Tag Archives: Hawke Bay

Epic Far North Fishing

For three years I have been planning to go to the far north and verify for myself some of the tall tales uttered by fellow fishermen upon their return. I nearly got there last year but events conspired to thwart me and even though I had time to go, other things soaked up my funds and I was left wondering.

This year no such bad luck came my way and with determination and a heap of money spent, I was on my way to experience the best land-based fishing NZ has to offer.
The far north is a fisherman’s paradise, there is no other description. Its a different world compared to places like Hawke’s Bay. There are so many fish available up there. There is always somewhere to fish as well, no matter what the weather is doing.
Beaches both east and west are within a short drive, you could easily fish both coasts on the same day. Harbours and estuaries are full of fish should the weather prohibit fishing any open beaches.
Its a visual feast as well, epic scenery and stunning fish life swimming by at your feet.
They have a saying in the far north, “if you’re starving in the far north, you’re lazy”
I fully believe that. The abundance of fish and other wildlife is amazing.

So check out these pictures and videos. and start planning your trip..

September and Snapper

Late September is the time of year Hawke’s Bay surfcasters wait for.  This is the time for big snapper to turn up and hopefully, get caught.
There have been a few  really big ones caught in the last two or three weeks. Fish over 8kg and up to 13kg!
Connecting with one of these beauties can be a bit of a lottery as they are not about in huge numbers, and its all about having a bait in the water at the right time and in the right place.

Napier Port viewed from Bay View at night.

There have been endless discussions on what exactly is the right time and place, but there is general consensus that fishing in the evening is better because the fish are not so shy in coming close to shore under the cover of darkness.

So just to throw a spanner in the works, the biggest fish decided to show us that we really have no understanding of their movements.
A 13.4kg fish was caught at 8am in Mahia and a 11.8kg fish was caught at 2.30pm in Napier. So much for our theories about fishing in the dark. But then fishing is always like that, just when you think you have it sorted, the fish say otherwise. 🙂

As for me, no luck yet. I’ve given it 4 or 5 outings in the dusk/evening during the last two weeks but no bites at all, from anything..

Oh well, maybe October will be my month to win a fish lottery 🙂


Red Cod in February?

redcodEverything I thought I knew about the seasonal fish in Hawke’s Bay just went out the window.
While continuing my holy-grail-like quest to catch a snapper, I dredged up a sulking red cod.
Why are these things here in the middle of our so called summer? They are a winter fish. Usually caught in the cold, rough, dirty water of winter, I was most perturbed to see this pathetic thing hanging forlornly on my hook at Haumoana the other night.

Aside from that, two baby tope sharks managed to choke themselves to death trying to swallow my pilchard and skipjack baits. No snapper.

Baby Tope’s don’t usually have enough pull to move the sinker, so you don’t know they’re on until you wind in to re-bait.



100 year storm

Haumoana Coastline. Photo: Mark Roberts

I had intentions of making a last gasp attempt at catching something decent this summer before the really crap weather moved in. However I only managed two outings (without a bite) before the rains set in. Most of the beaches in Hawke’s Bay have been decimated by the storm. Vast amounts of flooding, land slips, and road washouts have made this an April to forget, and many of the beaches are unrecognisable from what they were two weeks ago.

Things have just started to settle, a walk along the beach littered with debris reveals many dead starfish, crabs, and other bottom dwellers that couldn’t handle the storm either..