Leather Jacket spawning ground

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FatherOfMany
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Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:04 pm

Drove up to Kahoe Farms just outside of Kaeo on Friday afternoon. Nothing to do with fishing, but nice place to stay and a very friendly host - http://www.kahoefarms.co.nz/

Headed to bed early and set an alarm for 4am with the aim to drive the last 45 minutes to Matai bay on Saturday morning. I also have a regular alarm for 5am, so between the two you can imagine my surprise when I casually woke up at 6:15 with no memory of an alarm having gone off. Somehow the 4am alarm had been set for Tuesday and I had forgotten that I'd changed the 5am alarm to exclude weekends not too long ago... Oh well.
Hit the water at Matai Bay 8:20am and I was just setting a rod into a rod holder when the smallest of waves came past and I watched my 2HP Yamaha outboard grow grasshopper legs and jump off the motor mount!! I swear it didn't just fall off, it hopped off with determination!!! Fortunately I was in shallow water and I picked it up without much trouble, but wasn't sure whether it was going to be too happy having been dunked in salt water. Turns out I had screwed both "knobs" on the motor the wrong way so had completely opened the gap instead of securing it to the mount :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:
FOM at his best!!

Beautiful clear water and lots of sign out there, but I caught very little. My gulp softbait didn't survive long enough on the bottom to catch any snapper if there were any around. Caught a 39cm pigfish. Now that I know a bit more about them, I'll throw them back next time, but at the time it just looked like a nice pan-size fish to me. and also caught a 44cm snapper. The rest of the day I spent cursing at how quickly my softbait were being devoured!!

Headed back to Whatuwhiwhi Holiday Park where I met another kayker fisher, Clive. He was heading to Matai Bay the next morning to target kingies, so we decided to head out together Sunday morning. Bought myself some sabiki rigs and got a livie hook from him and we set out to Matai bay early Sunday morning - early enough that we were on the water before sunrise - I think I launched just before 6am.
I was wondering whether the motor was going to play along or would have rusted up over night, but on the beach it started on my first attempt. Left it running as usual and then killed it and used my paddle to get into deeper water, where the motor just refused to start again. I told Clive to go on without me, but he offered to come give it a pull from the other side - but when he got next to my kayak he said "uhm, does it have a kill switch?". I'm pretty sure he knew very well I'd forgotten the kill switch from the moment he offered to come give it a go, but didn't want to embarrass me... Of course it started first try once the kill switch was in!!

Anyway, long story short... I eventually gave up the idea of getting a kingie and now having a sabiki rig with me, decided to take revenge on those little critters eating all my softbait. Slaughtered 5 or so Leather jackets and a whole bunch more that came off on the way up. Not much meat on them, but they're pretty good eating in the steamer and what a pleasure to clean as you just rip their skins off with your hand! Caught another 2 snapper on Sunday.

At the beach I met up with one of Kerry buddies (forget his name now) and he said "oh, you went to the right? - the snapper are to the left"... Blah!
Got out the water at 3:30pm, making it one of my longest days on the kayak at 9 1/2 hours. Realized my body had taken a bit of strain when I found myself walking around the campsite like a penguin that evening taking little baby steps all the way.

All in all, not very impressive fishing for the Northland. Don't blame the spot though, Kerry's videos make it clear that there are lots of good sized fish there, I just couldn't find them! Despite not catching much, I had a good time and may very well head back up there again - maybe with some pointers of where to fish and a good supply of ZMan instead of Gulp next time!!

Saturday weather was okay, Sunday a fair bit of wind and then Monday morning as I was heading home... not a breeze!
20170731_082531.jpg
----------------------------------------------------
Old Town Predator XL
OK Tetra 12
Old Town Predator 13
OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #1, OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #2

PB: Snapper=66cm, J.D.=39cm, Gurnard=38cm

VHF Callsign: ZMW 9858

Kayak Fishing Auckland

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awondering
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Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:36 am

Onya mate :y:

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Mental
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Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:49 am

Cool adventure if nothing else!
Phoenix Kayaks - Hornet
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...and the countless other kayaks I've owned

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Hairy Little Dwarf
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Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:34 pm

Karikari Leatherjackets - World famous in...well, probably genuinely World famous for their attacks! I've never found anywhere as bad.
Some days it feels like you should just drive to the beach, throw a few dozen Gulps in the bin and go home.... Same effect. :lol:

The "Two Bums" is something of an institution up here - Did you get to try the pizza? :inlove:
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.................... "Flying Mango"....................
Phoenix Hornet - Specialty Assault Craft

Dad! Dad! Look at his fish! It's way bigger than anything you've EVER caught! - Nosey 7-8yo boy on opening my icebox to father strapping down his $XXX Stabicraft 759(?) - Gold. Pure Gold.

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itsallablur
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Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:00 pm

Great trip report FOM. Had a good laugh at HLD comment too. Good work fellas
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FatherOfMany
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Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:39 am

Hairy Little Dwarf wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:34 pm
Karikari Leatherjackets - World famous in...well, probably genuinely World famous for their attacks! I've never found anywhere as bad.
Some days it feels like you should just drive to the beach, throw a few dozen Gulps in the bin and go home.... Same effect. :lol:

The "Two Bums" is something of an institution up here - Did you get to try the pizza? :inlove:
LOL

Serious, I could easily fill up my fridge with those critters. Why don't people like them, too little meat for the effort I guess.
Not sure what/where Two Bums are - might need to do a bit more socializing and exploring next time.

Hey HLD, wouldn't mind doing a mission together next time I'm up there, might give you a PM on the way up next time.
----------------------------------------------------
Old Town Predator XL
OK Tetra 12
Old Town Predator 13
OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #1, OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #2

PB: Snapper=66cm, J.D.=39cm, Gurnard=38cm

VHF Callsign: ZMW 9858

Kayak Fishing Auckland

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Hairy Little Dwarf
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Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:46 pm

FatherOfMany wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:39 am
Serious, I could easily fill up my fridge with those critters. Why don't people like them, too little meat for the effort I guess.
Not sure what/where Two Bums are - might need to do a bit more socializing and exploring next time.

Hey HLD, wouldn't mind doing a mission together next time I'm up there, might give you a PM on the way up next time.
They're Mrs. Dwarfs' favourite fish (after Dory), and probably the easiest fish to process: nick, nick, rip - sorted :lol:
Sold as Creamfish.

Definitely let me know next time you're up, will see if we can beat your Leatherjacket PB :D

Two Bums... Local-ese because of the sign !
2bums.JPG
2bums.JPG (21.69 KiB) Viewed 468 times
Image
.................... "Flying Mango"....................
Phoenix Hornet - Specialty Assault Craft

Dad! Dad! Look at his fish! It's way bigger than anything you've EVER caught! - Nosey 7-8yo boy on opening my icebox to father strapping down his $XXX Stabicraft 759(?) - Gold. Pure Gold.

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AndrewRawlingson
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Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:45 pm

Nice report FOM. I didn't have to read too long before having a chuckle :clap:

Sea conditions were awful around Whangarei on Sunday despite the forecast. Monday was beautiful. I won't bore you with tales of the beasts that I tangled with :)

Re: leatherjackets. My old neighbour used to shoot them with a spear gun. He said they tasted great, but I think he only shot them because he wasn't good enough to get anything else!
Image

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FatherOfMany
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Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:50 am

Hairy Little Dwarf wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:46 pm

Two Bums... Local-ese because of the sign !
2bums.JPG
Well that makes sense:) It was dark when I got there and when I left, so didn't see the sign. He asked whether I wanted to order some pasta before I arrived and I declined. Now knowing he's Italian, I should have said yes!
Hairy Little Dwarf wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:46 pm

Definitely let me know next time you're up, will see if we can beat your Leatherjacket PB :D
LOL, think I might rather want you to show me where the snapper are or maybe we do a night fish for some of those flounder of yours.
----------------------------------------------------
Old Town Predator XL
OK Tetra 12
Old Town Predator 13
OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #1, OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #2

PB: Snapper=66cm, J.D.=39cm, Gurnard=38cm

VHF Callsign: ZMW 9858

Kayak Fishing Auckland

User avatar
FatherOfMany
Posts: 1718
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:34 am
Kayak Make: Old Town
Kayak Model: Predator XL Petrol
VHF Call Sign: ZMW9858
Location: Papakura, Auckland
Contact:

Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:59 am

AndrewRawlingson wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:45 pm
Nice report FOM. I didn't have to read too long before having a chuckle :clap:

Sea conditions were awful around Whangarei on Sunday despite the forecast. Monday was beautiful. I won't bore you with tales of the beasts that I tangled with :)

Re: leatherjackets. My old neighbour used to shoot them with a spear gun. He said they tasted great, but I think he only shot them because he wasn't good enough to get anything else!
Yeah Andrew, I thought about your previous statement in another thread that Sunday's weather was looking good while I was out there and thought you'd gotten that wrong:) Pretty chilly and choppy out there on Sunday!

Agreed about the not good enough... I certainly didn't travel 450kms to go target little ocean unicorns, but when I couldn't catch much else, I enjoyed catching them and had always wanted to give them a go ever since seeing this video:

----------------------------------------------------
Old Town Predator XL
OK Tetra 12
Old Town Predator 13
OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #1, OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #2

PB: Snapper=66cm, J.D.=39cm, Gurnard=38cm

VHF Callsign: ZMW 9858

Kayak Fishing Auckland

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MikeAqua
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Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:29 am

LJs roast nicely too. Season and oil and into really hot oven.

Works on the BBQ too. I have some Cajun spice mix for making blackened fish, which work well on LJs.
"No good story begins with a salad"
ZMT-7387
Viking Profish 400Stolen!! Yellow/Black
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