Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
New Zealand fishing.
It's a hell of a long way to Australia so while we were over there we opted to visit our good friends the Bulmers in Auckland, New Zealand. Of course it was another lengthy flight from Perth but well worth it. Alan Bulmer met us at Auckland airport and after we'd settled in he joined us for a natter about what had happened since we last met (Four years ago) and (of course) to try and fix up a spot of fishing for me. Lilian and I had already arranged a train journey down to Wellington (11 hours) so that we could see a bit more of the wonderful country. We stayed in Wellington for three nights and while I was there I took the opportunity to try and catch a fish - harder than you might think. Our hotel room overlooked the large harbour and marina so I was soon walking round to see if anyone was fishing. In all I saw a couple of blokes spinning for kahawai, a group of anglers bottom fishing with bait and one or two people float fishing with small hooks and groundbaiting with bread, ostensibly for 'Australian herring' (a tiny version of the kahawai). While I was watching - a total of perhaps two hours - no one caught anything and as far as I could tell they had no bites.
Wellington was very windy and quite wet during our stay but I managed a couple of early mornings on the bits of the quayside where fishing was permitted. I spun with a few lures including a big pearl Redgill and my luminous Mepps but neither of them produced anything. On my second morning I switched to a silver Toby and on the second cast I had a couple of pulls which I missed. Peering into the clear water I could see a school of wrasse like fish chasing the lure so I slowed down the retrieve and managed to hook one. It turned out to be a smallish wrasse a bit like a corkwing and I took its picture before returning it to the sea. I was later told that it was a 'spotty', common and generally disregarded by the locals, but at least it was a fish. I had nothing else before we returned (by air) to Auckland.
Back in Auckland Alan and I managed a few fishing sessions although my pal was pretty unwell with an antipodean cold virus. Notably we had a trip with our friend Paul Smith along the fantastic Coromandel peninsula where the scenery is spectacular and there are countless fishing spots but, on the day we were there - no fish. We tried more or less everything including beach casting with bait, spinning and fly fishing but we were water licked. The weather left a lot to be desired and of course none of us really knew anything about the tides and conditions for the spots but, excuses aside, the potential is clear. It's just too far for me to go.
For a couple of days we stayed with and were mightily entertained by Alan's mother, Hazel in Whangamata. The estuary of the small river there runs across extensive flats of gravelly, muddy sand. At low water it is possible to walk to the channel and fish. Conditions were pretty good but again the fish were a bit thin on the ground. There were loads of big sting rays and eagle rays in the shallows and it was not uncommon to see two or three large fish feeding and swimming past at once. Alan tells me that, at times, killer whales (Orca) come into the river to feed on the rays - what a sight that must be! There were also fair numbers of baitfish and small yellow eyed mullet in the margins. We spun with various lures and Alan did a spot of fly casting but the only bites were from small kahawai. I didn't hook any on my larger lures but Alan managed a couple on his Toby.
Our final session was from the shores of the Manukau - a gigantic arm of the sea. We were joined by a flyfishing pal Mark Hoffman but Alan and I both opted to spin again. The tide was ebbing quickly when we arrived so the water was shallow and the sea bed was liberally decorated with razor sharp rock oysters. Almost at once Alan was into a small kahawai on his spoon and it was not too long before he landed a second one. By now I was beginning to think that this would be another fishless session for me. The water was falling very quickly so in a last desperate attempt I decided to switch from a big Evo Redgill to a small Mepps. The only one in my box had a size two black painted blade so on it went. Bingo! Almost at once I hooked a small, rushing, leaping kahawai. They're a bit like a cross between a mackerel and a seatrout but I could hardly have been more pleased if it had been a monster. I'd caught something. Encouraged I released the fish and began to cast again. It wasn't long before I was in again and this time the fish, another kahawai, was even big enough to take a bit of line. Isn't that always the way of it? Just when you begin to catch fish it's time for your thirty hour flight back home!
If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you!' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Double hulled, ocean going, Maori sailing canoe.
Everywhere in the World it's the same.
"Done any good?" The usual qustion with the stock answer from the lure angler..
Wellington Harbour. Another spinner and a float fisherman.
Got one! My 'spotty' caught on a Toby.
Coromandel. Paul bait fishing and Alan talking.
Alan seeking fish.
Small kahawai. A fish at last from Whangamata.
Close up. They even look a bit like mackerel.
Manukau. Alan into a lively little kahawai.
Little fatty. Small but welcome.
The last fish. My larger kahawai.