Friday, 25 November 2011

Kahawai nearby

Lovely calm morning after constant wind lately. Whilst working in my office at home, I decided the conditions were too perfect not to have a fish.

Soon after 7.30am, I grabbed my fishing gear and headed across the road. I had been once since my earlier effort - but there was quite a big swell coming in, and the water was murky, so I didn't even bother having a cast that day.

The conditions felt perfect, and it was the kind of day that you'd return after a fish feeling good no matter what happened on the fishing front.

I gave myself an hour max for my fish, as I did have a lot of work on. It was about 10 minutes into that hour when I started casting, and after forty minutes I planned on packing up and returning to my work.

I was fishing with my new soft plastic lures: "Sapphire Shine", that I was using last time I fished in this spot and hooked something that I couldn't land. They seem like a good lure - realistic colours and movement.

I varied my retrieve often, unsure of the best way to fish with the lure - sometimes fast with the odd jerky movement; sometimes three or so quick winds and then pausing, alternating the amount of quick winds.

Not long before my forty minutes was up, I hooked a fish! The excitement! The line moving through the water... trying to make sure he was hooked properly... not wanting to lose him...

The kelp in the foreground had been a spot where I lost fish the one time I previously had any real luck here - catching five or six kahawai after seeing them jumping when walking the dog and running back for my gear. I kept the tension on the fish and tried to pull him in as quickly as possible, keeping him above the kelp.

Before too long, I landed this nice four pound kahawai. I'm definitely going across the road more often.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Northern Cloudy Bay

The early evening after returning from my trout mission, I decided I should pop across the road to try my luck with a new saltwater soft plastic lure I'd recently purchased - the colouring is white/grey/black, more realistic than the 'Nuclear Chicken' type I had tried previously, which is garish pink and green. I like trying to keep things looking realistic these days; makes more sense to me.

The conditions felt perfect - only a light breeze and nice calm sea. I normally like to fish the last half of an incoming tide if possible, and this was not long after low tide, but it still seemed ideal.

After walking the few minutes across the road to Monkey Bay, I noticed someone already fishing in my spot, so waited at the lookout and set up my rod. What I assumed was his girlfriend looked to be getting a bit cold behind him, popping the hood up on her jacket and and hugging her arms closer to her body, so I figured they'd move on before too long.

I was still finishing setting up my tackle when they reached the lookout where I was. I asked if they'd had any luck - they hadn't, but wished me luck with my new lure that I showed them.

After about ten minutes of casting, something took my lure - I could see my line moving throught the water and feel the pull on the line. I tightened the tension on my reel, as it was quite loose; I probably should have had it tighter. He was on there for maybe ten seconds when I saw him come to the surface and roll over and my lure come out of the water. Possibly a dogfish - he didn't fight like a snapper or kahawai, and had a serpentine movement to his body.

That was the only excitement of the night, but it has renewed my enthusiasm for fishing somewhere so close to home that I had pretty much given up on, due to lack of luck in the past.

Second Wairau Mission

Yesterday saw my second Wairau River motorbike trout mission going further up the Kaituna Tuamarina Road to see if I could get out of the wind before attempting to fish.

The wind remained, but at least it was behind me.

The water was quite cloudy, probably from some excavation work further up-river. I didn't see any trout and managed to lose the last lure I had of my favourite type, so not an overly successful mission. Was good to explore a spot I've never fished, though.

Friday, 11 November 2011

First Wairau River Trout Mission of the New Season

Rode the motorbike up to a spot in the Wairau River above Tuamarina. The river is running quite high and coloured at the moment, but spotted a trout in a small clear pool off the main river (shown above).

Spent about an hour throwing various lures in the water, but the trout seemed uninterested from the start.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Interesting vessel

Rowed out to my boat moored in Waikawa Bay yesterday to check she was sea-worthy and ready to go after being somewhat neglected over the last few months, and noticed the interesting vessel shown above moored in the bay.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Flounder from Wairau Bar

Sixteen flounder caught in a net set at the Wairau Bar, Marlborough, New Zealand.

Nice haul of 16 flounder pulled in at the Wairau Bar.

Mark and I set the net, then spent the next three hours exploring the lower Opawa River in my dinghy with his motor on the back, trying to get a trout. We saw a couple of trout - a fairly small one jump, and quite a large one follow my lure, but no strikes (possibly a half-hearted one from the large trout at one point).

Passed a few whitebaiters while exploring the lovely wind-in-the-willowsesque river. They all said they weren't having any luck, but I think every whitebaiter will tell you that no matter how it's going for them.

Interesting how people were keen to give advice on the trout, though - one fellow recommending a Rapala pack (that I'm sure had 'mud' in the name), and another pointing out that the trout hide in near the bank, and a couple of groups saying they'd seen trout jumping nearby.

Hydrobiosis parumbripennis

Derek Grzelewski's excellent read The Trout Diaries mentioned using the Rhyacophila fly when fishing. Something about it made me curious... to be honest I don't remember what it was now, but here's some information I managed to dig up from my bookcase, relating to the Hydrobiosis parumbripennis, which is native to New Zealand and belongs to the "large family of caddises, the Rhyacophilidae".

(From 'An introduction to the fresh water insects of New Zealand', by J. G. Pendergrast and D. R. Cowely)

The adults (shown above) are about 16 mm. long. Their fore-wings are mottled with light and dark brown, a distinct dark-brown patch being present close to the anterior margin and about two-thirds of the way to the apex of the fore-wing.

The H. parumbripennis larva has along, bright green body with brown pigmentation dorsally. 

The head is elongated and has an area of dark pigmentation interrupted by unpigmented spots, towards its posterior end.

The thorax has a single dorsal thoracic plate which has a diamond-shaped area of dark pigmentation, again with unpigmented spots.