With recreational fishing picking up again, we decided to find out if they are getting lucky.
On our way out to Te Whau Point, we met returning Kayak fisherman Greg Cockerill. An ex-Wellingtonian, Greg has been in Auckland for a year, living in Mt Eden. This was just his second kayak fishing trip at Blockhouse Bay so he is still looking for good spots, surveying the channel with his fish finder. Today he managed two kahawai.
When we visited, unusually no-one was fishing near the boat club, but there were five men fishing at the next headland towards Green Bay on the receding tide.
Eric Mariano had also caught two kahawai. That must have been the fish of the day! Eric had some good gear and has been fishing for about six months. He lives in Glendene and this was his first time fishing here with his wife Ofelia. We asked Eric if he came from a long line of fishermen in his Philippines homeland. No he laughed, we were farmers!
At last we found a local, Nolie Vergara from Bolton St in Blockhouse Bay. He comes down with his wife Anita most weekends to fish. He enjoys the fish pan-fried or as a soup. He really enjoys catching a feed and as a break from his work as a panel beater in Otahuhu. We mentioned that another of the fishermen was also Filipino and Nolie laughed, saying that everyone who was shore fishing this morning was Filipino.
As we were leaving the beach, a group of young men arrived who are keen prospective fishermen. They are from – you guessed it, the Philippines. They are lodging together in Mt Roskill and are all employed by the same company, Passive Fire Systems, doing fireproofing work. We were able to assure them that yes, it is legal to fish here as long as you observe the catch limits and fish sizes.
Returning in the afternoon, there were several more people fishing. Medium sized kahawai were still the main catch and fishing well. Leigh Paulden had loftier goals though. Two weeks earlier he caught three snapper and he wanted a repeat! He says that the channel off Blockhouse Bay seems better for snapper than further up the harbour. “Why travel miles to fish when there is this great fishing on our doorstep?” He said. It makes a good break from his day job as a business coach.