Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Land: Get out fishing New Zealand's coastal waters.

Our women await their hunter-warriors return. Kapiti Island in the background.
   New Zealand is surrounded by a bountiful larder in its coastal waters. So grab any chance you can to get out on the waters and spend a day fishing. Nothing more relaxing than taking a day off, heading out early, and getting horribly sunburned while everyone else is enjoying their work immensely. I mean, wouldn't you chose to go to work rather than getting all fishy smelly, and seasick, and burnt, and running the risk of getting gobbled up by sharks, or orca?
Our son and I have half shares in a 5 metre runabout. Sits on the backyard most of the time, hardly gets used because his work commitments means he is on call so much.
But now and again it's "Come on Dad. We're off tomorrow!"

We head out early morning. Those fish will be too sleepy to realise the breakfast carries a wee surprise!
A flock of seabirds circling around and diving into the water showed us where the fish were. They were feeding off schools of herring or mullet, and in and turn they are followed by larger fish such as kahawai. And the big kingfish will be feeding off them both. Really is exciting if you can bag a big kingfish. They can be over a metre long and that is huge! That would frighten the women...all that cleaning and gutting!
I was first to haul in a kahawai. Well I managed to get it into the scoop squiggled violently for one last chance of freedom, and threw the hook which flicked back past my eye!
And that's when I caught my hat!

My second catch of the day.

Kapiti Island   is separated from the mainland by Rauoterangi Channel, part of which is now a Marine
 Reserve. Reserves are great at protecting areas from over exploitation. More should be set up, but instead of large areas, it would be better for many small reserves interspersed with unrestricted fishing areas so the reserves act as incubators restocking the fishing areas.

There is good fishing at both ends of the island depending on weather and tides. The birds on the rock in the photo know the shoals of fish will be heading their way

On herring guard duty.

Often more than just shoals of herrings come through the channel. Imagine the thrill when you're out there in your puny boat and you look up to find you're in the middle of a pod of orca or killer whales!  That day they were just a few metres off our boat, surfacing, blowing, diving again- stripping all the fish off our set line. After that incredible experience I always take a camera with me. Such wonderful photo opportunities and I missed it.

Seagulls always accompany us, diving at our chum trail, grabbing any small scrap released as the frozen bait block melts. The variety of birds we saw on our last trip was encouraging - seagulls, terns, skuas, and 1 lone gannet, well off course- they normally nest way further north around Cape Kidnappers.

Our beautiful companion.
 After a hard day's fishing, and missing out on any kingfish we head over to retrieve our set line. A buoyed and weighted line with 25 baited hooks: our failsafe. Always a fish on that, even if our big ones have got away. We haul in a tangled mass of lines and dogfish, a small shark which is good eating. But the snapper we hauled in which had tangled our line was HUGE! What a fish! 14lb.
Have you ever seen a guy hopping around a boat in joy, trying to hang on to such a monster?

When Tim calmed down we managed to get this pic.

     The biggie that didn't get away! 
Although the women wished it had. Fish has got to come from the supermarket for them. But after I cooked fish pie that night from the kahawai, my wife changed her tune. Delicious.



Julia said...

That is an amazing fish in the final photo. I bet your fish pie was HUGE! :) Fishing is a favourite pastime here. Seabass, seabream and mullet are the common ones.

Andrea said...

Whoa - that's a massive fish! About 500 times bigger than any I've ever caught, haha. My Dad and I used to go fishing when I was a kid. Great outing =)

Jorie Pacli said...

That's a huge fish Jim! We could make a sashimi out of that one... I'm impressed with your second catch! Wouldn't want to lose that hat??! But hats off to the big catch!!! Cool! :))

cath said...

I love to fish and that looks like a perfect place and day for it...we call set lines trot lines here and they are fun to run but lots of work..we fish our local river and one time caught a huge turtle! You never know what a fishing trip will yield! Congratulations on the snapper!

Bret Love said...

I've never been deep sea fishing, but have always wanted to go. LOVE to eat fresh fish, and that snapper is a doozy!

Sailor said...

Beautiful Pictures!

lakwatsera de primera said...

I love to fish and I love to eat fish :) It's seems to have a cathartic effect on me like yofa :) wish I could catch something as big as that snapper

sheril said...

OMG ..that fish is huge!!!Might be a great experience!!

AJ said...

Hey Jim! Let's go fishing when I make it to NZ! Are there any sharks in those waters?

Jim said...

Hi everyone. Yes the fishing is great off our coast as the Marine Reserve prevents the waters getting overfished. Nothing better than fresh fish. Not o keen on the sashimi Jorie.

AJ, any time you're coming over let us know. We'll take you out and dangle you overboard...there are sharks out there. A big one surfaced right by the boat as Tim was leaning over. Strangest thing to see him running around, so shocked he couldn't get the words out of his mouth. By the time he could talk, the shark was gone.

Jim said...

Cath, it was a fantastic day for it. Real smooth water.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...

Oh such huge fish! Would love to try fishing someday. Perhaps when we move to Oz.

Red Nomad OZ said...

I remember asking for bait fish in North Queensland a few years ago. When we saw the pilchards they brought out, my partner and I burst out laughing - they were bigger than most fish we'd caught!!!

Hope you're having a great weekend!!

Jillian said...

Ok to fourth, fifth or sixth it, What a HUGE fish!

Mari S. Wilbur said...

Congratulations on winning the Versatile Blogger award. I won also, nominated by JP Brandano. What a nice accomplishment for us both! It's nice to have our work recognized by our fellow bloggers. I've joined your blog and signed up for your email. I look forward to getting to know you better through your blog!
Regards, Mari

Jeremy B said...

What an awesome looking fish! I've only gone fishing a couple of times in my life and never caught anything. Does all of NZ have fish like that? :)

Christina said...

I wish I had done more fishing in NZ. Thanks for sharing your article! I once met a bushman at the Mavora Lakes who told me about mice fishing! I found that fascinating. I tried my luck myself, not with mice as bait but was not successful... Next time!

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Bloody hell Jim, that fish is massive! I wouldn't mind scoffing that in a sandwich. I am a new follower by the way, and I am loving your blog and its pics!

Annie (Lady M) x

Jim said...

Hi Jillian. That's a wee fish. Guy caught a 29 pounder the same week!

Mari, hi. Like you , very honoured to recieve the versatile blogger award. An honour. So thanks for popping in. I 'll get over tonight to check out your blog and the others that were nominated.

Jeremy, we have been making bigger snapper catches. Proves the worth of Marine Reserves, as it gives fish the protected areas to grow to full size.
Plenty more that size. There are many fishing charter businesses for tourists to have the same fun. I'll have to publish a list of some.

Jim said...

Hi Christina, nice to see you. I've heard of mice fishing, but dunno if I could do that.

Yeah, some big sandwich Annie. I'm scoffing whole fresh flounder as we speak. Droppng all over the keyboard ooopps.
My son dropped off 3 flounder last night. Yummy.

Cathy Sweeney said...

Awesome photos of a fun fishing trip - love it. I am looking forward to visiting New Zealand sometime!

lindsay @_thetraveller_ said...

When I worked in a bar in Blenheim, NZ so many of my regulars were fisherman. And said they would take me fishing but we never got around to it. It's one of my travel regrets. I really wanted to go out on a boat with them. Total local culture to where I was staying. So many fishermen. Gah I miss that place :(

Aleah said...

Got to know your blog from Red Nomad's blog hop :) NZ is my dream destination. I hope I can go there someday. Am not going to fish though. That fish looks bigger than me!