Tauranga Bay - New Years

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Tauranga Bay - New Years

Postby Phantom Menace » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:57 am

Looks like no-one is posting reports so here is one from early January.

Did the family camping trip up to Tauranga Bay. Two families with 5 kids, two tents and 4 boats between us (3 kayaks). The "highlight" of the first day was putting tents up in the rain and then surviving the big overnight blow (27/28 December). The visibility on the coast wasn't looking too flash but I decided there wasn't much point putting the boat in the water for the first couple of days as it wouldn't have been pleasant for any passengers.

Over dinner on 29 December I decided I needed a little exercise so made plans for an earlyish start the next morning and to go for a solo walk to the end of the beach and then swim round the rocks, head across the next bay and then out to the far point with my speargun. I told my family that I would be back by 11am.

For some reason my internal clock didn't wake me up as it usually does the next morning so I wasn't getting organized until about 7:30am then it was off for the 5 - 10 minute stroll to the end of the beach, wade out and start the swim. As expected the visibility was limited to around 3m generally until I got through to the other side of the rocks when it opened up to about 4m+. It also got quite a bit more fishy with jack macs and other bait fish cruising round. I saw a few butterfish but decided to leave them alone for a while - making a note of roughly where they were as I might decide to take one or two on the way back. As I swam through the rocks I saw another rock breaking the surface part-way into the next bay so I decided to swim over and check it out then decide whether to swim across the bay or go to the the beach and then walk it. Turns out there was a shallowish reef structure running out to the rock that was holding a few interesting fish. I saw a couple of crayfish in about 7m but they were too far back in their holes for me to have a crack at. I also saw a pannie snapper as I was coming out of a cray hole.

Next step was to swim to the deep water facing side of the rock that broke the surface and do a few dives on it. After two dives , as I was breathing up for my third, I spotted the green torpedo shape of a kingfish below me. I was about to dive down to check it out when it turned and swam up to meet me giving me a couple of seconds to take the shot (or not). (When kingfish do this they usually check you out for a few seconds before swimming away once they decide you are not a food source). I lined it up quickly and landed a good holding shot behind the gill-plate. The fish stopped momentarily then took off - heading for the shallow, weedy rocks. I knew I had a good shot so I put a fair bit of pressure on the fish to hold off the bottom and swim it out a little - but I had no real depth to use so it was a bit of a fight with the fish (in deeper water you can let the fish run a little rather than have to haul it up hard).

After a bit of a struggle I managed to get the fish in a bear hug with my hand in its gills and tail wrapped between my legs and then iki it. At this point, still quite early in my planned swim, I decided we had enough fish with the kingfish and that I should swim back.

As I got back to the campground (just before 9am) a few people spotted me trudging up the beach in my camo wetsuit carrying the speargun, long fins, float, flag etc. and the kingfish over my shoulder so I ended up with quite an audience and had to tell the story above several times both by our tents and in the camp filleting area.

The rest of the holiday was great with a fair bit of time spent in the water with various kids to take snorkeling and a couple of short swims for me to get snapper, butterfish etc.
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Re: Tauranga Bay - New Years

Postby divepirate » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:48 am

awesome trip report.

Sounds like it was a good holiday, and with the Kingi, I'm sure the whole family was well fed.
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I cant think of anything more relaxing, than being in the downunder, breathing some nice clean fresh filtered 21% nitrox.
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Re: Tauranga Bay - New Years

Postby Phantom Menace » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:17 am

Yes we were well fed - smoked some of it in the little stainless steel box smoker (and we actually had 6 kids/teenagers - I forgot that my 16 yr old daughter had brought one of her friends along for the holiday).

For the rest of our time there people in the campground kept asking me how the fishing was going, where THEY should go, species id for fish they had not seen before etc. Managed a snapper or two on the spear on other days but nothing too memorable.

I have a Mokes report to do later ...
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Re: Tauranga Bay - New Years

Postby rambaldi » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:35 pm

Sounds like a good fight :)
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Re: Tauranga Bay - New Years

Postby divepirate » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:37 pm

Phantom Menace wrote:
I have a Mokes report to do later ...


I am looking forward to it.
Matt.
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I cant think of anything more relaxing, than being in the downunder, breathing some nice clean fresh filtered 21% nitrox.
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