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Posted 10 October 2002
Kitefishing Website

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The high pressure system that has affected the country for the last week will be pushed away by a front approaching the country from the Tasman Sea.

There is some great weather coming for all those kitefishers who have not been able to get out due to the light winds.

On Saturday the North Island is forecast to have moderate to strong northwesterly winds. The wind will go more to the west during the day. The South Island will have strong south to southwesterly winds during the day.

On Sunday the forecast for the North Island is moderate southwesterly winds. The wind could be more westerly in the northern half of the North Island. The South Island is forecast to have strong southerlies with the winds being lighter further up the island.

Another big high pressure system is approaching with very little wind associated with it for next week, so this weekend is definitely the time to get out kitefishing and catch some fish.

Whakatane by Robin Hutchinson

Hutch's important questions relating to kite safety are so important we have published both the questions and answers for the benefit of subscribers.


I have a couple of interesting questions, but first I must explain the circumstances. On the weekend I was fishing the Nighthawk Kite with a large Skyhook attached, the wind was quite strong and very unpredictable with the occasional strong gust. The set required about a forty-five degree tack, which I was able to do very easily.

I set the gear out a full kilometre and waited for an hour to retrieve. I had only pulled in about one hundred metres when the end gear took a majestic dive (earning a perfect row of tens), into the briny. This was the first time I have experienced a nose dive, but it had to happen one day.

After retrieving around fifty metres, which required very hard work, everything started to come in quite easily. I should add I was fishing a Bottom Longline Rig.

When the end gear arrived on the shore both the safety traces had parted as they are supposed to, also the spar on the Skyhook had broken in half, there was a knot in the wood.

Now for the questions. In your video Geoff Thomas clearly states that the wooden spar is a safety feature and if the kite dunks it is supposed to break. Then Paul mentions it's the safety trace that is supposed to break. If the trace breaking is all that is required to enable an easy retrieve through the water, then is it possible to purchase fiberglass or carbon fibre spars to lighten the Kite and Skyhook thereby improving light wind performance?

Secondly, what breaking strain nylon do you recommend for the safety trace on the Nighthawk Kite and the Skyhook?

I fully appreciate your technology has improved vastly since the video was made, but I was pleasantly surprised at how little it took to get the kite to tack. Even a very small plastic bag proved to be too much and had to be cut back to a piece only 75mm wide, this proved to be ample in moving the kite many degrees off the wind.

Since buying the Kite from you my catches have been unbelievable. The local Whakatane fishing writer has complained that for the past three months fishing from the shore has been very slow, not so say I.

Using the Kite - in four trips to the beach, my wife and I have landed forty-five fish, twenty-one snapper, fifteen gurnard and nine kahawhai. If that is fishing when it's slow, then at my age I don't think I will manage it when things get good!!!

Best Wishes.


Answers from Paul and Peggy Barnes

Hi. Glad to hear your fishing is going well.

Regarding your query about carbon or fibreglass rods versus the dowel.

Fibreglass is heavier than dowel so light wind performance would be adversely affected. Fibreglass also has a tendency to bow out the back of the kite in moderate to strong winds which will decrease the wing span of the kite and thus make the kite unstable.

Carbon fibre is close to the same weight as the dowel but obviously much more rigid. Carbon fibre will improve light wind performance. Using either fibreglass or carbon fibre requires rubber stoppers to be inserted into the cross spar locators. If this is not done then the fibreglass or carbon rod will eat into the wing spars on the kite or leading edge spar on the Skyhook and the spars will eventually break.

Fibreglass or carbon fibre cross spars may not break if a downed Kite is caught in big surf. Dumping surf can break anything that can be used as a Kite spar.

Consequently if fibreglass or carbon fibre is used for all the spars then the kitefisher has no contol over which one will break. Having the wooden dowel as the cross spar builds in a weak point so the main spars in the Kite are protected from damage. Also, instead of having to stock every type of spar for your kite using hardwood dowels means only having to take a couple of spare dowels to the beach.

Don't use pine or beech dowels, they are too soft and flexible and will make the Kite too unstable in moderate to fresh winds. Make sure you use hardwood dowels such as tawa, bluegum or kwila for the best Kite performance.

The need for a safety trace on the Kites.

Safety traces on Kites are really there for another purpose. If the Kite goes down way offshore it can be very difficult to snap the dowel, but as you found out, if the safety trace snaps the Kite comes in very easily. If you do not use a safety trace then the Kite material can become stretched out of shape with the immense loads that can be applied to it. The optimum safety trace is 5 to 8 kilos breaking strain for Flexiwing Kites, 10 to 15 kilos for Super Kites and Nighthawk Kites and 15 to 20 kilos for Delta Force Kites and Power Chutes. A 20 kilo safety trace is required for the Mega Mouth Kite. Both the Large Skyhook and Flexiwing Skyhook safety trace should be 3 to 4 kilos.

For maximum kite security we recommend kitefishers use both a safety trace AND hardwood dowel, if one doesn't break the other one will.

In 1988 when we introduced kitefishing we were using no safety system. We have found using both the above systems greatly assists in the prevention of damage to the Kites and has reduced Kite loses by over 90%.

It is much cheaper to replace a safety trace and/or length of dowel than a Kite.

PS. Some kitefishers use soluble sweets like barley sugar instead of a safety trace very successfully!

Yours Truly

Peggy Barnes

Porangahau Beach by James Kimberley

We went kite fishing about six weeks ago at Porangahau Beach and did quite well. We took our Bottom Longline Rig to the beach and put out one set. We used kahawai for bait and had no problem setting the gear in the moderate northeasterly winds. The tide was coming in and the sea was flat calm.

We caught a mixed bag and I was pleased with our good strike rate. From 25 hooks we caught three good gurnard, four excellent kahawai, four sharks and even one stingray.

After fishing we packed up and got ready to head for home. Unfortunately for us the car battery failed. Cellphones don't work on that part of the beach so I had a 6km walk along the beach to see John Pothan at the shop.

I had never met John before but had read his reports. When I told him about my problem with the car he didn't hesitate. He just said "Jump into my 4wd and I'll give you a start."

What an awesome guy. Thanks John, we will be back.


James Kimberley

Porangahau Beach by John Pothan

Hi all

Not much to report from Hawkes Bay this week. We have been hammered by south and southeasterly winds for the last five days. This has resulted in seas of 4 to 5 metres. The swell combined with a spring tide has damaged the coastline. The good part about this is the change on the beach may mean a change of feeding patterns once the weather settles down. Bring on the snapper. They are due to arrive any day.

Those not able to go kitefishing have been fishing down by the river. One of the locals, Tom Ward's son, came into the shop to report a full bag limit of flounder taken last Saturday. The whitebait were running late last week and some good catches were taken by those on the river.

Well that's all for now. If you are in the area call in, have a chat and check out our range of Paul's Fishing Kites Rigs, Kites and Target Snapper Hooks.

Regards John Pothan

Porangahau Beach Marine
R D 3 Porangahau
Central Hawkes Bay
Phone 06 8555112 & 06 8555131 Fax 06 8555552

Whakatane by Wally Herman

Several months ago I purchased a Flexiwing Kite from you. I have had several trips over to Whakatane to try it out but have been defeated by the lack of wind.

Last week my luck changed. There was a favourable offshore wind and I was able to set the gear out. However I was skunked, I caught no fish, but I was impressed at the ease at which the Flexiwing Kite went up. It had no problems taking the line out. A great product.

The first time we put the gear out it took two of us to sort it out but with practice it should become easier. Keep up the good work.

P.S. I heard from somewhere that asparagus is a good fish attractant but cannot find any reference to it. Do you have any ideas?

Many thanks

Wally Herman (Popeye)

Asparagus contains mercaptains a well known fish and animal attractant, we tried it once and caught fish but didn't fish it against anything else so the results only prove that it doesn't put the fish off. We would be interested to hear from anyone else that has trialled it properly.

Fishing Reports by Trish Rea

Kitefishers in the north are doing very well according to Warren from Dargaville Marine. There are lots of fish being caught off Ruakaka and Ocean Beach is producing excellent fishing for those who have been out. Ngunguru is also fishing well.

There are snapper, gurnard and the odd kahawai being caught at all these beaches. Warren advises the mussels are still very skinny but the tuatuas are in very good condition.

Warren has all the gear you need to get you kite fishing and he also stocks the Target Snapper Hooks.

Dargaville Marine
35 Port Road

Bill from Churstains Sportsworld in Morrinsville reports the tarakihi are still off the east coast. Due to the weather there hasn't been much kite fishing activity.

Returning from four days at the Ranfurly Banks on board "MV Cascade" Bill had a great time and recommends this trip to anyone. They caught a mixture of fish including hapuku, trumpeter, king tarakihi and some big kingfish. Using livies for bait they hooked into some excellent fish including Bill's best kingfish for the trip of 22kg.

Apparently the hook on the scales straightened out so they couldn't weigh anything over 25kg. (Does this sound like a fishy story to you?).

See Bill at Churstains Sportsworld for all your kitefishing and rod fishing requirements.

Churstains Sportsworld
280 Thames Street

The whitebait are running hot in the Manawatu area. Reports of 20 to 30kg of whitebait per person over the period of a day is common lately. Due to the southerly winds there has been very little opportunity to go fishing off the beach.

Bruce from Manawatu Hunting & Fishing advises the sea is very murky off the west coast at the moment due to the rivers being in flood. The best advice is to head for the east coast. A lot of fishers head over to Porangahau if they can't fish off the west coast. Bruce says he doesn't think it will be long before he gets some good fishing reports coming in.

Bruce has a range of kite spares, Target Hooks, kite rigs and kites to complement your existing fishing gear.

Manawatu Hunting & Fishing
661 Tremaine Ave
Palmerston North

Beach Reports

Thank you to those who responded to our request for more Beach Reports.

Without these reports we have very little information to put into this newsletter. Please take a couple of minutes to fill out the form and let everyone know what fish are out there.

The reports do not have to be recent; if you have information from past fishing trips these can be input as well. Even if you caught nothing on your last fishing trip the information is important as it helps to build a real picture of what is happening at that particular beach. Any information about your kitefishing, surfcasting, boat, kayak or kontiki experience is welcome. Thank you to all those who have contributed to the database so far.

Once we have enough reports in the database we will post the average catch by month on the appropriate maps. If enough people send reports in you should almost be able to work out what you will catch before you leave home.

Weather links

The following is a great weather link for west coast kitefishers

Weather Maps with Isobars

Those fishing elsewhere should check out this one. (Don't forget to check out the two and three day forecast charts at the bottom of the page)

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Above: Morgan Barnes with a decent sized snapper from a Whangarei longline set that caught 21 good sized fish from 25 hooks set!

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