Robbie also ran 3 sets. The first was set to around 900 metres offshore and returned empty.
The second was set to about 1000 metres out and returned with 3 nice sized snapper.
The third set went out the furthest to around 1400 metres offshore and was left to fish for an hour and a half.
This did the trick with the results of 8 very good snapper to 2.2kg. Robbie also reported that after gutting and cleaning the fish, the majority of the snapper caught were full of pipi's.
The upper reaches of the Kaipara are still fishing red hot. Snapper are everywhere as well as good sized flounder and kahawai.
Folks up here (Maungaturoto and Dargaville area) have been using small dinghys and rowing out from Whakapirau and Pahi, and getting plenty of snapper.
Admittedly a lot are having to throw back undersized, but good fish are in amongst the smaller ones.
Bait type doesn't seem to matter at the moment, they're going for anything.
Kites and Aircraft by Robbie Cullen
As a member of Whangarei District Aero Club, I found the news re: kites etc. around airports very enlightening. Whangarei Airport for example has water on both sides at Onerahi, runways 24 and 06.
Planes have to fly on approach to both runways over water and although 500 to 600 feet AGL can be quickly achieved, kites would definetly not be welcome.
There is plenty of other beach area to go to. Also, a kite is acutually very visible, but in saying that, it's also very hard to look for one, I've tried.
Believe me, even another plane at 1 to 1.5 kilometres away can be be hard to see. But we know via radio HF where it is and what height is flying etc. Unfortunately kites cannot transmit this same information.
The impact to aircraft can be enormous so if common sense prevails there should be no problems.
The following information is care of GAP (Good Aviation Practice) under Bird Hazards, but can be likened to other objects in the air.
Light Single Aircraft Bird Strike Calculations
Example Bird weighing 0.5kg Impact Energy = .5 mass x velocity (2), = 0.5 x 0.5 x 90 (2), = 2 tonnes
If you double the weight of the bird, the Impact Energy is doubled.
For example, Impact Energy = .5 x mass x velocity (2), = .5 x 1 x 90 (2), = 4 tonnes
However, if you double the speed the energy of the impact will be quadrupled. A faster impact iwll cause a lot more damage than a larger bird.
Impact Energy = .5 x mass x velocity (2), = .5 x 0.5 x 180 (2), = 8 tonnes.
As you can see, a 0.5kg object has an impact of 2 tonnes on normal aircraft and a lot more on fast aircraft.
Hope this helps clarify the need regarding the safety of pilots and your kites.
The regulations are very necessary and should be respected
Pukehina Beach Report by Eddie Bowman
Eddie fished the out going tide at Pukehina Beach on April 24. Using a combination of squid and salted mackerel bait on his bottom longline rig he ran two sets of 25 Target Hooks.
The winds were a moderate south westerly and the seas were calm. Eddie wound up catching 7 snapper, all of which were taken on the salted mackerel and the squid baits returned untouched both times.
As a point of curiosity, he noted that commercial longliners were working about 1.5 km off the coast.
Coromandel Report by Adrian Laan
On April 25 myself and 4 others were fishing at the Te Kouma mussel farms over the low tide.
All of us were fishing from kayaks in the mussel farms and all using aussie pilchards for bait which brought us all success with limit bags all round.
The snapper, more than 20 in total, weighed between 1.5kg and 4kg with a lot of bust offs in the mussel ropes. We were straylining with 6/0 KS hooks with a 0.5oz ball sinker above.
Mokau Report by Ross Clements
April 19 and 20 provided moderate easterly winds in the Taranaki region and Ross headed out kitefishing with his dropper rig at Seaview Beach.
Running three sets of 10 hooks each baited up with squid, the surf was slight, the tide was coming in and the gear headed straight offshore.
Ross reported catching 13 snapper and 1 gurnard on 5/0 Target Hooks and apparently has photos of his catch which, hopefully, we may get to see over the next couple of weeks.
According to Ross, "It was a great morning fishing off the beach on Saturday. The first set returned 5 snapper with the largest being 8kg. The second set returned 3 snapper. On Sunday I only ran one set and caught 5 snapper and 1 gurnard. Both
days were cool, but good for Paul's Kites!!"
Dropper Rig Marker Flags by David Conner
I was interested in several points made in this newsletter and offer the following commentary :
When I purchased my first dropper rig I was surprised to see that it did not have a flag.
Having previously fished with a bottom longline rig, the apparent reason this rig has a flag at the point where the line leaves the water rising to the kite would appear to apply equally to a dropper rig.
I am assuming here that the principal reason is to act as an indicator to any surface vessel of the kite lines entry point to the water.
Accordingly I fixed a flag made from "shocking pink" nylon above my float bottle.
When I was using this first dropper rig from the Lake Onoke bar outlet I was snagged breaking the dropper between the surface float and the kite line.
On this occasion I had moved from my usual position at the bars western end specifically to target fish feeding on the lake outlet discharge worm feed etc.
Obviously this was a mistake as I snagged one of the large tree trunks which had been discharged from the outlet or possibly abandoned fishing gear.
While retrieving the kite from its 1000 metre set a small fishing boat passed in a westerly direction along the face of the bar.
It passed seaward of a number of kontiki floats on the eastern bar, crossed the outlet and then considerately undertook a number of devious manoeuvers tracking back and forth as it tried to locate and avoid the position of my non existent dropper!
It eventually passed only about 150 metres offshore and well below my kite line.
When I purchased a new dropper section from Pauls Kites I requested the fixing of the standard flag above the float bottle connection.
Interestingly this standard flag is far more visible in most light conditions than was my shocking pink.
The flag is also most helpful in determining the hook sections' position in relationship to bird or fish surface feeding activity, particularly in rapidly changing winds when the kite can be considerably offset from the float position on the surface.
My experience would fully support the Marine Transport Authorities recommendation that dropper rigs fly a flag.
Kites and Aircraft
In my Lake Onoke Bar fishing report I referred to "being alarmed by a light aircraft or helicopter flying low over the bar."
In at least two instances on 1000 metre sets a light plane has crossed the bar flying SW across the line of my set between myself and the kite at a height I would be fairly sure was below the kite altitude.
Afterwards I wondered if the plane on a NE heading later in the day well above kite altitude was the same as that seen earlier?
The upmarket Wharekauhau resort is situated on the escarpment above and behind Ocean Beach.
The resort is serviced by helicopters from Wellington with a flight path on the eastern side of the Rimutakas skirting Turakirae head.
On one occasion, retrieving a set with the kite directly above me on the beach, a helicopter approached from upwind flying in an Easterly direction straight down the bar, presumably sightseeing.
It was at an extremely low altitude and quite definitely lower than the kite. Whether the pilots' distance perception was at fault or he just did not see the kite I don't know. No way was I going to retain a hold on a 120kg line 1000 metres long when
a rotor hit it !
I was just about to release the line when the pilot took what can only be described as extreme evasive action.
As he sheered off climbing and veering away to seaward in that peculiar sideslip only a helicopter can execute, the pilot was clearly visible and the rivetted detail of the hull was etched in my mind.
Whether the rotor would have cut the line or reeled it in I don't know - but the possible repercussions don't bear thinking about.
Napier Report by Phil Carter
I travelled to Napier to visit the mother-in-law for Easter. As a last minute idea we decided to pack the kite rig just in case the weather was right.
Good Friday dawned overcast with a good westerly blowing so we decided to give the main beach, just south of the city, a try.
We were Kite fishing with a bottom longline rig from the main beach at Napier on April 18 and set only 10 hooks in a moderate westerly wind.
Our 5/0 Target hooks were baited with squid and with the tide coming in the gear was set almost straight out.
We put our Nighthawk up but it was flying toward the Northeast, that meant it must have been blowing southwest, so we pulled it in again and tacked it so it was flying mostly straight out. With only 10 traces on the longline we baited with baby squid,
which was all we could get from the local gas station.
We attracted quite an audience, some who had never seen this type of fishing before, including a guy from Thames who used to use a "spud gun" which are now outlawed.
After seeing our efforts he said he was heading to Onehunga the next time he was in Auckland to get his own kite rig.
We left the kite out for around 30 minutes. Be warned, pulling a kite in on Napiers foreshore is quite an effort because of the gravelly shore.
We only managed 2 small sharks which disappointed us but intrigued our audience.
In the afternoon we decided to have another go and headed to Westshore, North of Napier by the airport.
We set the kite out again with 10 traces and the baby squid bait and left it out for about 20 minutes.
Another audience. A South African this time. We pulled the kite in with only one nice Kahawai, about 2kgs. Not much, but it made a very nice raw fish meal to feed our friends that night."
From South Africa
Hi, my name is Andre Beneke. I am from the windy city of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. We are quite fortunate that we have several areas on our coastline to kite fish from, except when we have an easterly or south easterly wind blowing.
Unfortunately kite fishing is not big in South Africa, however, I am an avid kite fisherman and enjoy it thoroughly. I must admit I visit your website at least once a week, if not more.
Your information is fantastic. Unfortunately, we cannot find similar products such as yours available in South Africa as surf, rock and boat fishing seems to be the flavour.
The rig that I have designed is pretty similar to the concept that your system follows and works well.
The biggest landed catch from my rig has been a bronze whaler shark, approximately 2 meters in length and about 70 kgs.
We have also picked up great whites and similar but cannot land them. We fish mainly between 600 and 700 metres from land and use a dropper rig.
There seems to be a growing interest in what I am doing, as all buggy's and 4x4's have been banned from riding on beaches along the SA coastline making it increasingly difficult to get to our favourite spots. Kite fishing eliminates this problem.