Spring mission far north

Go on then, tell us your stories...
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Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:41 pm
Kayak Make: Stealth
Kayak Model: Fisha 555
Location: Auckland

For those remotely interested in my long winded fishing report....... :D

I went up to the far north of NZ with a couple of good like minded buggers for a kayak fish whilst my beloved was partying it up with her buddy in Wellington at the World of Wearable art show....my wife and I have vastly different passions...she likes all the lovely art and creative stuff....i like to go out like a cave man hunting and gathering and coming home smelling like an old pilchard

Day 1 - Saturday

Because of a very strong southerly forecast for the early morning, combined with a really big 3.2m swell we chose to leave Akl at 7am and launch from Hihi on the sheltered northern side of Bergen Point at around noon.

A great afternoon on the water softbaiting was had with everyone getting something to take home. I managed to hook, land and release a nice 15lb+ snapper and kept a nice pair for the bag. One of the other guys caught and released a cracker of a 20lber as well.

The 5km paddle back to the launch spot was a cruise, as for some unexpected reason the wind had swung around and was behind us so very casual paddling at around the 8km/h mark.

After a chat at the beach we made our way 30 minutes back south to Tauranga Bay holiday park where we spent the night...i love staying there. After a hot shower, some good banter, great grub and a few drinks we turned the lights off at 10pm with alarms set for 5am.

Day 2 - Sunday

Amazingly it was an almost snore free night... but i think some of us were too scared to fall asleep for fear of shaking the roof off the cabin.

Upon awakening the sea sounded 'big' in the darkness and a quick scout to the edge of the beach confirmed it, so we chose to hold back 30 minutes until there was enough light to see what was going on. We all had a quick coffee and some breakfast before the impending launch which was always going to be challenging and impossible not to get wet. The waves were not too big but they were unrelenting and the sea was like a boiling pot in close. After getting hit by a couple of chest high waves I spotted the gap and hopped on the yak and paddled as fast as I could the 100m out passed the waves. Once past the waves I realised just how rough it really was....in a word 'wild'...but there was no stopping us. The massive stability of the Stealth 555 is something to behold. Fortunately the further out we went the calmer it became but now we were faced with some towering swells...at times 3m+...but at least they were far apart.

Four of the guys paddled the 4km or so across to the sheltered inside of Stephenson Island but I chose to stay in along the coastline fishing the wash around the many reefy spots and islands. But this meant I really had to keep a very close eye on the swell and be extra cautious around the reefs and islands. Super scary conditions. Seriously big waves crashing. It was extremely intimidating looking up at the big walls of water and rising up high and then looking down and seeing what was water had now transformed into a huge slab of exposed gnarly reef. If you had got it wrong it would have been a disaster. So, although it was tempting to creep in as close as possible to the edge of the reef the prudent thing was to keep a safe distance, especially given that the fish up there can be really big and super powerful - you don't want to be fighting the wind, the swell, the reef and the fish all at once.

It ended up being a fantastic morning. I got on to a 20lb snapper on my 3rd cast . The little Penn Slammer 2500 was wound up tight but it was still stripping line, but after giving it gas, whilst trying to keep eyes in the back of my head for the swell, I got it up, took a photo and sent it on its way. At the end of the day I kept my limit of snapper in the upper 30's to mid 40's. also got a couple of back to back rat kings on the Kaveman squid softbait.

The biggest challenge of all lay ahead though....the dreaded beach landing. Thank God I ride a Stealth though. Everything went into the hatch----rods, reels, hat, sunglasses, VHF, etc and the hatch lid strapped down tightly. And of course the inevitable happened...i'm so bloody useless at big beach landings......caught by a dumping wave right on the beach...turned me sideways...off i rolled with the kayak looping over the top of me and washing up on the beach upside down and the paddle retrieved about 50m down the beach. But everything inside the hull was 100% intact and dry...the only thing damaged was a bruised ego...but at least I gave about 20 people something to talk about.

A mildly dramatic end to a lovely two days with genuinely good, generous, considerate buggers...what memories are made of.

A special mention to Kaveman tackle for their quality terminal tackle - leaders, softbaits, jig heads and jig head clips. As well as Assassin rods - the Infinity softbait rod is a bloody power house
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Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:04 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak
Kayak Model: Trident 15
Location: Auckland

Great report, and some fantastic fish there.
Good mental food to quell some of my current FOMO due to being "forced" to paint the house :rofl: :rofl:
You're aware that while it affords one the momentary illusion of satisfaction, the spewing of bile is never a permanent solution.
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