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Spring fishing

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    Posted: 13 Sep 2020 at 1:40pm
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Hit the Kaipara on Wednesday to make the most of the great weather window. As the tide was just going on low I tried a new channel I had found till I had enough water to get over the banks to my snapper spot. An hour got me one small ky and 2 small sharks.

Decided to try get over the banks and had to do a spot of rowing in places, the rest with the motor trimmed up and idling along. This with no wind and crystal clear water let me see where the shellfish beds were with loads of evidence of where fish had been feeding...looking very healthy馃憤

First half hour was quiet but then the groundbaiting kicked in and it was all on. Not bad for first fish in the bin



Next couple of hours got me a total of 8 in the bin with plenty put back around 40 to 45. Dropped a couple of fish that just didnt stick and had two spectacular bust offs. Some really good fish around and starting to get super aggressive as well. I had a couple of times where I had missed the initial bite and the fish came back real hard and it was hit and run tactics. Adrenalin stuff when the rod is horizontal and the reel is screaming.

Decided to move up harbour into the shallows for gurnard and soon the burley got the ky around and nod, nod, a carrot. Thought the plan had come together perfectly but then it was just snapper....and good ones too. Released a few around 50+ and kept two more as they had really swallowed the circles right down. Score 10 snaps, one carrot and a couple of kahawai....broke the rules on number for mass gatherings but I reckon I should be ok馃榿





Cleaning up I noted that the snapper had a good layer of fat, and length to weight ratio pretty much the same as late autumn fish from both Manukau and Kaipara





Water is over 14掳 and the snapper are moving up the harbour.....spring has sprung

We don't know what we don't need till we've got it
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote gumboot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2020 at 3:02pm
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Well done . Great report I was going to make the run up there Wednesday but work is so up and down at the moment. But great to here they have started to turn up
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2020 at 3:05pm
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Ohhh my goodness that's a nice catch Thumbs Up. Can't believe the fat on that knife for this time of year.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2020 at 3:13pm
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Well done. That's a great blackboard data report, too. You just forgot to put the GPS coordinates on it, which would definitely be good for your records - spot O could be anywhere!! Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Snappa Geoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2020 at 3:37pm
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Great read, nice Fat Fish Transformations! Got all keen myself yesterday, a slight opening, geared up Mac towed to beach. Within ten minutes a SW got up. Caps appeared, towed homeCry Keep up the reports! Beer
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Transformations Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2020 at 10:20pm
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Thanks TK, been doing the boards for about a year now and just sorry it took so long to get the idea. Makes it so much easier to track patterns and keep stats. My bad on the lack of gps coords. Problem is the only way I could fit them on the board is by catching less fish....then no one would really want them, catch 22 (pun intended)馃榿

Smudge, to be honest the Kaipara fish seem to always be in prime condition.

Gumboot, sorry you missed out. Was a really awesome day and the fishing is really good. See you next time 馃槈

Thanks Geoff, im practicing so that when I grow up I can catch the size snapper you do馃憤

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2020 at 11:34pm
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Great report, I've never fished there, but the Kaipara definitely seems to be a magic spot.
Top 10 finish
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote BananaBoat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2020 at 7:03am
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far out, nice report there mister, especially like the fat along the blade, makes for excellent eating.... enjoy

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fishb8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2020 at 8:10am
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Great report - thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Transformations Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2020 at 3:13pm
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Just some of those ended up as these





Fat beer battered snapper fillets.....all that's from just 2 snapper馃憤, we really are blessed馃檹



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Bullet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2020 at 9:54pm
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Originally posted by Transformations Transformations wrote:

Just some of those ended up as these





Fat beer battered snapper fillets.....all that's from just 2 snapper馃憤, we really are blessed馃檹



They look yum T. Can u please post your recipe and oil type and how to cook? Be good to give it a go.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2020 at 10:04pm
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Originally posted by kitno kitno wrote:

Great report, I've never fished there, but the Kaipara definitely seems to be a magic spot.

Imagine The Manukau. Multiply that by 3. Muddier, more current, better :)
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2020 at 11:10pm
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Originally posted by Bullet Bullet wrote:

 


They look yum T. Can u please post your recipe and oil type and how to cook? Be good to give it a go. [/QUOTE]

Bullet, in addition to the info the masterchef provides in due course, I recently tried a beer batter method from an Aussie fishing guy on YouTube which is simply self-raising flour mixed with cold lager - that's it!

You pour a decent quantity of the self-raising flour into a bowl and start adding beer - a little at a time - while stirring. And adjust the mixture until it's a reasonably runny liquid.

Heat a wok with a good quantity of canola oil in it, get it up to a hot temp.

Dust each piece of fish in a separate dessert plate of self raising flour, scoop into the batter with some tongs and lower into the wok. Not too many pieces at a time, so the oil stays hot and they don't crowd each other. Scoop the fish out with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel. 

That's it. That method is very simple and worked incredibly well. Nice crispy and tasty coating.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2020 at 12:16am
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Those do look great Transformations.  Like TTK I'll be interested in the batter recipe.  Of recent times I've been searching for a good recipe.  Many variations out there.  A common comment is that the liquid whether it be water or beer should be chilled and the mixture left to stand for some hours prior to use.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Transformations Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2020 at 6:47am
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TTK has got it pretty spot on 馃憤. I add a pinch of salt and about 1/4 tsp turmeric powder for that golden colour, also it lets the fish looked cooked sooner rather than later. Batter without egg/colouring stays pale and people tend to try and get that a golden colour and overcook the fish鈽癸笍.

I add beer (ice cold) only 5 mins before cooking as I believe it's the fizz in the beer that adds to the light crispy texture so if you let it stand it looses that.

For frying I use a light salad/cooking oil, countdown has a brand called sunfield which works well.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Transformations Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2020 at 1:30pm
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Originally posted by smudge smudge wrote:

Originally posted by kitno kitno wrote:

Great report, I've never fished there, but the Kaipara definitely seems to be a magic spot.


Imagine The Manukau. Multiply that by 3. Muddier, more current, better :)


As smudge said, but depends where you go. I learned my nz fishing on the Manukau mostly and I find fishing in the Kaipara not only more productive but also easier. As I mostly.... actually ONLY fish the shallows 0.5 to 5m depending on tide, I find there is less current to deal with and NO BLOODY RED WEED!

If you fish main channels and choke points then current would be an issue but as my record shows you don't need current to get fish. As a matter of fact my biggest fish in the Kaipara have been caught on the slack tide. For me this is usually one of the busiest bites times of the day.

Been fishing the Kaipara for about 2 years and now that I have found some reliable go to spots I can prospect with the knowledge that if a new spot strikes out I can usually get a feed at the old faithful ones.

Biggest draw for me is the sheer size of the harbour and how secluded it is, especially during a weekday when sometimes I might only see 3 or 4 boats all day and those usually from a distance. There is also an element of danger involved as I run a soft bottom inflatable with a 25 and do 15 to 20nn trips and sit with my arse inches off the water that holds a healthy population of sharks. This is also why I almost never use any form of burley bag and do ground baiting and cubing instead. Every big splash and bump makes you wonder. This is what makes me feel alive馃槈



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2020 at 7:16pm
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Originally posted by Transformations Transformations wrote:

TTK has got it pretty spot on 馃憤. I add a pinch of salt and about 1/4 tsp turmeric powder for that golden colour, also it lets the fish looked cooked sooner rather than later. Batter without egg/colouring stays pale and people tend to try and get that a golden colour and overcook the fish鈽癸笍.

I add beer (ice cold) only 5 mins before cooking as I believe it's the fizz in the beer that adds to the light crispy texture so if you let it stand it looses that.

For frying I use a light salad/cooking oil, countdown has a brand called sunfield which works well.


Some great tips there, thanks for the info Transformations - especially re the turmeric!

I made the mixture I described above almost immediately before cooking for exactly the same reason re the fizz.
It's not like pancake mixture which needs time to 'proof', or whatever the correct word is, in the fridge.

I used to buy Fog Dog sachets to take on fishing trips, but I suspect I've been paying 5 x the price for what's basically self-raising flour Cry Now I just take some self-raising in a plastic jar.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2020 at 11:23pm
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Transformations and TTK - thanks for the heads up.

As I mentioned the variations to finding the best batter mixes seems almost endless.

Recipes I've found include the following dry ingredients, some 100% and numerous mixes of:

         Plain flour

         Self raising flour

         Cornflour

         Corn starch (same as cornflour, I believe)

         Potato flour

         White rice flour

With additives including:

         Baking powder

         Egg

         Egg white only

         Egg yellow only

         Oil

         White wine

         Honey

         Salt

         Pepper

         Turmeric

         Custard powder

With fluids including:

         Water - cold / iced

         Milk

         Beer

         Stout

         Soda water

         Ginger beer

         Lemon / lime drinks as in Lift, L&P

         Vodka

 

This is before the discussions regarding whether the batter should be left to stand in a fridge or used immediately even begin.

Below is a cut and paste of the recipe and method including vodka.  This came from one of your countrymen.

 

" ... 200g plain flour

200g white rice flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp honey

300ml vodka

300ml lager

1 Tip the plain flour, rice flour and baking powder into a bowl. Put the honey and vodka into a jug, stir, then add to the flour to create a batter mix. Open the lager and stir it into the batter until just combined. It doesn鈥檛 matter if the consistency is a little lumpy. The most important thing is to open the lager just before stirring and transferring to the siphon (see step 2), to retain as many bubbles as possible.

2 Transfer the batter to a jug, then pour it into a soda siphon. Charge the siphon with three CO2 charges and put it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.

You now have the best fish/seafood batter known to man....."


Message to self - I need to fish more to try some of these. 

 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Transformations Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 2020 at 11:19am
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The bonus is that if you make it complicated and use 2 dozen ingredients, the leftover can probably be used for a bit of gib stopping 馃榿

Best is still KISS as for me it is more about a protective layer around the fish to keep that at it's best馃憤
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