Piratical goings on behind Karewa

Mottley Crew.

We’ve had some rather unsettled weather over the last few months, but during the odd lulls we’ve managed to get out for a few reef fishing trips.

We had an interesting Saturday a  couple of weeks ago. The group turned up several hours late for a mate’s stag-do. Everyone was in fine form dressed as pirates and there were all sorts of other colourful costumes.

With the weather not the most accommodating, we decided it would be best to tuck in behind Kawera Island, a short distance from the Tauranga Harbour entrance. The trip out subdued some of their enthusiasm!

After an hour or so of catching smaller fish and releasing them, and as the weather had dropped, the more hardy members of the group and myself decided to venture out from the shelter and pursue some snapper.

Time to turn back

Anchoring up in the 25m mark, we immediately started to catch keepable snapper. Unfortunately, due to the previous night’s activities, the group decided it would be best to return to Terra firma. With the vast majority winning the vote, we started to head home.  

On the way back we chanced upon  some schools of kahawai and decided to  do a spot of trolling, thus providing some nice smoked fish for our lunch on subsequent trips.

The following day the weather was smiling upon us. With the crew on-board we decided to head to the previous day’s mark to investigate the snapper situation further. Upon our arrival, we found that they had moved, so off to the 30m mark we went.

Soon after the anchor was set and the boat was settled, the tarakihi came on the bite. Gordon Davis had set me a challenge earlier in the day. He had apparently done a trip with us 20 years ago where they had done extremely well and challenged me to repeat this. His first fish over the rail for the day was a nice keepable kingfish.  

This was followed closely by a good sized snapper, setting the tone for their group for the trip. With son Tom and daughter-in-law Jacki both producing some very nice tarakihi, we well met the challenge.  

Along with a few of our regulars catching a good feed for dinner, myself and Shane (the tarakihi slayer) managed to fill a chilly bin with nice-sized tarakihi and enough to distribute around to the not so lucky anglers. A great day was had by all.

The following Thursday’s group was the team from Hynds Pipes - a mixture of people from all over the country.

With a 10am start and a 4pm finish, it made for a short trip, so we headed out to about the 30m mark. The day started slowly, with only the crew catching a few, but this didn’t bother the team who were enjoying themselves with lots of banter and a barbecue lunch.

As time ticked on we tried a few different spots before stopping at about the 45m mark. At this point time was getting short, but thankfully the fish came on the bite hard and fast, with me counting down the clock and encouraging the team to get  into it.

They managed to get a good feed of terakihi, which was a great end to a  good day.

Impressive fish

The next day we headed out with a public trip, and with the weather near perfect we went back to the previous day’s spot which was still firing. Once there was a few fish in the bins we headed off to check out a few other spots.

Eventually we ended up in about 50m of water. With the wind and the sea becoming completely calm, we spent a considerable amount of time drifting around in circles on the anchor.

Every time the boat swung over the mark, the team laid into the tarakihi. By the time the day had concluded, everybody had done well and came home with a generous feed of fresh terakihi and the odd Snapper as well. Paul Jenson from the West Coast produced some impressive fish.

On Saturday, unfortunately, the golden weather did not to continue. With the forecast turning nasty, we had a group of hearty locals that decided they wanted to brave the elements in pursuit of some  fresh fish.

We headed out to around the five-mile mark to start the day. The weather was worsening so we headed to Motiti looking for shelter and, hopefully, some fish. Upon our arrival, we nestled into the shelter of the island and were plagued with small snapper that were skillfully removing  our baits.

A couple of moves of the boat and we eventually managed to settle on some grounds which produced some big trevally, a few snapper, kahawai and some blue cod.  

We also caught some impressive sized pig fish which were destined for the barbeque on the way home, not to mention a couple of terakihi just for good measure. All in all not a bad day considering the atrocious weather conditions.

We are about to start regular trips out hapuka, bluenose and reef fishing at Tuhua (Mayor Island) and there will be the option of tramping, camping and kayaking as well. Watch for a report on the action in the next issue.


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