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Wharf fishing with kids

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    Posted: 29 Oct 2018 at 12:10pm
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Hi all, I'm not much of a fisho but I want to get my kids (8 & 10) interested this summer, just fishing off Auckland wharves.

We all have rods and reels, but last time I tried a couple of years ago they got bored pretty quickly and I ended up trying to hold three rods as well as my beer.

Questions- 
- should I peel off a few meters of nylon before this season and if so how much?
- what lures are best to use?
- I can't cast for ****. Last time I tried I lost my gear to the wharf roof. Any tips?
- what species should I expect to see around the wharves? Which of these are eating fish and what do I throw back?
- any tricks to keep them interested while waiting for the strike?

Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2018 at 3:23pm
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Hi mate,

A great Kiwi pastime. I’ve taken my youngster to the very popular wharf at Mangonui, up north, Orakei in Auckland, and Kauri Pt in Tauranga, and he had a great time. I put him in a life jacket which I think is a good idea if the current is strong.

You haven't said where you live, but assuming North Island, you can expect anything from kingfish to 'sprats'. Most wharves have good populations of baitfish such as piper, yellow-eyed mullet (sprats), jack mackerel (yellow tail). Next most likely fish is a kahawai of various sizes (no size limit), and under-sized (less than 30cm in the northern region) snapper. In some areas, john dory hang around, but you're unlikely to get one on bait unless it's a live bait. Sometimes you'll get 'spotties' or similar fish which hang about the wharf piles. Most people return them. 

From time to time, kingies will do a lightning raid, and all hell breaks loose! Houhora and Mangonui are famous for them, ditto Kauri Pt. When we were at Orakei, something big snapped off our sabiki, possibly a big kahawai grabbed a hooked and struggling mackerel.

If you want to use a fish for a live bait, it must be legal catch. You can't use a baby snapper on a hook for a john dory, for example.

My biggest tip is to use suitable gear for the type of fishing you want to do - usually, for small fish catching at a wharf, that means light line, small hooks, bait that stays on the hook etc.

I get frustrated when I see parents taking their kids out to a wharf trying to catch sprats and mackerel etc with overhead boat reels, 50lb trace and 7/0 hooks, and a bit of last night’s ham for bait. A recipe for disappointment and a real shame.

Yes, if your line has been left in the sun or is showing signs of wear, cut off some from the end. Make sure your reels are working well, and hooks are sharp etc.

Using lures typically involves a lot of casting, and potential line tangles, so I wouldn't make that my first choice for the kids. A light spin reel with a half sabiki rig, sweetened with a little bit of bait, is likely to result in some nice catches of mackerel or yellow eyed mullet. At Mangonui kids get legal snapper on them too.

Piper are suckers for a tiny bait hung below a float. I've had good success on little balls of dough mixed with flour and the juice from a can of tuna. Try to let the float drift out a bit, as piper can be shy. If they are around, there's likely to be a skilled Asian fisho making the most of their presence with specialist gear. Watch what they do.

A berley bag/basket is often a great idea to keep fish swarming in your spot.

Try to fish at the best times of day - change of light, and when the tide is running. That’s more likely to result in success.

Depending on the wharf, casting away from it can be a detriment because fish are attracted to the structure for shelter and food. That in turn attracts the predators. Dropping a bait directly under the wharf is often more productive than casting for the horizon. Usually, just letting the bait disappear out of sight is a good start for mackerel, rather than dropping it to the bottom.

Although, if you can cast to a channel from a wharf that is sitting in shallower water, it is also productive to cast out.

Try to fish on the down current side, so your lines aren’t disappearing under the wharf.

If you think larger kahawai and keeper snapper are a prospect (which is likely on many of our wharves), use some of the fresh mackerel or other decent bait, and use comparatively heavier gear.

Take a chilly bin with some ice bottles for looking after your catch, sufficient rags to keep hands clean, something to sit on, and plenty of sustenance (for the kids as well!!).

It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about respect for under-sized fish, how to look after them before returning to the water (not leaving them flapping about on a hot concrete wharf), how to respect rays or other ‘rubbish’ fish you catch etc. And for teaching them the right thing to do with rubbish. 

Have fun.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote e.m.p! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2018 at 9:23pm
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Great post, thanks! Will keep it in mind when my sprats are old enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Barbary B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2018 at 11:36am
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When mine were smaller we used to take them to Devonport and or Torpedo Bay Wharves - which hold a variety of bait fish like piper, sprats etc. Sure fire way to catch sprats is to rig up light casting rods (or even handlines)  with a couple of sabikis - I cut the sabikis in two so each rod has 3 hooks. Plenty of bread etc for burley. You can bait the sabikis with bread squished on as well. Devo wharf holds snapper (not so much torpedo bay) - so when they have caught you some jack macks under the wharf you can send them out into the current (live or dead) for the snapper on a standard surfcasting rig with break away sinker. 
"Look ahead, look astern, look to weather, look to lea
Look down along the coast of High Barbary..."
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote ameliaharry654 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2018 at 11:52pm
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Originally posted by The Tamure Kid The Tamure Kid wrote:

Hi mate,

A great Kiwi pastime. I’ve taken my youngster to the very popular wharf at Mangonui, up north, Orakei in Auckland, and Kauri Pt in Tauranga, and he had a great time. I put him in a life jacket which I think is a good idea if the current is strong.

You haven't said where you live, but assuming North Island, you can expect anything from kingfish to 'sprats'. Most wharves have good populations of baitfish such as piper, yellow-eyed mullet (sprats), jack mackerel (yellow tail). Next most likely fish is a kahawai of various sizes (no size limit), and under-sized (less than 30cm in the northern region) snapper. In some areas, john dory hang around, but you're unlikely to get one on bait unless it's a live bait. Sometimes you'll get 'spotties' or similar fish which hang about the wharf piles. Most people return them. 

From time to time, kingies will do a lightning raid, and all hell breaks loose! Houhora and Mangonui are famous for them, ditto Kauri Pt. When we were at Orakei, something big snapped off our sabiki, possibly a big kahawai grabbed a hooked and struggling mackerel.

If you want to use a fish for a live bait, it must be legal catch. You can't use a baby snapper on a hook for a john dory, for example.

My biggest tip is to use suitable gear for the type of fishing you want to do - usually, for small fish catching at a wharf, that means light line, small hooks, bait that stays on the hook etc.

I get frustrated when I see parents taking their kids out to a wharf trying to catch sprats and mackerel etc with overhead boat reels, 50lb trace and 7/0 hooks, and a bit of last night’s ham for bait. A recipe for disappointment and a real shame.

Yes, if your line has been left in the sun or is showing signs of wear, cut off some from the end. Make sure your reels are working well, and hooks are sharp etc.

Using lures typically involves a lot of casting, and potential line tangles, so I wouldn't make that my first choice for the kids. A light spin reel with a half sabiki rig, sweetened with a little bit of bait, is likely to result in some nice catches of mackerel or yellow eyed mullet. At Mangonui kids get legal snapper on them too.

Piper are suckers for a tiny bait hung below a float. I've had good success on little balls of dough mixed with flour and the juice from a can of tuna. Try to let the float drift out a bit, as piper can be shy. If they are around, there's likely to be a skilled Asian fisho making the most of their presence with specialist gear. Watch what they do.

A berley bag/basket is often a great idea to keep fish swarming in your spot.

Try to fish at the best times of day - change of light, and when the tide is running. That’s more likely to result in success.

Depending on the wharf, casting away from it can be a detriment because fish are attracted to the structure for shelter and food. That in turn attracts the predators. Dropping a bait directly under the wharf is often more productive than casting for the horizon. Usually, just letting the bait disappear out of sight is a good start for mackerel, rather than dropping it to the bottom.

Although, if you can cast to a channel from a wharf that is sitting in shallower water, it is also productive to cast out.

Try to fish on the down current side, so your lines aren’t disappearing under the wharf.

If you think larger kahawai and keeper snapper are a prospect (which is likely on many of our wharves), use some of the fresh mackerel or other decent bait, and use comparatively heavier gear.

Take a chilly bin with some ice bottles for looking after your catch, sufficient rags to keep hands clean, something to sit on, and plenty of sustenance (for the kids as well!!).

It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about respect for under-sized fish, how to look after them before returning to the water (not leaving them flapping about on a hot concrete wharf), how to respect rays or other ‘rubbish’ fish you catch etc. And for teaching them the right thing to do with rubbish. 

Have fun.

 

Well said
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote terrafish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2018 at 12:15am
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Jonski, I have nothing further to say. Tamure kid has said it all!!.



Ahh wait there was one thing he missed...……..

Sunscreen
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote Jofly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 8:30pm
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The Tamure Kid is onto it, just started with my little one and he loves it, when we are catching fish, otherwise he gets bored quickly.

We go early to beat the crowds, especially on the weekend and we leave before lunch or before he gets hungry and tired. He wears a lifejacket so I have one less worry.

We always use berley near the surface and shake it a lot so the trail keeps going strong.  That brings in clouds of sprats and jack macs which he likes to watch.  

We drop a shortened sabiki (with 3 hook only otherwise it tangles too much) and small bits of bait into that cloud of fish and he can catch lots. A small single hook with a little bait and no weight sometimes works really well when they are near the surface.

His catch goes in a bucket with a small aerator pump for me to use as live bait that I can set and leave so I can pay attention to him and keep him interested.

I also take a softbait rod which I rig with a ledger rig and sometimes cast out further for snapper/kahawai but mainly its about him catching fish so he either reels it in or helps me land it or put it in the bucket. We have had some good fish from our favorite spot. 

When he starts getting bored or tired we leave. I trust that will keep him keen.
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