Whanganella Banks report

Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote JBoffshore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Whanganella Banks report
    Posted: 23 Apr 2024 at 5:20pm
JBoffshore View Drop Down
Gold
Gold
Avatar

Joined: 17 Aug 2002
Status: Offline
Points: 817
Just got back from an excellent trip to the Whanganella Banks onboard the 63' Betram "Matador". The trip was originally planned for later in the month and with this in mind my wife and I had made our way down to the South Island to do some trout fishing out of our Camper Van. Not long into the trip some alarm bells rang when I got a late call to Jump aboard nother vessel "No Boundaries" who had spotted a good weather window. At this point my commitments in the South Island meant I couldn't get onboard with them prior to their departure on friday.


As some of you know, this is enough to make any serious fisherman feel sick to the stomach, especially as I watched the South Island weather deteriorate before my eyes and the weather over the banks blossom into a perfect forecast. Again, commitments are commitments, so I marched on with our plan of driving around the weather. This was when Hayden from the Matador called me, saying they planned on Leaving on Sunday, still not doable for me. We continued our way up the Island on Thursday and while standing beside a Tasman Region river and watching it turn from gin clear to Coffee colored in the space of 30 minutes I made the difficult call to Cancel the elaborate plan we had in place for sunday, hastily booked some very expensive tickets out of Nelson and then got our horrifically underpowered campervan on the rev limiter and bee lined it for Nelson. My good friend Flyn was very understanding of our plight and let us park the camper on his lawn for a few weeks. 



We landed at 9pm on friday in Auckland and drove straight (well via Mangawhai these days) to Kerikeri to get bags packed and gear loaded. Matador was fuelling in Opua the following morning which made it easy to jump onboard, albeit a bit of a Hollywood arrival after the rest of the crew had put in the hard yards preparing the boat and catching all of the necessary live and dead baits for our trip, which is a considerable task considering we had 400 baits onboard. Credit needs to be given to Hayden, as getting a boat ready to safely fish a location this far offshore is no small feat, especially with the short notice we all had. Once we had loaded a collosal volume of fuel onboard Hayden pointed us up the coast and we were off. The weather was far from enjoyable on our way up the coast, but it is the accepted norm to leave in a bit of **** weather to get the nice window where you need it most, on the Banks. The trip up saw a large rigging effort to ensure all rods had fresh, measured top shots, 200 odd pitch bait leaders were snelled up, and plenty of wind on leaders were made. This was made easier by our crew being made up by experienced fishermen, most of which a professional sportfishing mates or captains.




The weather on the second day of the passage to the Banks was far more indicative of what we had to look forward to, and only served to heighten the anticipation of our arrival which was estimated to be day break the following morning. This is typical of Haydens thorough planning of a long range fishing trip. Sure enough we arrived bang on time, but we were all somewhat disappointed at the visible lack of bird life in our chosen starting point on the bank. We were however comforted that two other boats were fishing the banks and we were spread out which should help to track down the main body of fish. Undeterred by the lack of birds we fired up the newly installed Furuno Omni Sonar and our fears were quickly erased. 300 odd meters off our starboard bow we could see the tell tale yellow sausage shaped marks that have exposed Striped marlin for me time and time again while running my old boat in Mag Bay Mexico. It wasn't long before we raising multiple striped marlin and hooking doubles, triples and quads, just what we were all after. Short of one rigged lure on the left long, the rest of our fish were caught teasing fish in on Squid Chain teasers run off the electric reels in the bridge and them switching them on to circle hook rigged Jack Mackerel. This first day continued to fish pretty consistently until mid afternoon where the bite tapered off significantly, regardless we still managed to finish the day with 42 fish, a new boat record for the boys.




The next morning a difficult call was made, we were shifting to the otherside of the bank in the hope of finding better fishing. I know, I know, it would appear to be a foolish call to leave a spot that had just produced the best fishing that the boat had seen, however there are some strong parrallels between this fishery and the one in Mag Bay, usually when you have a good number of fish but the rest of the conditions (birds, bait etc) are absent, it usually indicates that the main body of fish are elsewhere. The next morning we started fishing our chosen spot and started to regret our decision. I was on the helm this day and whilst there were moments of excellence, 6 way hook ups etc, there were long gaps in between each pod of fish we raised. Regarldless, the fish we did see in this area were the most willing and commited of the trip, bitting pitch baits cleanly and readily, allowing us to not get too strung out on the first fish hooked in the bunch which is a big consideration when catching 6 at a time. About mid afternoon we got the heads up from Bwana that they were in the meat further to the south. We pulled the gear in and steamed the 7nm at 24 knots and were instantly rewarded when we set out and had 7 marlin on the sonar. We ended this day with 50 marlin, a great milestone especially on Haydens grandfathers birthday. Late this night one of the boys spotted a large Great White shark during his watch, which we all willingly woke up to see. The Shark treated us to an hour long show as it circled the boats lights and a very calm and controlled manner. A special sight to see.



Day 3 saw us start in the same zone, with us having consistent fishing albeit to less willing fish. They were there in numbers, but their commitment to eating wasn't what we had enjoyed on the western edge. We all put our heads down and chipped away at the fish until the seemingly consistent late afternoon taper off of the bite. We had had some tough fish this day including a couple of very nice fish around the 160kg mark, so we were all very happy to end the day with 57 releases, which would prove to comfortably be our best day of the trip. even still, the baitballing scene that is so typical of the area was still largely absent which was very pequliar. 



Day 4 dawned upon us, and was to be our final day before we left for the long trip home. I was on the helm again today and I started in the same area as the day before. The fishing here was good and quite consistent for a couple of hours before it turned off like a light switch. We started trolling our way 2nm south where we could see good numbers of birds on the radar, and confirmed this through our Gyro Binoculars. In hindsight we probably should have run to the birds, as we routinely got stopped by single fish on the way there, but in the grand scheme of things it is very much a first world problem. Once we got to the area of birds it took awhile for me to find my groove and get into the fish, once i did we yet again found them uncommitted, but we were usually raising six to seven of them at a time. Now I had talked about the parallels with Mag Bay, but the fish on the Whanganella Banks are a different kettle of fish, and when one makes its mind up to charge downsea away from the other 3 or 4 you have hooked up, you can have a real dilemma on your hands. Needless to say I was a slower learner than I needed to be, and I ended up "strung out" with long fight times on several occasions. It appeared the fish were using the increased sea state to help them peel line off us, and the sea state also hinders you in your ability to chase them. It is worth noting that you could likely run these fish down with the boat quite easily, however some sensibility needs to be applied to ensure you drive the boat in a considerate and controlled manner to ensure you don't encourage a mechanical issue when you are 300nm from land. We fought our 200th fish of the trip into the sunset and after releasing it we pointed the bow for the Three Kings Islands, the boat carrying a tired and content crew closer to home.

Our fishing was not done, the following morning as we were trolling along the Reinga ridge we were interrupted by a small 140kg Blue Marlin, similar to the ones I had spent so much time catching in Costa Rica for the last 12 years. This fish put up a very respectable account for itself, even on 37kg stand up gear, testament to the fact that Blue Marlin are just built different. The following morning we had our progress halted by a small Striped marlin in very ordinary conditions off the Cavalli Islands. This would prove to be our 202nd and final fish for the trip, a trip which will be remembered by all of us until we leave this earth.

For more videos and photos of our trip you can check out my instagram page @jimmybrown24

Back to Top
Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2024 at 6:54pm
Fish Addict View Drop Down
Platinum
Platinum


Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Location: Perth WA
Status: Online
Points: 2406
Great report there JB, what a magic place.  Thanks for taking the time to write it up.
Back to Top
Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Skoti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2024 at 8:01pm
Skoti View Drop Down
Titanium
Titanium
Avatar

Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Location: Waiuku
Status: Offline
Points: 4800
Wicked report , the stuff dreams are made of !
COVID is no joke !
One former patient was so brain damaged after , he thought he won an election he lost by 7 million votes .
Back to Top
Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote krow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2024 at 8:28pm
krow View Drop Down
Titanium
Titanium
Avatar

Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Location: Whangarei
Status: Offline
Points: 6529
Thanks Very cool read and those pictures. Just wow. I'm not on Instagram Cry
Back to Top
Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote terrafish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2024 at 10:04pm
terrafish View Drop Down
Platinum
Platinum
Avatar

Joined: 01 Feb 2018
Location: B.O.I
Status: Offline
Points: 1110
Bloody tough life mate, hope you remembered to pick up the van when you got back.........
Awesome read thanks for the post
Part time Devils Advocate, Fulltime procrastinator
Back to Top
Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2024 at 7:19am
Alan L View Drop Down
Titanium
Titanium


Joined: 21 Nov 2012
Location: Hastings
Status: Offline
Points: 5807
Wow - that has to be the most epic trip report ever. 
Simply awesome.
I am not seeing any hook in those koheru?
Thanks for an epic report and great pics. Wicked.
Alan
Legasea Legend member
Back to Top
Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JBoffshore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2024 at 9:21am
JBoffshore View Drop Down
Gold
Gold
Avatar

Joined: 17 Aug 2002
Status: Offline
Points: 817
Well spotted Alan. When rigging the baits we just leave two strands of waxed thread hanging out of the mouth of the bait, this allows us to slide on a chugger head and Lumo bead then tie that down tight to the hook, or alternatively just a piece of chaffe tubing with no chugger head to space the hook away from the bait. Having just the waxed thread there allows us to adapt our baits to the conditions and how the fish are behaving. I don't have a photo of the finished bait, but did a screen shot of one of the videos that shows the finished result. 



Also a few more photos below:

















Back to Top
Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JBoffshore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2024 at 9:25am
JBoffshore View Drop Down
Gold
Gold
Avatar

Joined: 17 Aug 2002
Status: Offline
Points: 817
https://www.instagram.com/reel/C6C3I9Cv392/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==


This link may allow you to view a short video of the trip without being logged in to Instagram.

Back to Top
Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2024 at 4:18pm
Alan L View Drop Down
Titanium
Titanium


Joined: 21 Nov 2012
Location: Hastings
Status: Offline
Points: 5807
Thanks for the info - got it.
Wow - just wow - how could any trip beat that. All downhill from here.
Alan
Legasea Legend member
Back to Top
Forum Jump
Forum Permissions View Drop Down


This page was generated in 0.367 seconds.

Fishing Reports Visit Reports

Saltwater Fishing Reports
Bream Bay Fishing Report - 16/05/24

Snapper fishing steady rather than spectacular Harder fishing and smaller fish heralding the change of... Read More >

16 May 2024
Saltwater Fishing Reports
Northland Fishing Report - 16/05/24

Trophy fish on offer With the temperatures dropping and the days getting shorter, you could... Read More >

16 May 2024
Saltwater Fishing Reports
Tauranga Fishing Report - 16/05/24

Tarakihi and snapper on the chew Things are starting to be a bit quieter with... Read More >

16 May 2024
Saltwater Fishing Reports
Raglan Fishing Report - 16/05/24

Fresh bait key to bigger fish The run of good autumn fishing continues with a... Read More >

16 May 2024
Fishing bite times Fishing bite times

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Major Bites

Minor Bites