Pigfish Kahawai Snapper


Barry and I went fishing one more time, my top mate and avid angler Sinclair tagged along. The plan was to fish the outgoing tide in the late afternoon, have the first bait in the water 2 hours before low, live-bait with kahawai for kingfish and land a double figure snapper at the change of light with a fresh kahawai head. Textbook stuff really. The conditions were good, a five knot breeze from the side, no swell, lots of white water, the scenery was dramatically beautiful and there were three of us. We had plenty of bait, burley, the right gear, skill and motivation. Sinclair wore his new ninja-style rock-hoppers, Barry was looking to achieve his trifecta, I was hoping …

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Legendary Rockfishing – The Big Kingi


It was the last day of 2016 and the plan was to land a big fish off the rocks with my brother Barry L. Smith. Barry has a knack for fishing, last time he held a rod (we fished together) was abut 8 years ago also in NZ, and he landed fish in otherwise unfruitful conditions every time. Perhaps this was the reason why he had high ambition and higher expectations. I’ve taken less experienced and lay-people fishing many times. Be it clients, friends, family, it is always challenging, psychologically and physically. What am I going about, you ask?, after all it’s just fishing. No, it is not. You see, everyone wants to land a big fish, they want a …

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A Special Big Snapper

Roughly a month after our last fishing adventure (the best snapper fishing we’ve experienced so far), Sinclair and I hit another remote ledge on the Barrier. We met at 1430 and headed to the south of the Island. After about 45 min. of hiking we reached a small bay and rock-hopped for another 15 minutes to get to a ledge. The conditions were good, if not great and our timing turned out to be rather perfect. Low tide was at 1730, and we had baits in the water at about 1600. There was a small breeze, the sea calm, the sky overcast, the views outstanding and even the birds left us alone. For most of the day, I was confused, …

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Best Snapper Fishing


Whether you’re a fisher(wo)man or not, I bet you’ll like this story. It is a story of two friends who went land-based fishing on Sunday, 18th Sept. 2016, it is also of a perfect day, worry-free, adventure-rich, spontaneous, the sort you don’t forget. Let’s start with the morning. A windy, cold and rainy morning it is. Are we going fishing?, is it going to stop raining?, are we going to find a decent spot?, shouldn’t I rather stay in by the fire and have an easy Sunday?, I was asking these questions to myself whilst tying fishing rigs and sorting out my backpack. Take only the bare necessities, one rod, one reel, a handful of pre-tied rigs, one camera, one …

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Land-Based Fishing


About a week ago I took Chris and his sons Max and Alex on a landbased fishing trip. We met up in Tryphena and headed to a fishing spot on the south-western part of the Island. Our plan was to walk around the coast to the headlands of a small bay and fish a few hours before and after low tide. The boys were fit and fast on the rocks, and we arrived on a ledge, looking toward the Coromandel Peninsular two hours before the low tide. Conditions & Tide The conditions were good, a cool, pleasant, northerly breeze, calm waters and we had the first bait in the water two hours before the low tide. The burley was deploying …

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Action Packed Rock Fishing Trip


I received a query from Jason about two weeks ago via this website. He asked whether I could take him and three other family members on a land based fishing trip over Easter. His email ended with: “We are all fairly inexperienced fishermen but all fit and ok to hike in anywhere. We have transport.” I replied yes. We stayed in email contact and Jason confirmed that Saturday would be the day, and that one of the fishermen will be 10 years old. Conditions & Tide The forecast was variable 10 knots, fine spells with a retreating 2 m swell on the east coast. The tide was also not in our favour, with high at about 1030. I saw two …

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Great Barrier Island Kingfish 2016 – Part 2


Third Attempt Third times a charm, that’s what they say and that’s how it shall be done. While I was at work, Paul and Connor went rockfishing for kingfish at a rather easy spot. The conditions were such that the East Coast spots were not safe to fish and since we had a couple of long hikes under our belt, Dad and Son thought it would be best to have a good, but easier go at catching kingfish off the rocks. He was right. I had just arrived home after a rather frustrating day of helping youth with formal education. My plan was to open a beer and go for a walk with Rani in the bush. It was about …

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Great Barrier Island Kingfish 2016 – Part 1


Landbased fishing for kingfish is best during February and March. For over a decade, I have watched his majesty being targeted, hooked and landed off the rocks. The first kingfish I saw was protruding from a large hiking pack at Port Jackson in the Coromandel. I stopped to have a chat with the chap who landed that monster of a fish. His name was Paul (the angler’s that is)… We became top friends and meet once a year during his extensive New Zealand Rockfishing Holiday. This year, he arrived earlier than usual and brought his son Connor. We had 11 days on the Barrier, this was Connor’s first time to New Zealand, and our plan was to catch kingfish, talk …

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