Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fishing Trip Waiheke 2010

The Biggest Storm in the World

The NZHerald said "It was the biggest storm in the world" and so what better time to go on our fishing trip - the fishing trip we had been waiting all year to go on... the fishing trip that had been the focus of our Internet browsing and our credit card reconciliations. So Friday afternoon (17th Sept) we went, charging off down the harbour in 25 knots towards our first safe haven - Home Bay Motutapu, sheltered from the strong westerly gales. We thought.

Waiheke, Anita Bay
Looks perfect in the lee of Anita Bay - it was ;-)

I say 'safe' haven but it turned out to be a bit of a trial, with winds forecast to 70 knots ripping over the hill to pound down on us at anchor... all night long. At one stage we were pushed over so that the cupboards emptied and the boat was pushed sideways through the water. In the dark we checked our bearings and found that we had been pushed into the next bay entirely, and now had 6 inches of water under the keel and were swinging towards the rocky shore. We quickly fired up the engine and motored up into the bay as close as possible - then spent the night half awake checking that the boat was not dragging anchor. The joys.

Kerkira is a 30 foot Lotus (9.2) and I upped the specs on the anchor tackle so I have a 35lb CQR anchor, 15M of heavier than required chain, and also upped the diameter of the nylon anchor warp. Normally I just check its all in place and go to sleep - but this was a real eye-opener.


We survived the night and headed down to the bottom end of Waiheke to our fishing spot in Man O War Bay and put 6 snapper in the fridge. Roger landed the first fish. Next day we tried a few spots and had a go with the scallop dredge - I don't think we even got an empty shell - just mud, starfish and old broken mollusc shells. Back to our fishing spot near the green channel marker for a couple of dinner snapper, and tucked up again in Opopo Bay, Waiheke for the night.

Anita Bay

The day was mostly clear, but with the odd shower and the wind still whistling (at least not howling) through the rigging - we went around to Anita Bay, where we anchored close to the rock, with a good safety margin for the swing around - which we did, with the NE wind leaving us relatively sheltered.
Waiheke Snapper, Anita Bay
Fishing was good, with a number of good fish landed including an 8lb, and 2x 5.5 lb snapper. We tried a few different methods including lures and fresh bait. They seemed to go for a cocktail of squid and bonito - and using the light soft-bait rod and reel, I could feel every bit of interst on the other end of the line. The light gear with braid and flouro is definately the way to go.

North Harbour, Ponui

Monday and Tuesday we spent in North Harbour (Chamberlains Bay) where we kept out of the weather, and didn't go too far abroad. We had a look around the corner into Bryants Bay, but it was a bit exposed with the wind turning quite Southerly. Staying in the protection on the Bay was fine, although we could see the wind whipping up the water into a swirling mist just out in Ruthes Passage.

Heading Back

Wednesday we did a bit more fishing up in Man O War Bay, catching a couple of snapper and a nice Gurnard, and finding a spot back in Opopo Bay. Thursday was scheduled for better weather and lower winds, so we were up early and made the run back to Westhaven while we could.

I was a great week despite the high winds and rain that saw us get the biggest snapper we had landed, and having a relaxing break - tinged with adventure. We survived the biggest storm in the world, caught plenty of fish and drank plenty of beer - we didn't break anything and we had a great time talking about fishing and motorbikes and listening to the marine weather forecast over and over. Actually scratch that last one...


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