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Gurnard thread

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    Posted: 14 Jun 2020 at 11:04pm
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Getting to that time of year where the West coat harbour,s and some of the sandy east coast spots are fill of these tasty critters

This thread is for all things gurnard photos
Tips Techniques etcetc advice for useless gurnard fishermen like myself haha

Personally im reasonablealy Useless at gurnard fishing fishing 80% Of the time on the Kaipara harbour I do catch a fair few as bicatch when targeting late Autumn snapper as far as actually targeting them goes im never that Successful I always get a couple but never any numbers Not like some of my mates who can pull a good feed most times out

Personally I use dropper rigs mostly When fishing For gurnard if im running 2 rods I’ll strayline one heavy enough to keep on bottom

Another rig I found has got a few is a dropper rig or flasher with a big ish ball sinker running on the mainline above it and a small 1/2oz or so on the bottom sometimes I’ll run a extra hook off a short length of line below the little sinker Especially in high current

Generally i pick spots with little current Holes or gutters

How are people going about targeting gurnard

Fell free to post your bragging Material photos etc as well








keep up the good work boys
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2020 at 6:02am
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Hi there Darryn, I'll try and add some stuff this week
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2020 at 10:32pm
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OK, here's a few tips. First thing is with the gurnard flasher rig, my favourite is a Black Magic Terakihi Terror. If you fish it as a dropper rig, shorten the sinker dropper so that the bottom hook is at the same height as the sinker. Use small baits. They can be fussy. My favourite baits are skipjack, frozen old kahawai and mullet. Those baits work very well in the Manukau harbour but squid isn't terribly good. Except sometimes! Last time out we only caught them on squid, Weird! Of the west coast squid seems to work as well as any bait. I dunno, bottom line is take a variety of baits.

When harbour fishing an alternative way to use a flasher rig is to use a good heavy sinker on the mainline and instead of putting a sinker on the end as Sappercatcher does, try putting another hook in its place. There are times that will be the killer combo.

I always put down a straylined bait too when i'm fishing shallow water. Cast that one out the back and drop the flasher rig straight down.

I use 4/0 recurves such as Mustad Demons which are probably the best on the market for gurnard. They set real easy but you need to make sure the bait isn't choking the gape of the hook.  Don't strike the bites, count the nods on the rod tip and after 3 or 4 nods , lift the rod and steadily wind the reel. The reason I rate those hooks so highly is they set very easily into a gurnard's bony mouth, which is important if you are using light gear. IMO light gear will really increase your catch rate. I'm going to try 4lb mono on them this weekend at our gunard comp.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote pjc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2020 at 11:18pm
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The bloke at H/F in puke sold me some flasher rigs 4/0 gurnard grabber?? and rig with sinker on mainline so hook lays on bottom and suggested bonito as bait.He suggested where to fish in shallows on bank edges ,maybe 3 to 4 m of water.Does that sound about right "smudge"?
She said you're deaf.No I have selective hearing.And thats when it started.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2020 at 5:53am
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Yep sounds perfect, I'd be happy to use the gurnard grabber and those are the locations I would choose.As an option I'd be prepared to wish the banks where they just start to level off into the channel too.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote feeder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2020 at 8:05am
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Off the west coast I use dropper rigs I tie up with 80lb trace and 8/0 recurve hooks I get from Hooker Tackle in Kerikeri, these have red and pink flasher on them and have a very sharp point on them, no problems with them penetrating the bony jaw, we catch plenty, best day of late was 54 between 3 of us, almost a finfish limit.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2020 at 6:13pm
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We get plenty on 8/0 hooks and 60 or 80lb trace out the west coast too.. Thats the gear we use for snapper and works well. We use light gear in the harbour because of the current.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Schampy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2020 at 6:53pm
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That really is a super model of a Gurard you are posing with smudge. Nice pic.
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Originally posted by Schampy Schampy wrote:

That really is a super model of a Gurard you are posing with smudge. Nice pic.

Thanks Schampy. We only caught 5 gurnard that day about 4 weeks ago in the Manukau Harbour, in 3m deep water. While it isn't my biggest it was certainly a very good fish. Four of the five we caught were within cooee of that one too Cool
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2020 at 11:18am
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Tied all my gurnard traces couple days ago.. not sure if going to use this weekend thu.
 I was going to go the full hog beads etc from old threads , info on web site here..
Time was bit short so went like this
 Old reel on 20 lb mono..
4/0 gamaksu off set recurves
 Different colour flasher and $2 shop feathers.
 Making flashers
Bit of braid left over on a reel.
 Cut the flasher /feather bunches little longer then the length of the hooks
Put a clinch loop on the end of the braid with a long tail.
Hold the flasher bunch on the back of the hook, slip the clinch loop over the hook and flashers , pull up tight.
 Take the tag end, fold 3/4 down the hook/flasher, and back up.
 Wind the main brain line tight about 8 to 12 times down the flasher hook.. cut from reel with generous tag.
 Put the tag thru the loop formed by the original clinch tag end.
Pull the top of the original tag end up till at the bottom of the tight turns... pull the turn tag thru tightish. the pull the loop and everything up under the loops  as in a whipping. Trim the flasher feathers so dont go far past the bottom of the hook, I like more ragged  rather than tidy looking flashers.. top and bottom.

I use different combos of colours on each hook of a trace.. theory is hedge the bets which is best on the day.

The Trace
 Going to sorta make ledger/ dropper style trace.
The 20 lb old mono.. or what ever laying around that can feed a loop thru the hook eyes....
 Slide a small ball sinker up the line followed by about 1" of lumo tube.
Tie a hook on the end of the mono with a small lefty loop (like a Soft bait)
Then about 10" up the trace mainline, about a 3 to 4" loop with a 3 or 4 times thru surgeons loop.
Slide about 1" to 1 1/2" lumo tube on the loop, then the hook, with the loop going thru the wrong way to what it looks like it should .
 Repeat another 1`or 2 hooks further up.. for me length/  number hooks depends on length of the rod... the trace is tight between the reel and rod tip when the rod is stored in the holder.
 Top of the trace is a small as possible  3 or 4 times thu surgeons knot loop.

Mainline:
 I use braid,  30lb 8x coloured J braid on everything, Sb , straylines to off west coast snapper fishing. All my mainlines are setup up like this
End of the main line is a 30 turn bimmini twist 4" loop
I cats paw a swivel/ clip 4 times round into the loop.
The clip has to be big enough to quickly change reef sinkers from 1 oz thru to 6oz, and a slight bend, a 8 oz.
 The main sinkers on this clip,  just light enough and no more to drop and hold the trace between directly below the boat to some point out the back in the current, on the bottom.

A fish takes down a hook, unclip, new pre tied trace... current changes , quick un clip replace. Old man used to say , when your line is out of the water , you dont catch fish.. maximise and prioritise that time.

Anyway thats how I set up my gurnard rigs...basically a dropper, with main sinker at the top and a very small sinker at the bottom above a hook.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fishb8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2020 at 12:41pm
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A deep water gurnard

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Originally posted by Fishb8 Fishb8 wrote:

A deep water gurnard


Any good to eat Roy?
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." - Jacques Cousteau
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2020 at 4:07pm
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Never caught one but they grow quite big and are a spectacular fish
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2020 at 4:11pm
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Hmm - I caught one a yr or so ago - deep. Spotted gurnard.
Like eating a piece of rubber. Mine was anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote wayno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2020 at 5:37pm
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I made the mistake of taking one of those spotted gurnard home---once!
Was not pleasant to eat, even the cat turned his nose up at it.

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Originally posted by wayno wayno wrote:

I made the mistake of taking one of those spotted gurnard home---once!
Was not pleasant to eat, even the cat turned his nose up at it.
HaHa I am not alone,she brought some from PnS (japanese gurnard they said) yep cat looked as if to say wtf and straight in the bin.
She said you're deaf.No I have selective hearing.And thats when it started.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote shaneg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2020 at 7:47pm
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No comparison, caught a few spotted gurnard this year while puka fishing back of knights,where they are a common by catch. Poor eating compared to red gurnard .. which is one of my most favourite fish, right up there with John Dory. 
Best puka by catch in deep are the big tarakihi. Although I know a guy who rates sea perch and takes em all.
Red gurnard are awesome to eat if filleted skin on, hard to find anything better, even puka and fresh MahiMahi, also excellent. I would say both come slightlly second to red gurnard. But only my opinion. Plus I can slay gurnard while struggle to get as many dory, puka and Mahi. Talking pan fried fish here, not sashimi or smoked.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote shaneg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2020 at 7:55pm
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someone is bound to come in here and say blue cod is best. To which I would say they make good livies for both JDs and puka. But also very good in in batter.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Catchelot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2020 at 8:02pm
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Originally posted by shaneg shaneg wrote:

someone is bound to come in here and say blue cod is best. To which I would say they make good livies for both JDs and puka. But also very good in in batter.

Haha and yep Shane, Sea Perch, or Jock Stewarts, Jimmy Canyons, make great puka livies.Clap

...and we see the Eyebrow and Orange Perch in same depths off the Brett/BOI 120-200+m also

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote shaneg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2020 at 9:09pm
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Good to know Al. Those little perch are often caught before a decent puka, which was the case on one trip this year. 
Captain Simon of the good ship Sambosi diligently fillets all the little perch that come up and squirrels them away in a special tupuware box in chilly  bin.  Must try some one day.
Are they any good to eat?
Anyway didn’t mean to distract thread with other species. No secret I love gurnard and like eating and catching them. We have great fishery  for them off the bays now days since seiners stopped operating in close inside noises years ago, although seasonal.. basically winter only fishery.
Less current than west coast harbours so can use a more subtle approach. Lighter sinkers, etc.
I did lot of fishing years ago for gurnard with some of real old time characters off Hudson’s beach... learnt a lot which held me in good stead last few years when have done well on them locally east side from kayak. But techniques are very similar to what we used on manukau.
We used to also do well surfcasting  for them off Graham’s (mako pt end) and Orua bay, late evening and night. Ledger rig and fresh mullet. Also worked in holes at low tide on coast down South Head light house and even at Hamilton’s gap when calm. Although lot of those Hiwi hiwi on coast, which can be a plague.
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