WILD BLUE DIVE REPORT CONTEST
Alright dust off that camera and you could win!
We'll draw one report a month and the lucky diver will get a $50 vouchar in the mail.
So get out there and let us know how you went, especially the visiblity. The more reports you send in the more chances of winning!!
Send them in to email@example.com
Been out spearing last 3 days and had some luck.
Went out Wednesday morning before work and took my mate Brandon out for his first ever spear around Leigh area. We Both managed a Kingy each with 10m+ vis.
Went up north Thursday and managed some Cray’s with my mate Jarred in 5m vis around Whangarei area.
Went out Friday with around 5-10m vis with my mate Nick and he managed 2 dory and a Boarfish while I managed a nice haul of plankton.
BLOKES AT THE MOKES COMPETITION 27.10.2012
On Saturday we competed in the Blokes at the Mokes competition, based out of Marsden Cove.
There are very few rules in this comp, which is part of the appeal, another part is the opportunity for spearos to go head to head with line fishermen.
As the weekend drew closer the forecast did something unheard of… It got better.
All of us were awake before our 5:15am alarm was due to go, and we were on the glassy calm water before 6. As we got to the Hen and Chicks the sun rose over Coppermine Island, life was good, I bet the fish had no idea what was about to hit them.
We dropped Haden in near Boulder Bay, me near Coppermine, and Richard went east.
As soon as I was in the water I could see there were a lot of fish about, the 10 metre viz was perfect for snooping, but the surge made it a little trying. I was seeing, but spooking a lot of fish due to the difficulty of holding still, I was constantly getting washed over fish and they weren’t sticking around. I figured I was wasting my time in the surge, so picked up the pace on the surgy areas and dropping down to snooping speed in the shallow sheltered bays. This strategy began to pay off and was far more efficient. I picked off a few fish, and lost a couple too which was annoying. I looked east at one point and saw the boat in the distance heading my way to pick me up, ahead I saw a nice little point so I decided to try get to it before the boat. I neared the little point and was swimming along a vertical featureless section that had a lot of current running along it, demoiselles were stacked up against it and it was pretty fishy. If I was a snapper I’d have been there. As luck would have it there was a nice snapper parked under the only tuft of weed on the wall, it couldn’t see me and all I could see of him was his big tail. Perfect. It was a simple case of swimming up to the weed, pushing it aside with my spear and reaching out for the shot. The planets aligned, the shot was good, the snapper rolled over dead.
2 minutes later the boat turned up.
I climbed aboard and began bringing my floatline in. “how’d you go?” I said to Richard. ‘No snapper, but I got a kingy’ was his reply. I looked behind the chillybin and saw a big head and a long green back, from on top it looked about 25kg, and a few guesses were thrown about without actually having a good look it.
We picked Haden up, then went to Tara rocks for a look. Before we went off spearing we had a quick photo session, and it was then we at a good look at the kingfish. It’s girth was much bigger than expected when seen from above, all of a sudden everyone added 5kg on to their previous guesses. We were still miles off as things transpired.
Richard and I both found Tara Rocks pretty dead, and met at the boat at the same time, Haden saw us on the boat and plodded over, same old question was thrown his way, and met with a positive response, ‘this is epic’. We pulled his line in and waddaya know two nice snapper against the float. The slurry was looking pretty healthy by now, and with the abundance of other spearos in the area we thought it’d be a good idea to have a nudge at the Hen. Even here there was limited space between other spearos, eventually we found a position and I snooped west. I got another nice one here and then spooked a school of real thumpers. The other fellas came and picked me up before long saying their coast sucked.
Next stop was Guano rock, which was cold and dirty, we lasted about 45 minutes here before throwing the towel in and knocking the lids off a few beers that had found their way into the slurry.
We were back at the ramp by 2, and weighed in at around 2.30. Official weigh-in time was 5.30, so we were, as expected, first back.
Richards Kingy blew us all away when it pulled the scales down to a phenomenal 35.2kg, which was the winning fish. Not bad for a 110 scorpia with 16mm rubbers, a reel and no floatline eh?
My big snapper went 8.7kg, and got me second place in the snapper section.
Haden’s went 7.8 and is a new PB.
The prizes were really good, the best of any comp I’ve been to, and a lot of credit must go to the sponsors, and even more to the organizers.
Needless to say the spearos dealt to the idiotstickers in a big way.
WHANGAREI HEADS 29.06.2012
Went up along the Whangarei Heads coast and found a spot with work-up consisting of schools of Kahawai , large Blue Maomao (Some in excess of 35cm), small Koheru and a bunch of nice Kings (15-25kg) all in around 10-20m Vis.
Didn't land any kings but did snap a Pic of one chasing some kahawai.
Between myself and my mate James we managed some Dory, 2 Porae and 2 kahawai for the smoker , one okay Koheru and a snap.
Was snooping a large snap, after spooking it and surfacing I was greeted with a loud growl and turned around to see a big seal just 2 metres away on a rock with its teeth bared glaring at me. Behind it were pups so I got out of there pretty quick.
All up was a decent days spearing with some good table fish to take home.
Matt, This is one of the biggest octopus that I have seen. It would have weighed about 6 kg. If the aquarium was still operating I would have got about $500.00 for this guy. I ate him instead and twelve persons have benefited by his demise.
I am off to Fiordland hunting and diving this Sunday.
BREAM HEAD 22.06.12
We went up north from the 21st till the 22nd to spear both days and try Bream Tail and Bream Head for a spear. Tried Bream Tail , was okay just scoring a dory and some butters with vis of 6-10m. The next day tried bream head and conditions were good , Vis 10m+ with lots of fish and managed to find a spot with a few decent sized Snapper which yielded my best PB Snapper of 7.4kg. Was diving down for a Butterfish (which escaped) and on the way up to surface spotted a strange looking head poking out of a hole further down. so I went back down and shot it which turned out to be the moocher. When gutted was full of Kina and Paua which would explain the huge bump and nose/lips from bumping the shellfish off the rocks. That same day saw some small Kingys at Guano Islands , 3 undersized 1 legal , lots of medium sized kahawai , Blue Maomao and a Dory about 15cms long.
Turned rough around the afternoon on Friday and was getting air-born and being smashed around in my 3m inflatable coming back into Marsden harbour, totally worth it though.
I’m just back from what was one of the very best dive trips I’ve ever been on. We had five days diving out of Fiji with Jaga from Freedive Fiji. We spent a couple of days out of Pacific Harbour before heading south to the island of Kadavu. These areas are famous for the huge dog-tooth tuna, Spanish mackerel, wahoo and sailfish that live there.
Recently three of us headed out for a day at Coromandel, - in a word it was brilliant.
We dived a bommie that had a few fish where they should’ve been, on the upcurrent side, including a few tarakihi. I was getting distracted by the little cleanerfish and baby sub-tropical fish which I couldn’t identify and almost forgot to spear anything. Richard and I popped a tarakihi each and then had a chat about what we were up to. Despite it being extremely fishy and stellar diving, there weren’t really many fish you’d shoot, so we decided to move on. It pained me to leave such a beautiful spot but we slowly headed up current and found another bommie out a bit deeper. It was nice, but nowhere near as nice as the first spot. This bommie had all the pelagic action you could ask for, trevally and kahawai on the surface with koheru and the occasional kingy underneath. We stayed here for a while because it had trophy kingfish written all over it, but none showed and after working the bommie for a bit we got restless and headed wide until we found the weedline.
THIS is what we’d come for.
The weedline was absolutely infested with boarfish and tarakihi.
It was ridiculous. Every dive we’d see up to 20 tarakihi, and about every 2-3 dives we’d see one, two or three boarfish parked up. We would sort of shoot a fish, drift 50 metres down current (towards our 1st dive spot) then the next guy would dive and shoot a fish and so on. It was as though a massive school of a thousand tarakihi from out deep had decided to come in close and warm up against the coast, we picked off enough for a few meals each and a boarfish or two for variety. When the current had pushed us near our first dive spot I managed to stumble across a john dory sitting next to a cray pot. The weedline trifecta was complete.
To top it off, just as we were about to get out of the water a turtle came up to us and hung around for a few minutes. What a way to end the day.
TAURANGA BAY 7.02.2012
Spent a few days up north at Tauranga Bay over Auckland Anniversary weekend and managed to get out for a couple of shore dives and test the new gear. Conditions were pretty good – vis was 10m-12m and very fishy. Headed out Saturday afternoon hoping to spear my first kingi but it wasn’t to be and ended the dive with a couple of butters.
Headed out the next morning and was greeted by similar conditions as the previous day. Saw a few small kingi’s early on which would have probably just been legal. I set a burley and went off to slay a couple of butters. Upon returning to the burley there was a reasonable sized kingi hanging around. Fired a shot and hit him in the gut. He put up a decent fight, taking me several minutes to get him in. Was bigger than I first thought. Stoked to get my first Kingi!
GREAT BARRIER ISLAND 7.02.2012
Used the Sporasub 3.5mm the whole day diving the Great Barrier and Arid last Thursday. Warm throughout and enjoying only using two weights - yeah, 3kg, and that's on the snoop.
Headed across on the Black Scallop a 6m Bayliner and accommodation for four intrepid Axemen, Ants, Matt, Brent and Dono. Anchored on the eastern side of Great Barrier and worked the coast on the first morning - snapper plentiful. I then worked a thread along Arid, and toward the end noticed about 10m away a very large head and body of a big thumper snapper moving slowly against a kelp way above gravel. Too much open ground so stayed tucked in behind a ledge obscuring my shape, ever so gently extending the spear tip through the kelp and toggling the flopper in the light. The snapper noticed this and gently, slowly, turned... then moved away from my position. I launched from my ambush position and swam the 10m under water directly behind the snapper as it calmy finned away, tail fin down and relaxed. Got to within two metres, and fired a shot directly down it's spine. Bingo - she's on.
After a solid run I managed to breath up and dive down and drive the spear through. It sounded to the gravel base of a boulder and went nuts. Out of breath - I watched and was about to dive down when - off... she went. The spear had entered along the top of the back and out and just not held. Gutted. I followed her as she made her way - but couldn't find her while struggling to reset the reel gun. Stink. A solid double digit fish and one of the best I've seen.
Anyhow, managed to a few smaller models at Katherine Bay before Black Scallops electrics gave out. Fortunately the boys from "Payback" kindly gave us a tow, fed us dinner and applied a few beverages to boot. Thanks to the owner of the dairy at Fitzroy for organising a great sparky, and boat repaired in the morning - alternator stuffed - we headed back home, 72 hours of trip for one solid unforgettable days diving. Awesome
Nailed this 22 lb snapper a few days after the nationals at Oakura. Shot it in the same place as the 18 lb snapper I weighed in during the comp, will be heading back to check that spot out in afew weeks.
MATAURI BAY 31.01.2012
Happy New Year. Managed a good few dives up in Matauri Bay in January – nothing big but simply beautiful diving. Had a special dive around Kauri Cliffs using the new Rob Allen reel fitting on the Effesub 1.2m gun.
Family were on the beach and boat anchored, so opted just to use the reelgun and 1m string off the base of the gun for fish. Stumbled upon a work up of gannets and thousands of baitfish in a gut at 10m below a 5m drop off. Worked this spot and pulled off two snapper (4 and 6.7kg) and a 15kg kingie.
Shot a good squidy on the weedline – all bundled up on the 1m string on the base of the gun. Great stuff.
Enjoying the reel gun when doing the shories as it provides greater freedom when snooping. The 3.5m Sporasub suit is warm for a 2-3 hour stint during the summer months, and is a magic fit. Like the camo. Used it to pick up the 4kg snap pictured on a Matauri Bay coastal dive.
The Sporasub watch is great particularly in provide an appropriate recovery time between deeper dives – improving diving safety.
TI POINT 28.01.2011
Went out on Thursday afternoon to Te Point .
Viability was around 8m, 10m in some areas. My brother shot 4 butters before a shark came along and took them. There were hundreds of bait fish in the area. Wasn't long before the kings turned up to have a go at them. Most of the kings were probably just over legal.
I spotted this boar fish at around 10m just sitting on the bottom so i dropped down right on top of it. Didn't even know i was there and shot straight through the top of its head
To matt, our report from our amazing coast down here,
After some fine settled weather (for a change) we hit Cape Palliser with eagerness and orders for a feed for my birthday celebrations. On arrival we found it un-nervely calm and very little people present. The water looked clear except for a little fuzz in close that we would have to swim thru. On arriving at our spot x, we were created with near on 10-12m vis in most spots. After doing a few dives on the first reef things were rather quiet so we headed around the other side. Our first dive each resulted in a decent moki each (4kg & 5kg), also the site of a few blue cod eating the moki scales got us a little excited. After shooting a few non desireable fish to create a burley we soon had a good handfull of blue cod. We then decided to stop on the way back home for a quick paua cray dive to finish off the bag. We collected nearly our limit in 30 minutes in only 1-2m of water and also managed to pick up a couple of unlucky butters who swam past as were attaching our crays to their nooses.
After the unreal day before experienced we made the decision to 'make hay will the sun shined' and head down again, plus all the extended families cleaned up everything from the day before so it was time to get some for ourselves. Heading down to spot x from the day before we were greeted with beautiful calm seas again, but once entering the water we realised the vis had deteriorated with a scum on the top metre. However once diving through that we were greeted with beautiful 8-10m vis in places. Our spot from the day before was dead so we headed in closer to around 2-3m depth. We were greeted with schools of big moki, in one school i counted nearly 30 legal fish. We quickly nailed a few of the bigger ones (the best going 6.1kg) We quickly grabbed a few cray and were out of there. An Amazing 2 days, leaving us waiting for the next time, however weather hasn't play balled yet. But now we have the catfish comp to look forward too and hopefully some more settled weather after that.
BAY OF ISLANDS 23.11.2011
Hi Matt and Simon
Me and my mate got out again today for a BOI shorey. Absolutely primo conditions except for the crap vis. Was a hazy 4m most of the time but cleared up to around 6-7 at times. Algae bloom and salps everywhere.
We put in a decent 2.5k swim on empty stomachs and found the coast was infested with Porae.
My mate got his first which was awesome, But then his wishbone snapped so we had to share a gun for the rest of the dive.
We then found a nice weedline and on one of my drops I found 5 or so Porae...Hang on a minute, one of them looks a bit weird....Sweet! First Tarakihi!
Weedline was 20 meters to the sand and I had to hang around flicking up sand for a minute or so until he came in close....
Was about 7m and he came straight up to me.
Super happy to get one. Will definitely be heading back when the water is clearer. And I also got incinerated in my 7mil. Water is definitely getting warmer.
MAYOR ISLAND 21.11.2011
Battson, Tom and I headed up to Mayor for the weekend and had an ‘interesting’ time.
Forecast was great at the start of last week but by Friday night it had deteriorated – funny how you justify to yourself it’ll still be good though ae.
We made the trip out there in a building sea. No swell but 20knt wind straight up our ass. Wasn’t too bad but got wet a few times in our 4.5m Stabi the ‘salty tackle’.
The plan was to stay a night on the island so we got there and unloaded excess gear and fuel and then were off for a dive. The rest of that day and night the wind picked up more and more. Sunday we were up before the sparrows and climbing to a high point on the island at first light to see if we could make an early run for land – NO LUCK. Wind had risen to a solid 30+knts and sea was not good. We were stuck and already envisaging Castaway type scenarios – talking to volleyballs - wilsonnnnn, and thinking who we would eat first (It definitely would’ve been Tom). A bit uncomforting too, the big ‘local’ joker who lives on the island is called BJ – we didn’t want to be left with him for a week and find out why...
Fortunately at the 11th hour on Sunday we made contact with a big launch that was on the island and making the trip home. They agreed it’d be ok for us to sit right up in their wake and that’s what we did. A slow but safe enough (albeit bloody wet) trip home (to the wrong harbour for us though....)
Real pain in the ass was the wind meant there was only one small bay on the whole island we could dive.
Everyone had a good time though. I had one good snapper rip off but managed another at 19lb. Spent the rest of my day stuffing up lots of snapper of all sizes – the joys of snapper snooping. Battson had a highlight of diving in a huge (and I mean f**ken huge) workup of kahawai, trevally and a few kingis.
Vis was a solid 15m and water temp 17.1. Kingis haven’t properly shown up yet based on what we saw and other reports.
Bring on summer
TE ARAI POINT 20.11.2011
My mate and I went out to Te Arai for the first time today. Vis was very hazy, about 5m and bloomy. Water seemed really warm.
Shot out to those rocks further out and found schools of kahawai and yellowtail hanging in the current. Nothing much was happening so decided to start swimming in when I spotted a johnny. Broke the "death to all johnys" rule when I missed him.
A few minutes later saw this dark shape cruise under me, so shot from the surface nailing him through the back. Nothing vital hit so my mate did the old "second shot to the face" trick, which slowed him down (but not a lot). Still pulled me under a few times - definitely the most fun I have had pulling up a fish. Got him up and he was a little bigger than what I had thought in the crap vis.
Thanks a lot for the use of you scales. 18kg is a lot better than my previous wee rat!
Te Arai gets the thumbs up! Stoked!
BAY OF ISLANDS 20.11.2011
Headed up to the BOI for a little kayak mission with The Snapper Whisperer. Reid managed to "whisper" a couple of nice panny snappers with kina burleys, and thanks for the butterfish for my daughter - rule of thumb, don't save shooting butters for later, they will disappear. Long day, good time in the water. Enjoyed my new 5mm RA camo suit – warm and like the camo pattern. Found this boary parked in a channel on the sand. Plenty of trevs around up to 3kg I reckon and enjoyed the squid for dinner last night. 10m+ vis, distorted by saps in the water (time of year) and surge. Spooked snaps up to about 7kg, but being a Saturday plenty of boats and divers out. Smoking tyres on the way home on the gravel, punctured - new tyre required. Good times -
GREAT BARRIER, MOKOHINAU AND HEN AND CHICKS ISLANDS 15.11.2011
I’ve just returned from a great trip taking in most of the main dive spots around Auckland. Had a crew of 5 up from Christchurch with snapper and kingies as the main targets.
The boys were collected from the airport Weds afternoon and it was straight up to Whangarei to meet the good ship El Pescador. After loading up we slowly steamed out of the harbour to get a head start in the am.
Trev up anchored around 4am and we were off to the Barrier. There was a bit of wind and swell around and I guessed at our progress from my bunk and the rattle of waves against the hull. As we rounded Wellington Head it became obvious that there wasn’t going to be much diving on the inside as there was a bit too much westerly in the wind and the decision was made to park up for breakfast then punch around the top and into the hopefully calmer waters on the Eastern side. This proved to be the right decision and we were greeted with great vis and only a slight surge on an otherwise calm sea. The first snoops were reasonably productive producing a handful of snapper and a grunter packy for Grieg – we never got around to weighing it before it went back in but it’d have to have been around 5kg.
A bit more snooping and a few more pointers and the boys started pulling in the snaps. I managed an 8.5kg and a nice Johnny and Dave pulled in a 7kg doing its best 12kg impersonation. It was a mangy old bugger, blind in one eye, worn down fins, big bump on its nose. Would love to know how old it was. Grieg also managed a few good snaps – this was his first time diving in the North and seemed to have gotten the hang of the snapper thing straight off the bat.
The easterly surge was on the rise and after a bit of a pow wow it was decided to head back into the Broken Islands to take advantage of the Southerly wind change. Again a good decision. The next morning most of the boys wanted to continue on with the snoop but Rob had only kingies on his mind so after dropping the others around the coast we went looking for a kingy. It didn’t take long to find him a very beat up king hunkering under a ledge. He’d obviously had a very long night with big bite marks all over his body. The dawn hadn’t brought him any reprieve though and a quick shot through the head and it was all over.
The rest of the day was spent snooping and looking for more kings with success.
Rum and cigars for dinner.
Another very early morning and we were on our way to the Mokes. Unfortunately the swell snookered us a little and there was only a relatively small stretch not being battered by the surge. It was however a glorious stretch. Normal amazing mokes vis with huge numbers of snaps hanging on the walls. After swimming every inch of the sheltered patch twice there were some more great snaps on board but the kingies were conspicuously absent. Rather than dive the stretch a third time and have a rocky night we decided to head into the Chicks.
There was only time for a quick dive before dark with half the boys opting for another snoop, a couple flashing the points for a kingy and I went to bounce around on the weedlines. We all failed.
The last morning dawned clear and it was time for our last gasp snoop. A few more snaps on board and Grieg confirmed he had the hang of the snooping thing boating an 8.9kg snap. So close.
Overall a fantastic trip and a loop I look forward to doing again soon.