I am sure for all of you boat owners it was tortuous under Levels 4 and 3 to look at the boat and not be able to use it. With the wonderful weather we were experiencing, every boatie must have been chomping at the bit wishing he could get out on the water. Alert Level 2 is now thankfully here and that means boats can get back on to the water. Sadly, the weather has turned foul since moving to Level 2 but, hey, we desperately need water in Rodney. Reports from boat fisherman have not been that wonderful since being able to get out, but the weather has had a lot to do with the catch results. During Level 3 the good news was that we could at least take a rod and get on to the beaches and put a bait or two into the water.
Reports of good snapper catches were received from just about every person who ventured out. Many reports of huge Kingfish cruising in the shallows sparked massive interest in shore fishing. Who can watch a big Kingi cruise past your feet and not want to get a rod and try to catch him? For those who did and went to have a cast, the results were excellent. Reports of good catches from beaches were plentiful. There were many sightings of massive schools of piper, and for those of you who had a set net, the rewards were great. Mullet schools were also plentiful and once again set netters made the most of the occasion by landing some for smoking as well as for use as bait. Incredibly, during lockdown some amazing things were seen such as the mighty orca right up inside the Omaha estuary.
For Kontiki owners (those engaged in electric longline fishing), Level 3 was a match made in heaven. With no boats around, you could launch your weapon from just about any beach in New Zealand. Beaches that are generally a no-go when boats are around, such as straight off Snells Beach for example, were seeing some great success. If you are thinking of buying a Kontiki, the key is to purchase a local brand with good after-sales service. Also, if your budget will allow, always purchase one with a stronger motor. You never know if you might want to use it off the west coast in traditionally big surf. The stronger motors with a 54-pound thrust would most definitely get you through the breakers and beyond. Maintenance is not costly, except for the occasional loss of hooks and trace.
Lastly the latest rave, fishing drones. They can be used with just about any rod and reel combo (preferably with 50lb braided line) and are great to fly. They have continually been improved upon and now come out with some incredible fail-safe features. One such feature is return-to-base. What this means is that once you have dropped your line, you set the drone to return-to-base. This means you can put down the control handset next to you, pick up your fishing rod and know the drone will fly itself back and land right next to the control handset completely on its own. Easy as. Drones are generally used with about six to eight hooks as they can carry only a limited amount of weight, unlike a Kontiki which can easily take out 25 hooks without any problem. An added benefit of a drone is that you can see where you are dropping your bait, as most models come with a built-in camera. Those with higher resolution cameras and two or three axes control, give you the option of using your drone for taking good photographs or video as well. This last feature could just get you past the missus!
Anthony Roberts, Tackle & Outdoors