Any help with trying to prepare a trip??

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    Posted: 22 Jun 2022 at 9:45pm
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Hi guys!!
I've been wanting to make this post for a while, but covid delayed it a lot...and nowadays I feel that I finally have a chance, so why not ask for some help...
So, going to the point, I am trying to organize and land-based fishing trip to NZ to go after the big kingies. But being in Portugal, and having only been once to NZ, makes it hard to plan anything that could be remotely successful by myself in the sense that I might not even be able to get to the rocks if I plan it fully alone without knowing the place.
I was wondering if someone could help me a bit in planning a trip? I don't need anyone's secret ledges, I know the game and how things work, same way I would not blindly give away my spots in the Azores. But just some general directions, regions to aim for, where not to go, or like places off limits, or even saying "don't think about that, its too risky" or "around that area would be good, you can try your luck and explore around" or "focus in this region and try to hit those rock ledges around".
The plan would be to go sometime in December/January, would that be a good time? And to stay a minimum of 2 weeks and maximum of 3 weeks...I will be camping as in all my land-based trips! So anywhere where I can pitch a tent, being it wild camping (if allowed) or in specific locations, that is fine. Also walking many kilometers to get to a fishing spot is not an issue! I might rent a car to move around different areas, or decide to stick to a particular location and pepper it as much as I can.
Back in 2014 when I went to NZ I managed to go to Cape Reinga and Cape Maria Van Diemen while staying camping in the Taputaputa camping area. Amazing spots but not always fishable as the weather and sea are rough there. Still I would like to hit those places again. Aside from that, I had some ideas to visit the Bay of Islands and maybe Coromandel.
As you can see, there is zero to no plan yet...
If anyone can/is whiling to help, it is much appreciated ;)

Cheers from Portugal,
Pedro Tomás

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2022 at 7:56am
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Use MUCH heavier gear than you are used to in Europe. You probably know that already. 

Think about safety when rock fishing. Ropes and PFDs etc.

You're on the right track with general locations.

Learn to use the weather forecasting sites. PredictWind is good.

NZ isn't as wild and free as it used to be, so freedom camping options are limited, but still possible if you don't piss anyone off and use a bit of common sense.

You need a car! 

Watch every episode of the Lateral Line on YouTube.

Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Shilo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2022 at 8:47am
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January is a good time for Kingi's, BUT it is also our main holiday season here so everyman and his dog will be at all the camping areas and fishing spots.  If you can delay it until February then the kids would have gone back to school and parents back to work so it will be alot quieter and easier to find good spots that are not crowded out.

Kingi's can be caught all year around but the beginning of Dec until April-May see a large population close to shore.  Personally I think Feb / March is the best time to get into them.   December can be hit or miss some years.

Coromandel, Far North, West & East coast harbours, are all good and should give you some action.   

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Turnright Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2022 at 10:27am
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Agree Feb March a very good time to come, top of coromadel would be my go to area as you will have plenty of options depending on wind and swell direction, a vehicle would be very helpful just to be able to relocate if need be, you pretty much can't miss if up there putting in the effort. As above with the lateral line, Nathan and Milan will teach you everything you need off those videos
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote scuzzymoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2022 at 4:06pm
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East Cape - middle of winter big kings
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled” Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2022 at 6:56pm
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Thanks guys for helping out our friend from PM Pedro some specific advice. I'm not an LBG guy so don't have anything constructive to add. Let us know how you get on PedroTms
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Fished top of Coro heaps of times, stay at Fletchers bay campground, the walk to the grounds about an hr, time it right as you can get stuck at high tide on the way back or going there
Feb onwards is best, you want new moon to full moon, best is first quarter or at any moon phase when a low comes thru
Best tides last 2hrs of outgoing tide going into change of light
Careful with any northerly or east wind as the ground swell can be unsafe
Fishing at the top of Coro can be hot and very cold, very bloody cold
You do not want calm sea conditions, west to sou west 15kt plus is good
Read thru the entire land based forum, what you need to know about Coro is all there
Good luck
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pedrotms Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2022 at 1:16am
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Originally posted by MB MB wrote:

Use MUCH heavier gear than you are used to in Europe. You probably know that already. 

Think about safety when rock fishing. Ropes and PFDs etc.

You're on the right track with general locations.

Learn to use the weather forecasting sites. PredictWind is good.

NZ isn't as wild and free as it used to be, so freedom camping options are limited, but still possible if you don't piss anyone off and use a bit of common sense.

You need a car! 

Watch every episode of the Lateral Line on YouTube.

Good luck!
First of all, thanks so much for the answer.
About the gear, no need to worry. People don't really know about some of the crazy fishing that can be done in europe for big fish because the few that know about it try to keep it hidden! I mostly target greater amberjack from the rocks, biggest I've landed (and properly weighted) was 31kg, but hooked much bigger ones that were simply wreck trains! AJs around 50kg have haunted me on my fishing spots, I'm yet to try to land one above 35kg or so. I mostly go with PE8 and PE10, so no need to worry. It's not my first time going after big fish from the rocks, be it kings, gts, AJs or tuna.

About safety gear, I always wear an helmet, floatation aid vest (50N), a PLB and have a 20m rope on a bag on me at all times.

Thanks for the tips!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pedrotms Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2022 at 1:22am
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Originally posted by Shilo Shilo wrote:

January is a good time for Kingi's, BUT it is also our main holiday season here so everyman and his dog will be at all the camping areas and fishing spots.  If you can delay it until February then the kids would have gone back to school and parents back to work so it will be alot quieter and easier to find good spots that are not crowded out.

Kingi's can be caught all year around but the beginning of Dec until April-May see a large population close to shore.  Personally I think Feb / March is the best time to get into them.   December can be hit or miss some years.

Coromandel, Far North, West & East coast harbours, are all good and should give you some action.   

Thanks, February would also work for me I think!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pedrotms Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2022 at 1:23am
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Originally posted by Turnright Turnright wrote:

Agree Feb March a very good time to come, top of coromadel would be my go to area as you will have plenty of options depending on wind and swell direction, a vehicle would be very helpful just to be able to relocate if need be, you pretty much can't miss if up there putting in the effort. As above with the lateral line, Nathan and Milan will teach you everything you need off those videos
I'll use maps to explore top of Coro ;)
And I'll put a better look into the lateral line! Thanks a lot!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pedrotms Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2022 at 1:25am
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Originally posted by BananaBoat BananaBoat wrote:

Fished top of Coro heaps of times, stay at Fletchers bay campground, the walk to the grounds about an hr, time it right as you can get stuck at high tide on the way back or going there
Feb onwards is best, you want new moon to full moon, best is first quarter or at any moon phase when a low comes thru
Best tides last 2hrs of outgoing tide going into change of light
Careful with any northerly or east wind as the ground swell can be unsafe
Fishing at the top of Coro can be hot and very cold, very bloody cold
You do not want calm sea conditions, west to sou west 15kt plus is good
Read thru the entire land based forum, what you need to know about Coro is all there
Good luck
Overall, pretty similar conditions to the ones I search for when targeting the AJs in the Azores!
I'll do as you say, thanks for the feedback!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pedrotms Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2022 at 1:38am
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Is Cape Brett fishable, or way to complicated for someone that does not know the spot? Can one cross to Otuwhanga Island?
Or should I get it out of my head?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Coastbusters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2022 at 11:46am
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I had never heard of amberjacks, so I did some searching on Youtube. Found a cool vid where a fisho takes a world champ weightlifter, NFL Linebacker and Worlds strongest man out to fish them on full drag. They are a lot like kingies. It just goes to show that technique and stamina beats strength. World's strongest man couldn't land it.




This one was grouper and it is hilarious

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2022 at 11:53am
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Originally posted by Pedrotms Pedrotms wrote:

First of all, thanks so much for the answer.
About the gear, no need to worry. People don't really know about some of the crazy fishing that can be done in europe for big fish because the few that know about it try to keep it hidden! I mostly target greater amberjack from the rocks, biggest I've landed (and properly weighted) was 31kg, but hooked much bigger ones that were simply wreck trains! AJs around 50kg have haunted me on my fishing spots, I'm yet to try to land one above 35kg or so. I mostly go with PE8 and PE10, so no need to worry. It's not my first time going after big fish from the rocks, be it kings, gts, AJs or tuna.

That's cool and certainly not typical of my experience in the Mediterranean, but I see you mentioned the Azores, so that makes sense. As you probably know, kingfish are a type of amberjack, so you should be fine. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pedrotms Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2022 at 8:32pm
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Originally posted by MB MB wrote:

Originally posted by Pedrotms Pedrotms wrote:

First of all, thanks so much for the answer.
About the gear, no need to worry. People don't really know about some of the crazy fishing that can be done in europe for big fish because the few that know about it try to keep it hidden! I mostly target greater amberjack from the rocks, biggest I've landed (and properly weighted) was 31kg, but hooked much bigger ones that were simply wreck trains! AJs around 50kg have haunted me on my fishing spots, I'm yet to try to land one above 35kg or so. I mostly go with PE8 and PE10, so no need to worry. It's not my first time going after big fish from the rocks, be it kings, gts, AJs or tuna.

That's cool and certainly not typical of my experience in the Mediterranean, but I see you mentioned the Azores, so that makes sense. As you probably know, kingfish are a type of amberjack, so you should be fine. 
The sad part is seeing the Azores archipelago being destroyed by overfishing over the years. Some spots used to be a safe heaven for big big greater amberjacks and other atlantic pelagic species, with specimens of AJs being caught over 80kg. Nowadays even fish over 30/40kg are getting harder and harder to find by boat with the proper marks, let alone from the rocks...and only on a few islands and few hidden spots can one still target those with lures from the rocks.
Regarding kingies, it is not my first time going after them! I landed some nice ones in Japan in 2016, but I really wanted to go to NZ (first of all I love NZ, so it is always nice going there) and fish there! Plus since the season matches "my" winter season here in Portugal, it is a perfect match because I don't need to change my summer trip to the Azores ahahahahah
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pedrotms Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 8:11am
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Guys, again with the trip planning...
I've been savagely going through posts and posts of LBG spots and reports, trying to absorb as much info as possible to build my trip plans on!
But from all the reading two things clearly stand out. To go after kingis with lures, two main regions seem to be almost like epicenters, the Far North region (Maria Van Diemen, Cape Reinga, Spirits Bay, Tapotupotu, Sandy Bay, and so on...); and Coromandel!
For me, coming from Portugal is guaranteed that I can have 2 full weeks for a trip (without counting with days spent flying to NZ and back to PT), but maybe I can get 3 weeks.
In the case I can only get 2 weeks, would you recommend me sticking to one region only? If yes, which region would you advise me to stick to (no need to be just the far north or coromandel)? Or should I try to rotate around and hit different spots as the weather changes?
The thing with trying many spots in land-based trips is that it can be a major error, in the sense that one does not know the place, how to get to the spots, and actually fish them...all of that takes time, plus going from place to place...my experience of traveling abroad to go LBG fishing is that a lot of times, it pays off to stick to a couple of different spots in one particular area. Even when fishing homelands (Portugal) it works better like that too.
But if possible I would like to hear what you guys have to say!

Thanks already for the help and advice given!
Best from Portugal!
Pedro Tomás 
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I can't help much further because I don't do land based fishing, but I would recommend using FATMAP (free web app) to help with trip planning. It shows 3D topography which is so much better than 2D when trying to find spots. I use it for hunting and it's proven very useful.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pedrotms Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 10:15am
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MB, great tip, thanks so much! Cool app, that will be handy!

Best,
Pedro
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Shilo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 10:17am
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Where you go could be very weather dependant so I would recommend leaving your options open until you arrive in the country.  But if you have 2 weeks (14 days) then you could easily do both the Coromandel and the Far North if you wanted to.  With travel time taken into account you could end up with 5 days in each area (assuming you have a rental car).
Personally I would do what you are doing:  Research and make a list of all the likely spots in both areas, then when you arrive here look at the weather forecasts and plan it from there.  It is a long drive but it is possibe to travel from the top of the Coromandel to the top of the Far North in a day (9hrs)

It is correct that trying to fish as many spots as possible in a limited time is a mistake,  it takes time to learn a spot and one may fish well at a certain tide etc and there is a chance you can get it wrong at every spot.   With fishing the grass is not always greener somewhere else.  But by having a list of spots and not planning to fish Spot A on a certain day then moving to Spot B the next one will keep your options open. 

 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pedrotms Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 10:33am
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Originally posted by Shilo Shilo wrote:

Where you go could be very weather dependant so I would recommend leaving your options open until you arrive in the country.  But if you have 2 weeks (14 days) then you could easily do both the Coromandel and the Far North if you wanted to.  With travel time taken into account you could end up with 5 days in each area (assuming you have a rental car).
Personally I would do what you are doing:  Research and make a list of all the likely spots in both areas, then when you arrive here look at the weather forecasts and plan it from there.  It is a long drive but it is possibe to travel from the top of the Coromandel to the top of the Far North in a day (9hrs)

It is correct that trying to fish as many spots as possible in a limited time is a mistake,  it takes time to learn a spot and one may fish well at a certain tide etc and there is a chance you can get it wrong at every spot.   With fishing the grass is not always greener somewhere else.  But by having a list of spots and not planning to fish Spot A on a certain day then moving to Spot B the next one will keep your options open. 

 

I do agree with you man. Maybe I'll do just that. Mixing things up adds the "extra" uncertainty on chances of getting the fish, but honestly, being a crazy LBG lure angler, forever casting for elusive fish with high chances of not catching anything is already part of the deal...but man that one strike on the surface is all the counts!
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