2018 Nationals Report by Rex Manley
Returning the NZACA Nationals to Wellington this year was an opportunity to good to be missed. Step outside the Capitals bright lights and fancy restaurants and you’ll soon discover a rugged and spectacular coastline that stretches from the sandy beaches of the west round to the rocky and variable reefs of the east. Variety is the name of the game on these beaches but so are the many challenges. Wellington fishing is not for the faint hearted.
Four of our clubbies hit the beaches this year and I’m not sure any of us were truly confident. Yoey and Trish decided to hit the west coast and the sandy/stony beaches of Te Horo. Mark I checked out both sides of the local boundary starting at the rocky outcrops of Makara and then swapping them for the familiarity of the gravel beaches behind Wainuiomata. I chose Palliser Bay and based myself not far from the famous isolated fishing village of Ngawi. It was a place I’d always wanted to visit having heard so much about it. It was a shame I hadn’t taken a few more notes on how to fish it.
I sent Mark a few pictures of the area and it didn’t take long before he was making the trek over the Rimutukas to join me. Palliser is a fascinating and exciting stretch of coast. Kilometres of rocky reef greet you when you drive down the hill into the bay. It’s an amazing sight that seems to stretch on forever. It certainly looks the part.
Palliser Bay: Coast for Kilometres
I’d rented a cheap cabin and there was room for two of us. I’d scouted a few likely spots and Mark had done the same as he drove in. We decided on a few areas and gratefully hit the hay. At 4.30am the next morning we were heading out to our first spot. It was to prove to be challenge. Despite attempting to work out where the sandy parts of the beach were we soon found this beach held a lot of foul ground. We moved but It didn’t seem to matter where we went, our shock leaders and gear were soon swallowed by the hidden ocean cover. Lack of knowledge of the area caught us and bit us hard. With no sacrificial sinkers and little knowledge. we were starting to run out of ideas.
As luck would have it we came upon a couple of Wellington anglers. They were good buggers who Mark had met previously at the casting. There was a beach, they told us, 20ks back called Whangamoana. A lot easier to fish. We didn’t ask twice.
Thirty minutes later we were hurtling along a sandy track towards the middle of the beach. The terrain that greeted us was primarily sandy, a shelving drop, rumoured to produce quite a variety of fish and reminiscent of North Shore Road. The day before they were catching snapper here a local told us. We could hardly wait. After a slow start the fish began to arrive, firstly Kahawai and then Mark scored a nice gurnard. Things were looking promising, but the fishing gods had other ideas.
Whangamoana Beach: Full of Promise
Meanwhile over on the other coast Jim and Trish were also giving it a good crack, fishing the plentiful shellfish beds of Te Horo. Trish had a kahawai and Jim lost a good snapper. Then the weather kicked in with wind and increasing swells and things took a turn for the worse. Meanwhile on our side, well protected from the weather, the sea remained perfect, so perfect it was an invitation for some less welcome species. We soon became plagued by spiny backs.
We changed tack, throwing out mussels to try and snag that elusive Moki. They were frequent visitors to this beach, so we were told and perhaps they were. But another pest also arrived, our old foe the red cod. As the moon rose high in the sky and tide ebbed we called it a night, determined to throw everything at it in the morning. And throw it we did.
Spiny backed sharks were prolific. Two on one trace on this occasion
Unfortunately, the spinys decided to return as well and latterly the red cod. Somehow Mark found a way through and picked up a couple of nice kahawai and then an awesome 1.3kg gurnard. But I struggled, bagging cod after cod, spiny after spiny. As the clocked ticked round to nine am it was almost a relief to head back to Upper Hutt to the weigh in. We’d certainly given it a good go all the same.
At the weigh in it soon became obvious that locals definitely had the edge. A good range of fish were passed over the scales including some top-class kahawai, gurnard and especially Moki. While the Pania team were unable to match the epic hometown catches many lessons were learned about this vibrant fishing location. A few new spots were discovered, a few different approaches learned and bait ideas revealed. Those who participated were much wiser at the end of this competition and will be better prepared for the future. It was a weekend well spent and one I enjoyed. I’ll be back again for sure.
Sunday April the 15th is our last casting day for the season, its at Kahuranaki Airstrip, with only one more chance to improve your placing the top three in each section are:
Open. James P, Hamish, James B 6 points cover these three
Accuracy. James B, Sue K, James P. Only 4 points between top three
Veteran. James P, Yoey, Peter K. 2nd and third need to improve
Ladies. Sue K, Trish, Sue L, Look out for Estella
Junior. Lochlan M, Xavier M Xavier B. No changes here
Golden O. Gary K, JP, Where’s Mark R ??
Overall very very close, please make the most of the opportunity to improve your placings and a reminder to those who wish to compete in the champion of champions that you must have a casting result to be eligible to place in this section.
Kahuranaki airstrip is a couple of kilometres down Kahuranaki rouad from Red Bridge
Field weekend 9 was sponsored by Hunting and Fishing Napier and was the second of our early start weekends.
14 members fished with 47 fish crossing the scales consisting of 25 snapper, 15 kahawai, 3 gurnard, 1 blue moki, 1 barracuda and 2 jack mackerel.
Standouts for the weekend were Kane with 10 snapper and 5 kahawai. Andy B with the only pin fish of the weekend with an impressive blue moki weighing 4.35. Andy also weighed the heaviest snapper at 2.62. Roy and Sue K both weighed snapper of 2.54 and 2.15 respectively.
Kane’s haul of Snapper
Andy’s pin Moki and a nice Flounder
Thanks once again to Hunting and Fishing for their generous sponsorship and continued support of our club. Please make an effort to support our sponsors.
Next field weekend is 21/22 April.
Field Weekend 9 17-18 Mar 18 Full.pdf
Well looks like A repeat of our last early bird weekend, at this stage Friday night Saturday morning is looking to offer the best fishing conditions, Great to have Hunting & Fishing on board again, and putting up a similar prize pack as last time the prizes were fantastic, there will be prizes for best Snapper, average Kahawai, best other and Gurnard. Including the Gurnard jackpot we will be fishing for over $500 worth of prizes. Start fishing is 6pm Friday through to weigh in midday Sunday, good luck everybody see you at the weigh in.
Jim Yeoman weighs two nice Kahawai
Sunday was the last of our Hamills Napier twilight fish togethers fifteen members fished from Gill road through to Le Quesene road, it was tough going with only six fish weighed although a large number of smaller fish were caught. Yoey scored the ave Kahawai prize with a fish of (1.77 kg) average for the day was an impressive (1.96 kg) Gary K took out the other with a smoothound of (2.59 kg). Just for wetting a line was won by Xavier M.
The other members who weighed fish were Sue K and Tim M well done it wasn’t easy.
Once again thanks to Hamills for supporting the three twilight fish togethers.
Fish Together 11 Mar 2018 Full Points.pdf
Field weekend eight combined with the Pania Shield challenge was held within the boundaries of Blacks beach in the north through to whakamahi in the south, thirteen members fished the weekend with some great results, seventy one fish crossed the scales, 42 Snapper, 20 Kahawai, 6 smoothounds and 3 gurnard. One pin fish was landed, a Kahawai of 2.53kg, caught by Kane, he also took home the average Kahawai prize( 1.61 kg) Best Gurnard was once again taken out by Andy Gunn, (.64 kg) Hamish secured the other category with a Smoothound ( 2.70 kg). And Peter K rounded off the prize table with the heaviest Snapper (1.77 kg).
Field Weekend 8 3-4Mar 18 Full Table
The Pania Shield was contested between the Gisborne, Wairoa and Pania clubs, a total of 32 people represented the three clubs, fishing commenced at 3pm Saturday and concluded at the weigh in time of 11.30 Sunday. The results were:
A total catch bag of 33.84 kgs divided by nine fishing members = 3.76 kgs pp
A total bag of 20.07 kgs with ten members fishing = 2.07 kgs pp
A total bag of 87.43 kgs divided by thirteen members fishing = 6.72 kgs pp
Well done to Pania in winning back the shield, a great effort by all those who participated, special thanks to Gisborne who are in the process of rebuilding their club, and to Wairoa for sharing their beaches.
After lengthy discussions with the Gisborne and Wairoa clubs due to the weather forecast we have changed the fishing boundaries from blacks beach in the north through to Whakamahi in the south.
North east winds with a easterly swell would indicate better fishing from the northern beaches, there will no longer be a briefing, fishing starts at 3pm Saturday and the weigh in will be held at the Whakaki car park at 11.30 Sunday morning, Wairoa and Gisborne if they wish may have a collective weigh in that is a representative to weigh another members catches, provided those members have been registered.
For the Wairoa and Gisborne clubs Pania Surfcasting have the following fishing rules
A maximum of three SSH or lemon fish trunked to 650mm if you catch a one meter fish you will be able to truck to 650mm.
Five Kahawai at a minimum size of 450mm
And Snapper to be a minimum of 300mm normal limits apply all other species as per legal criteria.
Pania field weekend #8:
Best Snapper prize package in access of $100
Average Kahawai prize pack of $90
Gurnard and other $50.00 each
Jackpot for gurnard is now up to $150
Total prizes in access of $440.00
Good luck and tight lines
March 3rd and 4th is our field weekend #8 combined with the Pania Shield competition.
It is to be held at Mohaka and the boundaries will be 200m south of the mouth to the first creek past the cliffs at the end of the track.
There will be a briefing at 2,30pm Saturday at the main car-park just below the access road. Fishing to commence from 3.00 onwards.
Weigh-in will be at the same carpark 11.30 Sunday.
Good luck everyone
Our thanks to this weekends sponsor Thirsty liquor / Black Bull in what was supposed to be a normal field weekend with a twist turned out to be a little harder than most thought with only seven members managing to catch an average Kahawai (1.677kg) or better which then allowed any other fish to be weighed.
26 Kahawai crossed the scales, one a pin fish caught by Andy Brooks, the average prize went to Mark Ives.
Those who headed north came home with 45 snapper, the biggest went to Peter K, the “other” category was taken out by Dion Jeffries with a Trevally
Rounding out the weighable fish were 2 lemons a Barracuda and another pin fish (Tope) landed by Andy Brooks.
In total there were 75 fish caught by 7 anglers and 4 of them caught their limit of Snapper
Points – Field Weekend 7 17-18Feb 18.pdf