Pannies at 7 and 7.45.
31 (indeterminate) and 39 (ripening male)  Jacks fat and ripe as  and a 40cm piper dribbling ripe.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #118 - Oct 29th, 2008 at 9:49am
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Couldn't believe how hard the fishing has been over the last week, and still in need of a few snapper so reluctantly went out again tonight (how I suffer!) to the inner channel blah de blah, but had fresh slimy mackerel, salted bonito, fresh jacks and fresh piper.  I don't reckon the hard fishing is due to poor bait.  Fished from 6.30 to dark dark at 8.30.  Pannies at 6.45, 7.15 and 8.15.  Not much happening there.
Snapper 32, 31, 31,(male ripe)
Jacks and piper both dribbling ripe, slimy mackerel  immature.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #119 - Nov 11th, 2008 at 10:53am
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Hanging out for a fish for yonks, since we have had our keelboat on the hard and I have been working on her hard out.  Got out in the dinghy in the inner channel tonight between 7.45 and 8.45. Second hour of the ebb. Usual berley and salted bonito and (eventually) fresh piper.  The bit came amnd went, but it was so nice out there in then evening light and then the moonlight that I didn't care that the fishing was a bit slow.  Snapper 34 ripe male, 34 ripe female, and 39 ripe female.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #120 - Nov 14th, 2008 at 9:03am
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Inner channel tonite in the dinghy 7-9pm for the last two hours of the flood.  Light gear, berley, salted bonito and fresh jacks./  Slow as. Got a couple of pannies and got broken off twice by very good fish.  Will now replace some line.  Fool!
Snapper 34, 35.  Both female but not particularly ripe
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #121 - Nov 16th, 2008 at 11:37am
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I just learned to use photobucket (took long enuff) - so heres a couple of photos. Got a nice trev last year and Sol got a good kahawai in the winter.

  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #122 - Nov 29th, 2008 at 12:49am
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Out last week for an expedition with guests in the dory. Oilwharf with berley, squid, salted bonito for two hours on firs of the ebb.  Nothing. Drifted the main channel with heavy gear for an hour - same baits.  Nothing.  Back to the inner channel with berley, light gear and same baits for an hour and a half.  Still nothing.  I was gutted, but the guests were extatic cos a pod of Orcas turned up and were ok about us coming close (slowly).

Out to the innder channel for an hour on dark a day later  - usual baits berley and light gear.  Pannie 34 and broken off three times by good fish.

Got out last night to the inner channel in the dinghy to fish from 6.30 -8.00. (nowhere near dark), last of the flod and first half hour of the ebb.  Heavy gear.  Three hits all night.
Snapper 45cm (big for there) and Kahawai 60cm and 66cm.  Huf**kinmungous for anywhere.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #123 - Dec 7th, 2008 at 11:56pm
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Hey fellas

Me and a couple of boys are headin down to the whangarei heads ,for the weekend 19-21st dec.One of my mates gettin married so we decided to get away for a weenkend of fishing...Problem is weve never been there but we've heard great stories. We'll be fishing land based mainly.. tryin to perhaps target some kingis and snapper or whatever we can get really.. just want some great fishin with  a great view..i was hopin you lads would fill me in perhaps on some of the secret spots .. of the rocks and help a fellow fisho out.. we'd be keen to be deck hand for anyone headin out fishin on a boat too..  Winkif anyone is.. anyway just thought you guys maybe able to point us JAFFAs in the right direction.. Much appreciated..
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #124 - Dec 8th, 2008 at 5:55am
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head to marsden point hour each side low tide, walk along the beach under the oil wharf and head out to the end of the first sand bar, there tua tua s thick under your feet, good snapper fishing & pleasant 15 min walk
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #125 - Dec 8th, 2008 at 8:48am
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Drive out on the N side of the harbour.  Parua Bay - McLeods Bay - Reotahi to Urquharts Bay.  From there there are a number of good options.  Urquharts Bay wharf is right on the road.  Snapper mainly, tho the odd kahawai, trev or kingi.  I usually do well in the evening on a rising tide a couple of hundred metres out from there.  If you are up for more exercise and excitement and a favourite LBG spot, go to Busby Head.  Park in the DOC park at the end of the Urquharts Bay Rd and walk over to Smugglers Bay (15 min).  Then walk R up over the ridge to Busby Head and fish off the rocks.  Lotsa people catch kingis there and a fair number of kahawai, snapper and trevs.
Look back through this thread for fotos and stories.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #126 - Dec 8th, 2008 at 10:43pm
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We have no problems pointing jaffas in certain directions Grin don't own up to being from auckland anytime after xmas as this place gets wrecked by them. aucklanders racing round parked boats(fine in the channel but nowhere else). i become ready to kill at this time Angry

the spot x book will point you to any number of spots along that bit of coast. most hold kingis from mid december on(although there's not many around at the mo).
don't bother with 'the gap' heaps of fishos and shit fishing..avoid. busby at the entrance has shown us some good fish and huge kings but be prepared to be cut off by jaffas cutting close to the rocks heading out to the chicks. can make getting big fish in very interesting.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #127 - Dec 12th, 2008 at 12:47am
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Rawfish needed for a party, (and I' ve been hanging out too) so half planned to go out this morning.  I woke at halfpast four for a piss and lay wondering whether I really wanted to and whether I could just lie for a while and go at eight.  Now or never - so eggs and cuppa and finished loading the car in the dark dark and WHERE's THE f**kING BOAT BAG and FISHING BOX????.  So stumbled round the house and outbuildings discussing the matter with God. 

A torch would be good.  Theres a torch in the boat bag.  Eventual success in the woodshed.  So got out to my spot on the edge of the inner channel at about half five.  Still dark,  berley and fresh jacks on the last hour of the flood and the first two hours of the ebb.
Steady, with a couple of nice fish around six.  By seven thirty the hits were all over and there were only pickers.  First Gurnard I have ever seen in the inner channel.
Snapper 42 (regressing male creamy opaque flesh), 37, (reripening male ), 34 (just spawned female - Still large ovary, but hollow with  eggs only in the cortex), 33 (regressed male)  30 (recently spawned female), 29 (indeterminate - blood lust killed the poor wee thing)  Gurnard 36 (female)
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #128 - Dec 13th, 2008 at 3:44am
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I've been gettin out for kings but they're rare as hens teeth. radios reporting good numbers and stuff. dunno what they're talking about. still, they can't be far away.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #129 - Dec 14th, 2008 at 6:16am
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Got out last night into the inner channel from 7pm til dark at 8.45 pm.  Light gear, berley, fresh and salted jacks (latter mixed with a bit of tuna oil). An absolutely perfect evening.  Small drama on the way back to the beach (see "boat bloopers" in the boating thread) Pannies at 35 Ripening male, 35 spent and rereipening female, 33 very ripe male, 32 ripening male.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #130 - Dec 16th, 2008 at 6:17am
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Dav, big kings goin hard tween 7 and the island last night. smashing little fish all round us. hooks went in just in time for a gannet to get itself caught. after that drama, the wind was shitty so we quit and headed back. still, it's a good sign.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #131 - Dec 16th, 2008 at 10:38am
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Thanks for the tip cowboy.  I got out into the inner channel in the dinghy tonight between 7.30 and 9.15  Half flood.  Berley, salted and fresh jacks.  Light gear.
Unpleasant, with drizzle and SW squalls to 15kt.  Nothing until 8.45. Absolutely dead with every bait untouched.  Then bang  - biggest snapper I have ever seen there.  Nothing til 9.15, and then another hit and another snapper.
Snapper 50 (reripening female), 36 ripe male.  Jacks developing gonad still.
  
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san feliu
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #132 - Dec 16th, 2008 at 10:40am
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Anyone know what happened to the ?sunfish that was nearly beaching in Urquharts Bay yesterday.  We saw it early afternoon as a guy in a kayak was trying to send it back out, though I suspect a lost cause!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #133 - Dec 17th, 2008 at 12:47am
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ignore the papers. it's not that unusual to have sunfish in the harbour. we had two wash up in parua bay last year. the come up the harbour then panic as the tide drops and run north a ocean fish are want to do. end up in parua bay. there's also been the odd marlin in p bay and sunfish as far as onerahi. urqharts is pretty easy to get out from once the tide start goin for it. probably back out in the ocean.
out of interest, we had a tuna of some sort, probably skippy/alby at the back of the boat last week and we were a 3bouy. now that's unheard of for me. he was sure heading some where. there was huge amounts of plankton shit in the water and associated fish, so may have been feeding on that.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #134 - Dec 23rd, 2008 at 10:42am
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Went out yesterday, I dont know where the snapper are hiding. started out at a reef by sail rock 6.am - 3 snapper 35-40 come in to 3mile reef 11am a few small ones.  no7 bouy 2pm nothing. drift around snake bank 3pm nothing then home. tried berley, drifting, dead baits, soft baits. slow day, sunburnt too,   anybody having any luck ??
  

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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #135 - Dec 28th, 2008 at 10:48am
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I don't know where they are hiding either, but they are sure not in the inner channel at the moment.  Out tonite in the dory with Ellen from 7.30- 9.15.  Berley, salted and fresh jacks, light gear.  Not a hit all night.  There are good snapper somewhere though, there were some frames from good fish a few metres out from the ramp in Urquharts Bay
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #136 - Dec 28th, 2008 at 9:11pm
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snapper have been going well in 30 mtrs off patau, taiharuru and probably kauri mountain, drift fishing over scrubby foul and sand with lightly wieghted pilchards and soft baits, big fat fully coloured up breeding fish, hard, agresive hits, and very tasty!
went for a look for kingis yesterday after my boy had some goodens in his burley while rock fishing, only saw one 30 pounder all day, no hits, bloody rough!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #137 - Dec 30th, 2008 at 10:35pm
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still disapointing fishing round the harbour. gave up on the usual spawning hordes and after checking the bouys for kings, we tucked in out of the way 30ft from the shore along the mile, and got the berley goin. waitin for a king. within moments a bronzy turned up which i teased for a while with a soft bait. the odd snapper but slow till dark when it fired up big time with every bait being taken including every fresh retired livie. a few alright fish taken a few lost.
kingis turned up a couple of times with a  very good fish chasing the livies and another ripping one off with no hook up.
all in all i'd wait till the suns real low.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #138 - Dec 31st, 2008 at 2:06am
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all in all i'd wait till the suns real low.


Thanks Luke - I was on my way out in the dory shortly and I was only going for a deep drift on 3 mile reef, but it looks like I need to plan to stay out til dark.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #139 - Dec 31st, 2008 at 2:54am
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man, it's calm out there right now. it got like that last night too.
good luck
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #140 - Dec 31st, 2008 at 10:45am
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One small snapper on squid deep drifting for two hours on 3 mile reef, nothing with heavy gear at No 7 for an hour, and was summoned home at 7 pm so no dusk fishing.  Perhaps tomorrow. Pannie 29 ripening female.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #141 - Jan 2nd, 2009 at 9:56pm
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Got out last night into the inner channel .  An "accidental" trip tacked on the end of a "pootle" in the dory with Ellen and her 76 yr old mother out from LA for a visit. Got them back to the Urquhart ramp at 8pm and thought I'd duck back out to have a wee fish at dusk.  All my gear was at home so there was no sprat line and no fresh jacks. I used Ellen's handlines and squid, salted and frozen jacks, usual berley.  She doesn't use fluro trace and a good snapper bit me off at the hook almost immediatelty, and an even better one did it again about 15 min later.   I  binned 3 pannies before I quit at 9.15.
Snapper 39 (indeterminate), 36 (indeterminate), 31 (ripe female).

Had a scallop dive along the edge of the bank between Calliope and the starboard hand channel buoy outside it earlier in the day.  10m or so. Lotsa tide.  Shell gravel bottom with huge numbers of old scallop shells, but didn't see a live scallop.  Dived Smugglers after that for 5 legal scallops on my last 100bar.  Shit!
  
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cowboy
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #142 - Jan 3rd, 2009 at 5:00am
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i grabbed 60 scollies yesterday arvo.  Grin we're planning a pre-dawn attack for the morning, see if we can't find a  kingi or two.
i'll pm you where the scollies are.
« Last Edit: Jan 4th, 2009 at 2:44am by »  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #143 - Jan 3rd, 2009 at 6:40am
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I am on my way up on Monday for a week of fishing diving and spearfishing. I am really keen to get in the water and nail a decent kingi. I am also looking for some decent fish off the rocks. I'm sure David will tell me all his great spots but if it is anything like the past I will have very few results. Does anyone have an idiot proof plan for catching something decent?
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #144 - Jan 3rd, 2009 at 8:10am
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I'm sure David will tell me all his great spots but if it is anything like the past I will have very few results. Does anyone have an idiot proof plan for catching something decent?



Ungrateful child! - and of course any plan anyone else produces will have to be proof against two idiots  Smiley.

  
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adflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #145 - Jan 3rd, 2009 at 8:55am
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I'm just hoping that someone who actually knows how to catch fish can give me some tips Tongue
  
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MADNESS,
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #146 - Jan 3rd, 2009 at 7:03pm
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i grabbed 80 scollies yesterday arvo.  Grin


pisses me off seeing people taking so many scallops. Lips Sealed
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #147 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 2:36am
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different rules this year madone. i didn't break any laws. got caught by a soft bait while i was down. didn't realised till i surfaced.
out kingi fishing this morning. one big bronzy, no kings a few piddly arse snaps. might go again later.
as for getting yourself a kingi with a spear thats simple. sit on the rocks at home pt, berly up and spear em when they turn up. spear are cheating anyways. take you rods out busby and get into them there. there's stack of little kahawai at the frenchie and we had no worries getting good livies.
fished just off hm pt on way in and picked up a little one on a floater but not worth the effort. noone appeared to be getting anything.

alot of fish showing on the sounder just inside hm pt toward urqhaurts. also alot of fish on the sounder up near p/bay.
ggod luck
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #148 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 2:42am
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there ya go madders, changed to the correct amount.
i got just over eighty and returned 22-23 of small to undersize.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #149 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 2:51am
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where are we going next week???
ive been practicing my arm exercises.

scollies, motha take me to the scollies Cool
  
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adflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #150 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 3:01am
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Thanks cowboy, I don't know about simple. It might be easy to get em to turn up, my problem will be getting a spear into one as i am very much an amatuer but I will definitely give it a crack. Does the state of tide have a big effect? I will  look to fish off busby from the rocks, much chance of a decent snapper? My impression was that busby is overfished but I could definitely be wrong on that one.
  
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cowboy
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #151 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 3:21am
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busby's a great spot but absolutely rubbish as you  go further round toward smugglers. home pt(walk over past the gun emplacement and on down to the beach then left onto the little rocks) is a great place to see a number of kings. southerly wind no good as it's hard to see them for waves. high tide suck as you get wet feet.
watch out for that bronzy, he's big. Undecided
wait till not far from dusk before doin anything, suns' to bright at the mo.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #152 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 3:22am
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sweet as lostone, i'l put you in the gear and take you to them. Cheesy
i'm sure we could go get a feed at some stage.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #153 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 3:25am
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Cool Cool Cool Cool

let me at em...can you shoot them on the surface Tongue
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #154 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 4:00am
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Thanks for that, I'll try not think too much about the big bronzy as I'm swimming around my berly in the near dark holding on to speared and bleeding fish.  Undecided
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #155 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 4:57am
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I would give it serious consideration Grin
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #156 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 9:41am
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Burned 150bar on McDonald Bank after scallops thanx cowboy.  Brought home 27.  Pleasant enuff on the bank with lotsa just undersized, a fair number legal and just above, and the odd really big one (120mmm).
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #157 - Jan 4th, 2009 at 10:09am
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Thanks for that, I'll try not think too much about the big bronzy as I'm swimming around my berly in the near dark holding on to speared and bleeding fish.  Undecided


If you speak to me with appropriate respect for my age and wisdom I might let you get back into the boat.  Grovel a bit and I might even help you.  Mind you if there was a bronzie round you probably wouldn't need help!

A long time ago on the N side of the Northern Arch at the Poor Knights I grabbed a gun at the end of a SCUBA dive and went down 60 ft to the thermocline to spear a big pink maomao.  Easy.
Still had 300lb left, so I pootled around looking for a cray to go with it, trailing the maomao on the spear behind me.

After a while a bronzie turned up and hung about.  He wasn't very big - maybe 7 ft, maybe 8, and every time  I swam towards him he faded, and I was 23 and bulletproof, so I kept looking for a cray.  Eventually, I pulled my head out of a hole and found him not far away, and I was starting to think he was a bit too persistent for comfort, so I surfaced.  The boat was a 17ft Boston Whaler type hull, and it was a good 60m away on the other side of the arch and I didn't fancy the swim with the shark hanging about, so I called the lads over.

When the boat arrived, I got one hand on the gunwale.  Then I handed up my gun and watched as 5ft of minigun and 7ft of 400lb nylon and  4ft of spring steel spear and half a pink maomao went up past my faceplate.

I don't remember getting into the boat, but suddenly there I was -sprawled in the bilges, still wearing mask, snorkel, fins, weightbelt, and a full set of SCUBA gear.

And that is the only shark I have seen underwater in more than 40 yrs diving.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #158 - Jan 5th, 2009 at 2:31am
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I've had one big scare at mcleods with one swimming over me just a foot or so. scared me a bit, at the time i thought it was a ray as i had just spooked one, then on surfacing to see the way back the screams of local fishos and kids had me shitting my self. the whole "shark shark shark" thing...surreal.
year bfore last the rays were shocking. physically on and over you, very aggressive and woah betide any speared fish. five butter fish were shot just to get two onto the float then they attacked that leaving one that we got out of the water in time. nothin ould put em off and i stuck a fair amount of spear into one. not that i felt in danger(and not that it noticed), but the oppressive size as a number clamber over and close to your mask.. spooky.

we'll probably be out near the frencie tonight for kings. maybe round on the mile. wind is supposed to drop right off. Cool
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #159 - Jan 5th, 2009 at 3:09am
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hey cowboy, make sure you drain all the puke out of wereami and give him some sea legs before he comes out to me aye mate!!  Wink
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #160 - Jan 5th, 2009 at 3:45am
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chris wrote on Jan 5th, 2009 at 3:09am:
hey cowboy, make sure you drain all the puke out of wereami and give him some sea legs before he comes out to me aye mate!!  Wink


Grin Grin Grin, ive seen him around camp, he has got built in sealegs.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #161 - Jan 5th, 2009 at 10:11pm
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Grin Grin
Had a very big kingi behind the boat last night. cunning bugger wasn't playing the game and two smaller ones turned my two liveys into dead baits. quite a few snaps after dark. also squid.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #162 - Jan 5th, 2009 at 11:31pm
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yeagh we had squid chasing the soft baits the other day, must be the time of year for them, very good eating!! Smiley
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #163 - Jan 7th, 2009 at 10:48am
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Adam (testosterone poisoned as ever) is up with his mate Danny. They were real keen for a day of looting, raping and plundering. So we went for a scallop dive and when they had had enuff I dived Home Pt at slack water and the very first of the ebb.

There is an isolated bit of foul out towards #7 Buoy that I used to get the odd bug off long ago, and hung a dinghy anchor on last year.  I have always dived it previously in dirty conditions.  The lads dropped me right on it, despite the distractions of 4 other boats within 50m and numerous idiots coming through at high speed.  

At the top of the tide it was a lovely dive.  Everything is covered in sponges, ascidians, bryozoans and hydroids. Usually the light levels are low (cos of the dirty water) and the tide is horrendous, so it is a filter feeders paradise and quite like parts of the 3 kings at 50m.   More like the 3 kings or further S than like the Poor Knights or the usual fauna of the coast locally at 20m.  In the clear oceanic water vis was close to 10m, shitloads of fish (including clouds of butterfly perch - just like the 3 Kings - where they are the dominant plankton feeders rather than blue or pink maomao)  Loads of big red moki, and a male red mullet about 2ft long in sexual colors (fluorescent violet and mauve)  Lotsa anemones reradiating from infrared to pink, so they appeared like vivid splashes of dayglo pink.  Shitloads of erect sponges.

I had hoped to pick up the heavy ground tackle that I had noted (and freed my dinghy anchor from) last summer and perhaps a cray as well.

The cray was easy - a little  nest and I took the biggest, which was a female and well legal.  The salvage of the ground tackle was harder.  Another years growth sticking everything together, and wrapped round and round and over and under a rock about the size of an average bathroom. 20m of very heavy chain and a 45lb danforth.  All festooned with 500m of nylon of varying ages and diameters stuck together with marine growth.  Heavy work.  I burned 200bar in 35 min getting it sorted.  The end of the 50m of terylene warp was all exploded, and when I got the danforth free I could see why.  One fluke was bent to nearly a rt angle.  Someone had applied tons of pressure in an effort to free the gear before the warp parted.  I eventually flaked out the warp and chain and took the free end up to the dory, but even with three of us heaving, we couldn't haul the weight of the anchor and chain.  So its all still down there, waiting for someone with a winch.

The lads weren't satisfied with a cray and 60 scallops and snorkled a couple of butterfish off Home Pt and then turned down the relative certainty of a few pannies in the inner channel on dusk in favour of sitting and berleying bigtime for a couple of hours 50m off the rocks on the mad mile in the hope of a kingi or a big snapper.

We duly sat and berleyed for bloody hours with a livie out and various combinations of fresh piper, fresh jacks, pillies, and squid.  As the sun got low we had some substantial hits but nothing hooked up unil just on dusk when I landed a 55cm snapper on a butterflied jack.  Cowboy came past with the lost one, having spent the afternoon chasing kingies and we encouraged them to come close enuff for a photo.  Just as I was posing with my fish, my rod doubled over, and Ad (who is much more competitive than me and who was hanging out for a decent snapper) grabbed it and got broken off by what he reckons was a really big fish.  Just as it got really dark, Ad landed a 51 cm snapper and we eventually got home at 10.30.  

Im still stuffed, more than 24 hours later.

Butterfish 35,37, Snapper 55, 51 (both reripening females - looking nearly ready to spawn again)
  
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davflaws
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #164 - Jan 8th, 2009 at 10:51am
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The lads chased kingies around the buoys all day and came in frustrated after trying poppers, jigs and livies tossed at metre long fish in the berley.  they also brought home 9 blue maomao for the smoker.

I thought they would want to go back to the possie off Home pt we fished Tuesday nite, but they wanted action and said they would rather catch lots of little snapper rather than a few bigger ones.  So we went to the inner channel and did.

Fished from 8pm -10pm.  One big hit on a butterflied jack failed to hook up, but mostly little fish.  Danny's flasher rig outdid us by 3:1.  

Kept 8 pannie snapper from 28 -37cm   most indeterminate, but the 37cm was the ripest male I have seen for a while, and the 28cm was a very ripe female. Threw another 8 back.
9 blue maomao 25-29cm (most ripe)
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #165 - Jan 10th, 2009 at 12:50am
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Out last night for the final time before Ad goes home.  Still hunting the elusive kingie and/or giant snapper, so pootled out at 7pm to just 20m from the rocks at Home Pt. Berleyed up bigtime for a couple of hours and got picked to death by small snapper.  Livie out but no interest.  nothing in the bin at 9.30 (dark dark), so stopped off in theb inner channel to have a last try for something for Ad to take back to AK (besides scallops and smoked maomao).   Normal service immediately restored and took 5 pannies in under an hour on fresh jacks and light gear.  Very tentative biting, so had to hold the rod and really concentrate on staying in touch with the bait.  One undersiized went back
Snapper 29 (male, tiny gonad but ripe), 31 (indeterminate), 31 (regressed female), 34 (ripe male), 36 (regressing female).
  
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san feliu
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #166 - Jan 10th, 2009 at 11:54am
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Davd - scuse my ignorance, but where do you mean by the inner channel - and I'm not sure if it was you, but someone also talked about the Mad Mile - and I'm not sure where that is either.  Are you able to say or is this likely to mean that you are joined by a bunch of boats trying to emulate you!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #167 - Jan 11th, 2009 at 9:50am
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No - happy to share, cos it's a big Ocean and I think there's probably enuff for everyone who wants to go at the right time.  The following advice is only my opinion.  I hope others will chip in with their ideas and info.

Mad Mile and Inner Channel are both possies for boat fishing.  Best launch is Urquharts Bay - tho some use Little Monro Bay, and some come out from Parua Bay or from One Tree Point marina.

The "mad mile" is in and next to the main harbour shipping channel, running from about the middle of Mair Bank (which forms the S side of the channel from Marsden Pt out past the Frenchman), to Busby Head (which is the last point on the N side of the harbour 200m past the Frenchman. Water depth is 15m+.  I have always done best there with heavy gear, a very heavy sinker and a 6m trace, because the tide in the main channel is fierce.

The inner channel runs from Urquharts Bay along the shoreline back up the harbour to Little Munro Bay. There the harbour narrows with Marsden Pt wharf on the S side and Reotahi on the N side.  Up harbour past Reotahi, an innerchannel again runs up the shoreline past McLeods Bay to the entrance to Parua Bay and could well go even further past Manganese Pt, but I am not familiar with that area.

In Urquharts Bay, the inner channel is only 100m from shore, and it is lots less than that off the wharf at Urquharts and off High Island out from Taurikura.  I find the best fishing is off the edge of the bank just inside Calliope Island in Urquharts Bay.

From Urquarts Bay ramp or beach, thread your way out slowly thrrough the boats.  There is a small Island (Calliope Is) to your Rt about 300m from the shore.  It is surrounded by shallow water.  Head towards it and stop when the depth rises steeply from 6-7m to 2-3m
This area fishes best with light gear >6kg nylon, >10kg braid on the change of light.  Lotsa burley is good.  Fresh jacks or piper  are the best baits in my experience, but some of the people I have fished with have had success with almost everything else you can think of including softbaits and saltwater flies.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #168 - Jan 14th, 2009 at 9:35am
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After tonight - you probably aren't very interested in my spot in the inner channel.  A dusk fish on a rising tide with light gear, berley, salted bonito, and the only fresh jack I managed to catch resulted in precisely one hit, no hookups and 50 zillion nibbles from small snapper.  Saw nothing whatsoever in the berley, but at 9.15 pm caught a lonely jack on sabikis fished well back
I fished from 8.15 -9.45, with lotsa little fish nibbling freely until the tide started to flood really strongly about 9pm.  Then everything went absolutely dead. I couldnt even get a nibble on fresh jack head oozing blood.  One hit in the deep dusk at 9.30.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #169 - Jan 25th, 2009 at 3:06am
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Back to the inner channel in the dory with a mate.  Evening fish from 8pm - 9.45 on the ebb.  Berley, fresh jacks and piper and salted bonito on light gear.
Lotsa pickers removed bait steadily, but I use big hooks and only hooked two all night. The occassional keeper kept us interested, and we had a good bite for 15 min at dusk -(9.00pm) and it was totally dead at dark dark.
Pannies
40,  33, 32 28 (all indeterminate) and 32, 30, 30, 29 (all female).
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #170 - Jan 29th, 2009 at 11:17pm
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Inner channel last night in the dinghy.  Fished between 7.45 and 9.00 on the flood.  Light gear, berley, salted bonito and fresh jack. 
Catching the jack was a hassle. I dropped the jackline into the berley and was promptly monstered by a passing kahawai of 4lb+.  Not quick enuff to pull the bait away from him.  Then had shitloads of little snapper feeding on the berley right up near the boat and half a metre below the surface.  Feeding so aggressively that they were beating the jacks to the bait.  So catching freshbait was hard. 
About 8.45 I got monstered on my braid rod by something very substantial.  It took the front end of a jack and pulled enuff string to nearly spool me.  I fought it for about 5 min before it broke me off.  Not a snapper -felt like a trev or (more likely) a kingi.  I dont think a ray would have stopped before spooling me.
That was pretty much all the excitement for the evening.  I got picked to death until I ran out of bait.
Pannies 29 (male) and 29 (indeterminate).
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #171 - Feb 26th, 2009 at 11:59pm
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Nearly a month with no fishing.  Shit. Doesn't time fly.
Out last night in the dory with Ellen, cold chicken, smoked Havarti,  2007 Mills Reef Chardonay, light gear, berley, salted bonito, and (eventually) fresh piper and jacks.

Berleyed up in the shallows in from no 7 buoy from 6-8pm for one pannie.   Then moved back from 8-8.45 to the inner channel for 3 more.  32, 30, 29, 29.  No gonads.
  
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san feliu
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #172 - Feb 27th, 2009 at 12:09am
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Goodness - and what did you have for dinner.  Not sure if I can afford that style of bait.

Haven't had much of a chance down at the heads, but went out last Monday from Onerahi.  Just off Limestone Island, close to (20m) from the 1st red marker pole, on the last of the incoming tide.  Caught about 10 good sized snapper in an hour.  About the 1 to 1.5 kilo range.  Didn't matter what bait either - the kayakers that came to investigate were all using different baits, and all were catching.  Sadly, looks like it'll be next Monday before the wind and rain goes away!
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #173 - Feb 28th, 2009 at 7:53am
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Nice! When they are on - they're on.  They were also quite big snapper for pannies in the harbour.  Might be worth a dawn fish tomorrow.

Our trip was a bit of a treat/ romantic adventure - more usual fare is a cold sausage or a peanut butter sammie.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #174 - Mar 1st, 2009 at 8:48am
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out tonight. superb conditions. fished th eberly trail in the shallows, far side of harbour. heaps of kingis, but small, snaps. caught this one and released.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #175 - Mar 1st, 2009 at 8:57am
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nice one cowboy Coolits a light coloured snap for the shallows???
was that on bait or the soft spastic's
  

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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #176 - Mar 1st, 2009 at 9:04am
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bait, they were all very sandy coloured. lost some good fish pissing round with light gear. Went back to my heavy stuff and it was all on. only kept three fish.
  
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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #177 - Mar 1st, 2009 at 9:14am
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good shit Smiley the sea looks f**king good compared with the last couple of days Smiley
  

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Re: Whangarei Heads
Reply #178 - Mar 2nd,