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Great Barrier Island

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:50 pm
by Phantom Menace
A friend had a new toy that he wanted to put more hours on the engine. He suggested we plan a trip to GBI for Monday so who was I to say no.

An earlyish start saw us heading north up the motorway as some of the early commuters were driving south to work :lol:

As we dropped the boat in at Omaha I discovered just how new his new toy was - 2.7 hrs on the motor. Flat seas and little wind saw me being dropped in the water at the first spot in the Broken Islands by 8:40am after an hours trip over. The visibility had looked to be round 5 - 6m but it closed in as I swam along the coast. This first piece of coast was not overly fishy but it was still better than being at work. After a couple of hours in the water I had swum to where he had anchored the boat in a sheltered bay so I climbed aboard and went to pick him up. His plan had been to swim to a point then round a smallish island so it didn't take me long to find him.

The next piece of coast we tried had similar visibility to the first and marginally more fish life. I shot a drummer and set a burley on a relatively fishy point to try and bring in snapper but all that came in to it were 30cm or less so I left them alone.

We had one more spot to try - as luck would have it this spot held more fish and the two of us got snapper and saw loads of others.

The boat ride back to Omaha took about 1.5 hrs as the wind and sea had picked up - it was a great day to be out and we returned home with snapper and crayfish. We didn't get close to threatening the current 9 snapper bag - or even the proposed 3 snapper limit and I would have been happy (ish) to return with nothing but have had a great winters "work day" in the water for about 5 hrs.

Re: Great Barrier Island

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:14 am
by Ali Perkins
Here is a question from someone who has never spear fished before. How do you get on judging the size of fish underwater before you shoot so they meet minimum size limits? I don't imagine snapper hang out long enough for you to pull out a measuring tape.

Re: Great Barrier Island

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:29 am
by Phantom Menace
My approach starts with:

"If I have to think about whether it is legal or not then don't pull the trigger!" (I made the mistake of being a bit trigger happy once or twice when I was starting out and was frustrated with myself)

Then it just comes down to experience / time in the water in different conditions (especially visibility) to try to judge how big they actually are. If you have set a burley (either kina or another fish) and snapper etc. have come in on it then you have a little more time to observe what is going on, compare size of fish etc.

You are right about not having much time to make that judgement - sometimes you see the fish close to the end of your breath hold too. From my limited exposure to others I would say that those who take their spearfishing more seriously would rather not pull the trigger than shoot something undersize (whether that be the legal minimum or their own personal minimum).

The other thing to judge is whether you have a good opportunity to shoot and not lose the fish.

Re: Great Barrier Island

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:33 am
by ChuckyBob
What size boat did you take over?

Re: Great Barrier Island

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:53 am
by Phantom Menace
Fyran 595 Pursuit Hardtop with 115hp four stroke. It is painted red - so stands out like the proverbial ...

I should have also said it was Monday 19th (not yesterday).

Edit: Boat fuel cost was in the order of $140 for the day (to be split between the two of us). Usually there are 3 - 5 of us on these sorts of trips so it will make for relatively economical days out although fuel consumption will go up as weight increases and is also weather dependent. We had pretty good conditions for the trip over and more difficult conditions for the return trip so probably not a bad day to base estimates on.