Tag Archives: Pania Surfcasting Club

Spring at last

Ok so its been a while since I posted here, I’ve been rather busy with work and other commitments.
snapperThe highlight for me has been the start of the spring-summer fishing. We’ve had two field weekends so far in the Pania Surfcasting Club 2014-15 season. In field weekend one I caught nothing, as did many others. In field weekend two I broke a 29 year drought and caught an 8.6kg snapper. It was caught locally, at Gill Road Bayview, and is the first snapper over 2kg that I have caught since 1985!
smoked-kahawaiOn the same day I also caught my 5 allowable Kahawai, 3 of which were over 2kg.
Suffice to say, it was a great weekend.

This weekend I participated in the “Thornton Beach Fish Together” organised by Chad Prentice on Facebook. Some 70 odd fishos from all over converged on Thornton Beach, Bay of Plenty for an evening of camaraderie and abundant B.O.P fishing.
We got the first part right, but the fish were absent in the area I was fishing. Some good catches of snapper were taken further up the coast at Matata though.

So its been a mix of extreme highs and lows. Stoked to have nabbed my big snapper, gutted to have driven 8 hours and 600km for no fish.

But I guess thats why they call it fishing instead of catching 🙂

Thanks for the Lemons.

When life gives you Lemons, be thankful 🙂
For months I never had any luck using prawns for bait to target Lemonfish. People told me they love them, the next best thing to crayfish or crab. Yet I could never get anything to eat a prawn bait.
lemonsNow all of a sudden they’ve started working. I’ve no idea why, but I’m happy anyway 🙂

If it wasn’t for the Lemons I’d be posting yet another update bemoaning my lack of fish.
Since I last wrote on here I’ve managed to catch a couple of Kahawai and some nice Lemons. No Snapper or Gurnard yet, but Lemons are fine by me.

I seriously doubt there are any Snapper or Gurnard to be caught around Napier, at least very few of legal size anyway.
Kahawai are also very scarce at the moment.
In the last 8 Pania Surfcasting Club twilight fish competitions only 5 Kahawai have been landed total. This from 15 to 20 rods at each outing.

So its thumbs up to the Lemonfish, you have saved the day..

Spring at last!

Well I haven’t posted much here of late, mainly because I haven’t been fishing much. Things are starting to happen though and a few fish are being caught locally around Napier.
Pania Surfcasting Club’s first field weekend produced a great assortment of fish including a massive 13.5kg Snapper. Well done Jimmy B on that once in a lifetime catch.

My own efforts were a little less spectacular and a Sunday morning Lemonfish on prawn bait was all I could manage for the weekend. Saturday night’s only excitement for me was being hooked up to something very heavy only to have it chew through my 60lb flurocarbon trace..

Big snapper will flatten the trace with their crushing teeth rather than shred it like a shark or eel would.

Big snapper will flatten the trace with their crushing teeth rather than shred it like a shark or eel would.

On showing the chewed trace to other fishos the consensus was that a big snapper was the culprit. I was kinda hoping it could have been blamed on a big eel or something less valuable, so that was very frustrating.

A pleasant but unproductive afternoon at Mohaka.

A pleasant but unproductive afternoon at Mohaka.

I also took a drive to Mohaka recently for a lazy afternoon’s fishing with Gary and Sue Kemsley. None of us caught anything despite trying every type of bait we could.
Sometimes there’s just nothing there.

The wife and I also fished closer to home a couple of times over the last month. One of the places I’d heard about but never tried was Westshore between the reef and the old boiler. At certain times this area can produce good catches. Alas there was nothing of any size there when we tried.


The "boiler" at West Shore


Blacks Beach


A nice afternoon at Blacks

I’ve been meaning to get up north of Wairoa for well, most of the summer.. Every time I made plans something would throw a spanner in the works. The weather would turn to crap, other must-do things got in the way etc.. But last weekend I finally got my shit together and made the mad dash to Whakaki. Well perhaps it was more like a leisurely trundle in my van, but never the less after work Saturday I found myself staring at beautiful clean calm water at Blacks Beach.

Although it was a Pania Surfcasting Club field weekend, I was more interested in fishing for the table, having been starved of fish for dinner because of my lack of local (Napier) fishing luck, I was looking forward to getting a fish or two in the bin.

Recent reports of plentiful snapper and gurnard from north of Whakaki had me hopeful I could at least catch something!

I started out fishing 3 rods, two with pulley-rigs, one with a ledger (droppers) and a variety of baits to try and get an idea on what, if anything, would work.  I had pilchards, skipjack and prawns in the bait bin. First fish of the evening was a 32cm snapper, good stuff, a few more of those and I’ll be a happy man.  But from then on the snapper seemed to desert me. I managed three nice Kahawai just before dark, and then it was shark time..


Baby Bronze-Whaler shark

From about 9pm onwards all I could catch was baby Bronze Whaler sharks and baby Tope sharks. I had hoped the prawns would attract a Lemon or two but they either weren’t there or weren’t interested. I did manage another very small (just legal) snapper on a prawn bait but I released it. The tiny ones like that are hardly worth filleting.


Dawn at Blacks

Getting sick of the sharks I crawled into the van for a few hours sleep. Up again at 3am and baits out. Nothing for the next 3 hours. Then I caught a smallish Kahawai and decided to try it as fresh bait. Gurnard apparently quite fancy fresh Kahawai as bait. But nothing wanted it until about 9am when I decided to call it quits.  Just as I wound in my last rod I thought I had a piece of weed or something but it turned out to be a Gurnard.

So overall it wasn’t a bad trip. I had fish to eat and the weather was great.

Back at the Pania weigh-in there were some nice catches of snapper, gurnard and lemons.
The biggest snapper was 1.4kg and that was caught right here in Napier!
Thats fishing I guess..




Last weekend the Pania Surfcasting Club had a two day fish at Mohaka. I’d never fished Mohaka before so after work on Saturday morning I loaded up the van and headed up there not sure what to expect.

Blistering summer heat and clear skies are not ideal fishing conditions.

Blistering summer heat and clear skies are not ideal fishing conditions.

It was blistering hot (the weather not the fishing) so its no surprise bugger all was caught during the day. However the dusk and incoming tide combination produced an hour or so of ‘bite time’ on the Saturday evening, and a similar flurry at dawn on Sunday.

By 8pm Saturday evening I was still looking at an empty fish bin, and wondering if this trip would be yet another waste of gas. Then as the sun faded away the sharks came out. I landed a couple of small Tope and replaced the shredded traces. Then I caught a large paddle crab. Having not had any luck getting a Lemonfish to take my Prawn-Tails bait, I chopped the crab up and used that.

Fresh crab did the trick and I soon had a small lemonfish in the bin.
That was pretty much it for the evening. I fished until midnight and crawled into the van for a snooze.

Worth getting up early even just for the view...

Worth getting up early even just for the view…

Up again just before dawn and the sea was dead flat. At about 5am the gurnard came on the bite and I managed to catch two of them before the sun came up turned the fish off.
I fished until about 9am but the heat and lack of any more action persuaded me to call it a day.

The lemonfish was the first fish to go in my new smoker, it tasted great and smoking is now my preferred method of preparing those.  So although fishing was reasonably hard, the trip was still worthwhile and a feed of fish afterwards is all we can really ask for 🙂