Newsletter #98 - March 2013
Welcome to a host of new receivers of Spearfishing New Zealand’s newsletters. You can expect to have another four or five on your screen throughout 2013. We really do want our information ‘out there’ amongst NZ spearfishers and feel certain that there are many readers whose diving friends are not amongst those to whom we send a copy. Do give us their email contacts so they too can be informed. And remember, if you change your address to let us know.
Most of the favoured diving areas in NZ have offered some great days over and under the water this summer. Indeed, parts of NZ have had exceptional conditions and there is the prediction by weather gurus of more days, even weeks, to come in what is arguably our longest ever summer. (However, it may come to a soggy end next week if cyclone Sandra continues to track towards the north of NZ!) In recent years anticyclones are said to be forming further south of the Equator so there is the likelihood that future summers could follow the same pattern as this year. To quote one report, “Long, dry spells are forecast to double by 2040 as temperatures continue to rise and New Zealand heads towards a more Mediterranean climate.” Given that scenario, more sub tropical fish may be found in our seas, while fresh water which we once thought we had in abundance and is far less so at the moment, could become a significant issue along with all the downstream consequences that follow from that.
The remainder of this newsletter will deal largely with a round-up of competitions to date.
National Spearfishing Champs Great Barrier Island January 22-27 2013
This event was one of the best National Champs we have ever had, if not the best as judged by one who has been to practically all of them since 1968. Living together at Orama Camp was a boost to camaraderie, it greatly facilitated daily arrangements, while the easterly winds that we would have cursed had we not been in the lee of the island pushed clear, warmer oceanic water and fish to the western side of Great Barrier Island. It provided exceptional conditions and some exceptional fish.
There were many highlights at this event, sufficient to build a Newsletter dealing with those matters alone. But in the meantime we will leave it to the photos to tell their story. An abbreviated list of winners is included here while our website www.spearfishingnz.co.nz has the full results and a range of photographs. If anyone wants a copy of a photo shown there contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
Fish from the competition were donated to the Great Barrier Coastguard who in spite of having members engaged for days in battling a troublesome bush fire on the other side of the Island were still able to realise $3556 from disposal of fish. A great result for them!
NZ Spearfishing Champions - Julian Hansford & Dwane Herbert Novice Winners (First attendance) - David Mullins & Richard Borrett (Also 2nd overall) Big 3 Day Overall Winner - Shane O’Brien Big 3 Largest Snapper 11.2kg - Guy Wood (Australia) Big 3 Largest Kingfish 22.4kg - Wil Mouzin (New Caledonia) Big 3 Largest Crayfish 1.59kg - Craig Edwards Fin Swim Winner - Rob Harrison Women’s Spearfishing Champion - Gemma Shields Junior Spearfishing Champion - Dylan Wood (Australia) Digital Film Fishing - Dwane Herbert Photo & Spearfishing combined - Shirley Dryden & Darren Shields Super Diver 2013 - Dwane Herbert
Wild Blue Great Lake Taupo Catfish Cull
Superb arrangements by organiser Aaron Dowman and ideal conditions out on the Lake gave a great day’s diving for 70 competitors, even if the catfish were not always obliging by ‘hanging out’ where they had been in previous years. It was apparent that they do move around and competitors needed to be flexible and quickly move too if the fish were scarce in a given area. Healthy catches were evident though, and it would appear that so far competitions may not be making any significant dent on their numbers.
1st Pat Swanson/Blair Herbert 2nd Kolt Johnson/Chris Phelps 3rd Reid Quinlan/John Anderson 4th Ernus Bothma/Jon Rosemergy 5th Darren Shields/John Ross 6th Casey Moore/James Pigou 7th James Young/Jorn Douglas 8th Greg Whiteman/Jake Whiteman 9th Aaron Dowman/Steve Fox 10th Reihana Baker/Jason Brady 11th Judy Johnston/Bob Rosemergy 12th Bruce Jaine/Pete McFarlane
Largest fish - Kolt Johnson
South Island Spearfishing Champs February 9 Marlborough Sounds
The following Report was received from Nelsonian, Mark Roden
The South Island spearfishing champs were held at the southern end of the Chetwode Islands. We had a great turnout and awesome weather, but variable vis of 4-8m. A strong current pushing through the channels on the point gave the competitors a good workout if they wanted to dive on the northern side of the island, and for some it was worth the effort. Most of the pairs came back to the boat thinking they hadn't done very well, but at the weigh in, a lot of the teams were evenly matched.
The pairs that came out on top weighed in Stargazers and the few Tarakihi that made the minimum weight. Most teams submitted Moki, Butterfish and Butterfly Perch.
South Island Open Competition
1st Josh McDonald-Davis & Brian Davis 2nd Dan Scolotck & Steven Mead 3rd Greg & Jake Whiteman
Junior Trophy Josh McDonald-Davis
Queen Charlotte Trophy (1st time competitors) Alex Davies and Jordan Ewers
Wettie New Era Trophy
1st Aaron Baker & Annalisa Waters
2nd Gemma Shields & Andy MacDonald
3rd Callum Rogers and David Renwick
Women's Trophy Gemma Shields
Biggest Butterfish Paul Williamson
Most Meritorious Fish Award Several stargazers where weighed in, Alasdair Lean from Kaikoura weighed one in that was over 2kg but was pipped at the post by Michael Younghusband's Bastard Red Cod, as it was the only one of that species weighed in
Yes, some of the 56 competitors travelled 1200 kilometres to compete in this one day event. That is usually the case for those from both the Auckland and Coromandel areas and is indicative of how popular the competition is on the events calendar. The NW wind that had been dormant in the days beforehand picked up for the occasion and that was a disincentive for some to fish the outside of Kapiti Island where various species are more likely to be found. All fish were donated for auction raising $3562 for the Mary Potter Hospice, while $520 Inter Pacific levies from senior competitors has been paid to Spearfishing New Zealand.
Sponsor, Wild Blue and members of the Kapiti Underwater Club are to be congratulated on running an event that is setting itself apart in respect of prizes and prize money. Those who weighed in the largest of some species were not short on smiles when prize money was handed out! For example,
Pat Swanson - Largest (and only) Snapper $50 Phil Rich - Largest Blue Moki $200 and Largest Crayfish $100 Dave Mullins - Largest Kingfish $500 (possibly the most valuable cash prize in a NZ spearfishing competition)
1st 1,992 - Julian Hansford & Dwane Herbert (Winners @ National Champs) 2nd 1,940 - Paul Matthews & Dave Mullins (D Mullins 2nd @ ‘Nationals’) 3rd 1,890 - Gerry Paul & Pete Sullivan 4th 1,785 - John Anderson & Paul Best 5th 1,570 - Kevin Byers & Kevin Lowery
New Zealand with any other country in the world. Photos and a reading of what are sometimes referred to as a “record catches” in overseas waters can be rather “ho hum” for the various divers in this country who have landed 36+kg (80+lbs) fish, some multiple times. There is an argument that their numbers here are now less and that to find them it is necessary to dive in waters relatively free of fishers of all persuasions. However, two World Records so far this year in ever popular fishing areas raises questions about the validity of that argument. We know from observation of Kingfish with identifiable marks that the same particular fish can be found swimming in a school over very large areas between islands and the mainland coast. The same fish can turn up 20 kilometres away from where it was first seen only to reappear at the first location a day or so later while the school of which it is a part may grow in numbers as other fish join it. So big fish may turn up in all places where Kingfish are found.
Kingfish Cup 2013 and NZ and World Record
No prizes for guessing the winner of this year’s event. Nor will there be an expectation amongst those who have kept abreast of record catches that we are asking for your heaviest Kingfish catch during February! Nic Boulgaris from Auckland re-wrote both NZ and World Records for the largest speared Kingfish! His 49.8kg catch is shown here with his not so secret diving area, the Hen & Chicken Islands in the background. Nic tells us that the fish obligingly followed him almost to the surface after a dive. It is a habit not uncommon as seen by others who have speared very large Kingfish.
NZ and World Kingfish Record for Women
The previous NZ record and World record for women was eclipsed in January this year by Wellington diver, Brenda Laird’s 36.78 kg catch.
Brenda was spearfishing offshore from Whitianga at the well named Never Fail Rock. Officially weighed at the Mercury Bay Game Fishing club, its weight as
Brenda commented was a little more than she could carry around on her own.
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David Scott Bob Rosemergy