Whitebaiting In Taranaki New Zealand.


Everytime I take a trip to New Zealand I time my drive to coincide with the whitebait in at Mokau being open. I have introduced many a “Yuck not eating that” to whitebait fritters to “OMG they are amazing”  So the story for this one is in the video. I hope you enjoy it.


Rens 1st Marlin Story & Team Witchn


Having moved to QLD in Feb 2017 one of the first things I did was approach the Gold Coast Game Fishing club and put myself out there looking for a local boat to crew on with the prospect of catching my first Marlin.
Dave sent me a message as he fished now and then work permitting with another guy from the club, but the plan was to get out at least once a month out wide to try for the mighty marlin.
Of course I was keen as, jumping in the car that weekend I headed down the coast to meet with him and talk fishing… feeling relaxed I headed to the GCGFC for my first club meeting to meet my fellow fisho team mate Damian and talk more fishing and get a feel for the club and its members.

We all hit it off as a team, and my new Gold Coast Fishing Family started, and Team Witchn (Witchcraft) was created. So far, I have managed to suss out the GoldC seaway at dark!! It’s just like in Adelaide fishing with mum we haven’t been back until well after dark!! – the only thing I’m missing is a husband at home cooking me a lamb roast like Dad makes us… gee I had it lucky back in rads!!


Sunday marked our 4th trip out together, the first trip out we managed 1-1-0 on Blue Marlin, our second trip was donuts, 3rd trip 1-1-0 on yellow fin tuna, and then there was this trip which will mark our epic fishing adventure and some valuable re-grouping afterwards and serious forward planning.

We met at the marina at 5.30am, the boys where already as i was running late… oops… rods where out and set up, so I jumped on board and off down the seaway we went watching the sun come up as we exited the break wall and headed out wide.

The morning saw us go directly to our first spot before we put rods out and trolled to the next spot. We had worked out our strike times so we were set. After an hour trolling it was my turn on strike… not knowing what to expect, I was waiting patiently for my fish… Go Ren go Ren.. I hear… I look out the back of the boat to see this iridescent blue stick poking up behind my lure… OMG OMG OMG… I strip off layers semi excited and a lot nervous about what is about to happen, zzzzzz the line peels off and stops, then zzzzzzzzzzz again and then stops…. and then it just stopped!!!! fish gone we worked the ground for a while but couldn’t entice it again… so off we headed towards out next destination.

We had looked at rip charts on our way out so wanted to suss out a couple of things we had been talking about, so we spent the next few hours trolling the usual grounds and current lines without much success.

As the day was getting on we trolled back into some closer grounds where skip had a theory, based on that we moved in and worked an area, skip and I were up in the fly bridge watching and analysing the sounder and sussing it all out. Damo was down stairs, when we hear a reel go off… zzzzzzzz what was that said skip!! as I looked down and saw Damo next to a reel… Damo being a jokester I replied hahahahaha…. but the look on his face told us it wasn’t him mucking around and before we knew it zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 200m of line was gone!!

We all jumped into action to clear the deck, it was Skips strike time, so he jumped in the game chair, I climbed back up the fly bridge to drive the boat, and Damo finished clearing up the last of the deck and got everything else ready.

Once settled we regained some composure and then started working the fish, after its initial jump out of the water it decided to go deep and stayed down there for quite some time…

Slowly we turned into the current, and then started to slowly back up on this beast of the ocean. Approx 25 minutes later is was right near the boat, in our attempt to tag and release the fish, Damo grabbed the leader and pulled it towards the boat… as we both leant over to grab it and tag it… Blue freaked out… we freaked out ….. and off it went straight under the boat… and we know how that usually ends!!!

Dave screaming at me tag it Rennie, tag it Rennie as his arms are on fire and he’s hurting…. tag it, tag it… just like a scene out fishing with mum with us screaming at each other and Steve Morris calling me Rennie, hahahaha….

The mighty blue powered itself away from the boat, full circle and them came leaping at us… Damo ducking for dear life… Skip holding onto his rod for dear life… and me standing there in shock.. thinking that’s a big bloody fish!!!!
and just like that – GONE!!! line snapped before we could get the tag in and off it swam back into the deep blue..
Skip stoked that his last day of holidays landed him a Marlin as it had been a couple of years coming, Damo and I looking at each other cracking up laughing… OMG did you see that, nearly took your head off… its massive… how’s your ass… did you turn the camera on…. you name it, we probably said it.
But we certainly had fun!!

Lessons of the day:
1 – Need a longer tag pole (top shot)
2 – Need to shorten the lure rigs
3 – Need to practice erratic tagging in the park, so I don’t look like I’m about to throw a Javelin…
5 – Don’t worry about the camera Ren
6 – Rum farts are disgusting
7 – Damo aka Marlin dodger needs body armour before next trip
4 – Go to the gym
5 – These big boats are so different to our bar crusher that we can easily manoeuvre around, these things take time and working with 2 diesel engines as well under pressure situations isn’t easy, but I know that will come the more I’m out there and doing it.


Why Not

In March I found myself on a four day live aboard with Why Not fishing charters, exiting from Coffin Bay in South Australia, This is a truly beautiful part of the world. This trip was supposed to be a girls trip but ended up a mixed trip due to there not being enough girls to fill the spots. This boat is truly amazing, you could stay out for months, My first trip with Why Not was on a much smaller boat, in reflection and after the comfort of this boat I don’t know how we did it 🙂

We departed Thursday morning with a bit of a breeze which created about a 2 -3-meter sloppy mess which was the demise to a few on board but by late arvo most had found their sea legs. Skipper Dave took us out to a lump he likes to fish, they had been there a few days prior and had a massive day on the Sambos,



They were still around and the day proved to be a monster, there were fish going off all over the boat most anglers hadn’t caught a Sampson before so there were lots of OMG’s as they peeled line off reels, a few got close to smoked, by mid afternoon the dick belts were out as everyone started to tire. Dave constantly kept us on the fish and was always happy to talk about how to find Sambos and what they look like on the sounder. By late arvo we had an eski full of nannies for dinner, Trevally for bait and raw fish and the odd snapper. we had also caught and released a few Blue Grouper. We trolled back to Greenly Island to anchor for the night, the forecast for the next few days was perfection.

We got off to an early start and it was decided to go back to yesterday sambo spot in the hope of bagging a Kingfish but alas this wasn’t to be. Once again the Sambo hookup was amazing, the jigging was easy as most fish hooked up just on the drop. The eski had a stack of fish for everyone to take home.  The weather was perfect with 10 boats coming into greenly that night.

We started day 3 at a secret spot (I’m not going to share that info)  could not believe it, Sambos on bait, bottom bouncing,  everyone was hooked up There was not one person on the boat who hadn’t caught several Sambos. We also caught some big grouper that were returned. One was kept for tea that night, If you haven’t tried it its a beautiful eating fish,  We also caught a tagged Sambo, no one was as excited about that and myself and James the deckie, details have gone off to the relevant department with info, if its yours let us know.


The afternoon saw us trolling some lures for Tuna, the lured3D lures did their thing hooking up some fish, Jannette had a live baiting frenzy with her Tuna and a massive bronze Whaler shark. A Tuna of an estimated 60kg  plus was also lost to a shark.


with still no Kingfish on board Dave decided to head to the rough of the 4 hammocks to see if we could find a couple.  As a skipper this guys is crazy, He is now known to me as the gap man, if there’s a gap he heads for it, scared the living daylights  a few times, got some great pics and videos but alas no Kingies, we all wanted them, especially me after the trip to NZ last year.  We anchored in at the Hammocks that night and fished out way back in on the last day, Everyone was exhausted and happy, great fishing. James was a great Deckie and drone catcher, I have been using it on land but its a whole different story at sea with the boat moving, practise needed 🙂

The video is not first class but it will give you a look at the trip.  Next time you want to go out on an adventure contact Dave at Why Not    http://www.whynotfishingcharters.com.au/ or call him on +61427020060..


Lured 3D

March 22nd saw us boarding for a 4 day live aboard with Why Not fishing Charters.   That story is to follow just editing the video taken from the drone. I wanted to do a little bit of a story on these lures.  Lured 3D lures are made up in Townsville by a good friend of mine and her partner, Lynne and John.

They came about due to a shortfall in the market and the new art of switch baiting, not something we do here in South Australia, or is it yet?

These lures are the first and only lures that are utilising curved venturi channels. 100’s of sealed chambers give these lures not only strength but buoyancy. When you pull up these lures float, they don’t sink they stay out in the spread, they also hook up fish while they sit there.  These heads of these lures are actually printed, its amazing technology.


Dave has a mantra “we are always fishing”  he means this as well. He trolls lures at high speed from drop to drop and these lures are up to it.

We used the smallest lures in the range  matching the bait, they are extremely light and  are amazing in the water. On the first day with a good 2 meter of rubbish they sat in the water like a heavy lure, they sat in the back of the swell and the same action was achieved at 22 knots as at 8 knots, they didn’t fall off the top of waves they dug in with a smoke trail and a pop, straight back into smoke trail and pop. The noise these little light babies makes need to be seen to be believed, They are really well priced as well.

Deckie James was impressed to sat the least. He told me he hasn’t seen anything like these and for a light little lure they are amazing, no tangling from falling of the waves or slop. you could see them all the time. They are well placed any where in the spread and come with various head and skirt combos, in fact if you have a favorite colour it can be arranged.


Check these babies out here:  https://www.lured3d.com/

They are available in SA from Sports fishing scene   http://www.sportfishingscene.com.au/

Thanks to Why Not fishing charters for allowing me to play with these and put them through their paces.






Kangaroo Island

With the rare occurrence of the wind dropping out for a couple of days, Kev and I decided to take off to either Marion Bay or KI. The choice was made to do KI and camp in Xmas cove over night. We have been doing the KI  Xmas, new year trip for  2 years but this year the weather had let us down until now, We had the luxury of doing it on our own this year which was a refreshing change.

We launched at Cape Jervis around 11.am and headed out to a snapper spot in the passage, the water was quite choppy and we still has some wind so we drifted fast  which is always frustrating. Drift fishing is not my favorite but every time we drifted over a hole one of us was on while the other tried to keep the boat in place,  a problem with only 2 on board, we hooked up 4 nice nannies and a couple of big snapper and decided to head around to Xmas cove and catch up with some friends we have made on previous trips.



Dinner time

Nothing like fresh nannie burgers for dinner and a good hot cuppa tea







The next morning we were up bright and early and tried a couple of whiting spots, the baby leather jackets were every where and the KG were nowhere to be seen, so we thought we would head back to the passage to try our luck. The wind was non existent, and no tide either so we anchored up on the spot and straight away into the snapper. The entertainment was supplied by sitting on channel 21 listening to the ruckus on Sanders Bank, ” You in the Northbank if you dont move I will scoop you up” We had decided not to venture out wide lol, with no fish in the freezer we thought a couple of nice snapper would fit the bill plus its not very common for the passage to be this calm.  The rain started about 12 and didn’t let up so we decided to head back to Cape Jervis. Our good mate Jerry sent a message saying there were storms forecast for Adelaide so we thought time to go.  A great relaxing trip before things get crazy with the new venture. see you soon Trace.


Breakfast at Xmas Cove








Tairua New Zealand: Chasing Kingis

December 2016, Tairua NZ, What a trip. I met Carl Muir at the Sydney boat show earlier this year, he was a guest speaker telling all about this fairy tale place called Tairua on the east coast of NZ, video and pics of big Kings and multiple hookups. Hell Yeah.

We knew we would be over end of year for business so couldn’t miss the opportunity. Carl organised some accommodation for us at Tairua Shores motels, a cracker of a spot just up from the fishing club. Steven and his family went out of their way to look after us.

We had meetings in Palmerston North then decided at 10.pm to split the next days trip and hit the road  heading to Taupo then up to Tairua the next day, It would have worked well if Taupo hotels would answer at 1 am. We got caught in the kilometer  vs time NZ factor so ended up really late into Taupo. For those of you who have not done that yet 100 km doesn’t take an hour, it takes two. We continued the drive and at 4 am decided to pull up for a nap in a Tokoroa car park. We got into Tairua about 7.30 am, and a quick trip to the motel (2 pm check in time) to see if we could get in earlier, Stevens wife took pity on us and said to give her an hour or so. we will be forever grateful for that early check in, both Kev and I died as soon as we hit the pillow. Carl came down and caught up with us later that day, pumped as he knew the fish where there as promised.

The local Game fishing club is a half block from the Hotel, with recommendations we went there for tea, food was great, locals were great and made us really welcome with an invite for the next night to party on NZ style as it was the presidents Warren Mahers birthday. This club has its own vehicle and the members go on a roster to be designated driver, you get one or maybe two night for the whole year to drive and the rest to be driven home or to the local party after closing. There were several standout moments but I suppose the most memorable was the owner of a pretend Bar Crusher, Alec  has promised me a marlin off it next trip. Liza Turner heads up Skyline Charters, she is an awesome chick and loves meeting new people and showing them a good time, lasting longer than others  they know who they are.

This place is amazing if I was ever going to go live back across the ditch I would want to go there, a definite  slice of Heaven, we will be back early 2017 to chase those Marlin.

The fishing, well the video tells the story, enjoy.

References for everyone:

https://www.facebook.com/carlmuirfishing/    –   Carl Muir : Deckie extraordinare

http://www.tairuashores.co.nz/  for all your accommodation needs and a few laughs

http://www.skylinecharters.co.nz/#tairua-fishing-charters tell Liza we sent you

Junior Oscar with one of his several tuna. It was great to have 3 juniors this weekend

Game fishing Club of South Australia Marion Bay Tournament

So the weekend 18th to 20th Jan 2016 saw us fish the

GFCSA – TDR Electrical – Marion Bay Tournament Weekend

Heaviest & Most Meritorious GFAA Species, Shark & Eagle Ray.  Highest Point Scoring Boat & Angler, Highest Tag scoring Boat & Angler.

For this tournament we suggested at he briefing meeting that instead of there being Ladies  & Men’s category for Highest Point / Tag scoring angler we all fished together as senior anglers, and of course there was Jnrs.   Everyone agreed to it so it was set.

Mum and Dad headed up to Marion Bay Thursday night to fish from lines in at 12pm on the Friday, with everyone else while Greenhorn and I had to wait until Friday night to head up ready for a fish Saturday and Sunday.

By time the boats all arrived back in that night, Tuna, sharks and rays had all been caught, and war wounds were on display.  Everyone was a little cagy about the day’s catches not wanting to give too much away but we were happy as justagirl courtesy of mum had its shark for the weekend.

Saturday morning saw average conditions after Friday’s storms, with a south westerly blowing so we decided not to venture to far and we didn’t need to.  Trying to pop Greenhorns tuna cherry, the rods peeled off and double hook up… snap.. Greenhorn’s fish gone… Mum’s fish landed and tagged and released.  Setting up again we were back under way and it wasn’t long until we were hooked up again… we won a few and lost a few!!! By now the conditions were snotty to say the least and then zzzzzzz…. Greenhorn looked at me… No Ren, you take it I don’t want it to lose another one… and I definitely didn’t want to lose it, so 15 minutes later it was landed.

Conditions didn’t improve so we headed around the islands to seek some refuge and try for a ray, inside a little bay we set up our rigs and chucked in some whiting lines.  A few massive whiting later and a couple of decent flat head as well we saw the ray swim in over the sand….. Rubbing our hands we just waited for it to take the bait.

Hooked!!!…. All lines in we pulled anchor to chase it as we certainly didn’t want to lose it around the anchor rope. Within a few moments it was at the side of the boat and looked to be a decent size, setting up to grab it so we could tag it… Saw me hit the accelerator to hard and while we zoomed off at 100 miles an hour, mum and dad were nearly out the back and in the water with the Ray… hahahaha… “GOOD ONE RENEE” was all I got J .. Well at least the drag was set right and the ray was still on… now it wasn’t going to play nicely and after an hour…. SNAP!!! Gone L …

Regrouping we moved back into position to continue whiting fishing and try again…. The ray took off and the line didn’t even get a chance to hook in, resetting again saw a smaller ray come in for a sniff… this one we said… at the side of the boat about to net it and SNAP!!! Rig broke …. By now frustration was setting in…

As we set up again… nothing… nothing at all, it just wasn’t meant to be, but hey that’s fishing and lessons learnt!

Back at base, everyone seemed to have a good day on the water and funny stories where shared.  Rigs were retied and leaders re-crimped, and team strategies for the next day were discussed. Greenhorn and I were bunking in the same room talking about the earlier mishaps and dropped fish.  Shut your eyes and picture this I said, “tomorrow the heavier line will be out, the first tuna for the day is going to come up and smash it, and get hooked, then all you have to do, is just gently pump and wind, and before you know it, it will be in the boat”

Sunday morning saw us leaving a little late, but we were ready and pumped.  The conditions were a way than the day before, however the action was pretty slow, then before we knew it… zzzzzzzz off peeled Greenhorns line, and BOOM – Tuna Cherry popped!! With high fives all round, and it tagged and released lines were back in.  After trolling for a little longer we saw RACSO hooked up near us and the boys where on!!

We got a radio call from one of the locals out wide, who told us there was plenty of action happening out there, so calling it we pulled in the lines and headed out.  Blind trolling for a bit we managed our first hook up – triple hook up!! Mum, Dad and Greenhorn were all on.  Mum and Dads both spat and Greenhorn was still hooked up and round 2 started.

Bigger fish than her first one, it took a little longer, however in true form before we knew it, it was on the deck, another round of high fives and pics and it was back in the water. This continued for the next few hours with fish being dropped and landed.

Deciding the fish were bigger, we figured we would run our favourite and nick named char-chi lure out the back as a shottie, then SNAP… everything was gone…. And so was our char-chi …. L devo was an understatement!!


As the day worn on we thought we should start heading back towards the mainland, and we noticed a lot of bird activity, and then masses of bait fish being pushed up out of the water, heading straight for the action saw us hook up immediately.  We could see the crew on Big Fish near us and saw we were hooked up, but they keep driving further so we figured they mustn’t have seen what we were looking at. Oops spoke to soon… as they started to head in the same direction and it wasn’t long before they were hooked up as well.

We decided as it was late we would just continue on our way back trolling as we went and alas no more fish for us for the day.

Back on land a flurry of activitly with recording forms being completed so tournament offical Steve Morris could add them all up

Final Results

Highest tag scoring boat “Bigfish”

Highest tag scoring senior angler Mick Dawes on board Bigfish

Highest point scoring boat “justagirl”


Highest point scoring senior angler Tracey Tito on board “justagirl”


To say team justagirl was happy is an understatement, Iam sure that bigfish will give us a run at the Port Lincoln bue water classic in March, we will need to be on our toes.

justagirl now only needs a ray to qualify for the Annual champion boat award, and then points.