Viking Northland Kayak Classic - trip report

Go on then, tell us your stories...
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Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:38 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Reload
VHF Call Sign: VMU4327
Location: Auckland

Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:57 pm

Photos still to come, but thought I would put this up while fresh in my mind.

Friday Night
Got to the Tikipunga Tavern about 5pm after driving from Auckland. With two mates Harvey and Jimmy it was great to meet some of the people we had previously only interacted with on this forum. A couple of beers later :beer: :beer: we got the latest forecasts and advice from Stephen Tapp, and after downing some pub meals (recommend the bacon and beef burger, yum) we headed off for the 60 minute drive to Bland Bay.
We checked in at the rented bach, and sat around the table making dastardly plans for the next morning, tying a few knots and comparing the various calorific qualities of the beverages on the table.

Saturday morning 5am – competition start
Harvey was up and at them early and on the water a good half hour ahead of Jimmy and I who were a bit slow due to a late finish. But by 0630 we were well amongst it. Harvey headed pretty much straight out to Home Point, while I stopped just out past Motuhi Island on some snapper sign. Around us we could see at least 4 other kayakers, so we weren’t the only ones who had decided Bland Bay would offer some shelter from the strong westerlies. Jimmy was somewhere behind me stalking kahawai and watching a pod of orcas who came within ten feet, pretty cool.
About 15 minutes in something big grabbed my softbait and gapped it for the bottom in about 20 metres above foul. With the wind and a choppy swell bouncing back off the island, and being so early in the day I didn’t really have my sealegs yet so before I could really put any hurt on the fish I felt that awful braid scraping as it ran past the rocks. I was about to back the drag off completely when BANG, it was too late and I lost the fish. :swear: My guess was a kingfish, if you find one in Northland with a 7 inch new penny zman hanging out of it’s mouth please contact the writer.
On my very next cast, with a fresh softbait the same colour, I felt a hesitant nibble just after landing the bait maybe only 5m down, before the reel started screaming and the Klabs doubled over. Didn’t feel as strong as the previous one, but I was prepared this time and after about 4-5 minutes of just holding my ground or small gains and a couple of stonking runs, started to see some colour beneath me. Was expecting a rat kingi to be honest, but was stocked to see a flash of orange and pulled up a nice fat 3.4kg snapper. I was on the board!
But little more after that, the bite died off a little so I paddled over towards Motukauri Island towards the north, and stopped for a drift. Scooped up a couple of undersize snaps that went back, and was drifting pretty fast despite having the drogue deployed. Was surprised to pull up a nice blue cod not long later, and despite it not being on the target species list for the comp it went in the chillpod for dinner later.
Spent the rest of the day up and around Home Point with not much more luck other than one pigfish. Headed back a little earlier than the others – feeling the effect of the late night – but was listening to the banter on the radios and heard of a couple epic bust offs from the others, plus some barracuda dramas. Maybe those guys will post a TR?
Getting back home was a total mission for all of us, into a head wind and although we didn’t feel like we weren’t going to make it, it was draining and you couldn’t afford to stop otherwise you would get blown back again. I was back before the others and from the bach could see they were having a hard time, so took their wheels down to the beach for them. They pretty much collapsed onto the beach at the end of day one.
Back inside for a clean up, then fried up the blue cod, a couple of drinks and we were all in the sack by 10pm.

Sunday Morning – 6am start
A much better weather outlook for day two, and flatter swells as well. We headed back out to Home Point again, but we really struggled to find good sign to fish.
Pretty early on I switched from softbaits to micro jigs and got a bit of interest, some aggressive takes but they mostly spat them out. Was pretty quiet them for quite some time, apart from some mournful calls on the vhf ‘you getting anything?’, ‘nup, how ‘bout you?’…went like that for a couple hours.
Was sitting in the lee of Cone Rock wondering what to try next, and to be honest enjoying the environment, when I spotted about half a dozen gannets harassing a shoal of something out by Motukauri Island. Paddled over to find a big group of juvenile kahawai being herded around. After a few false starts managed to fool one of them into taking a small softbait, and landed a lively little 1kg kahawai. At this stage I was pretty confident there was no way that a) this kahawai would win any prizes and b) I wasn’t going to get a kingi and a trevally which would be needed for a grand slam entry in the two hours left, so I decided to cut some strip baits off the kahawai and strayline for a bigger snapper.
Despite a couple of rod bending enquiries which were just strong enough and line-strippy enough to raise the heartbeat, only landed one small snapper and an odd fish I couldn’t identify. Talking to Aileen Michael at the pub later I learnt this might have been a pigfish too, apparently the male and females look quite different. Moved out to 40m depth and played a bit there too, but nothing was interested.
A mad dash back to base, the wind had started to pick up and it was tough but nowhere like the day before. We cleaned up the bach and strapped on the kayaks, had a quick shower and headed back south to the Tikipunga pub for weigh in. The first fish we saw when we arrived at the car park was Rob Raven’s 11.692kg snapper, so we were a bit embarrassed to weigh in our fish! But it was all good, and we spent the next couple hours sharing stories and laughter over a few beers at the prize giving. No prizes for us, although we reckon Harvey might have been close with his kahawai.
A great event and we will definitely be back next year, hopefully with a few more skills and dastardly plans, and maybe earlier to bed on the first night.
Thanks to sponsors, organisers & all, hope you got home safely and the Taranaki crew werent too shaken up by the quakes down that way.

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Site Admin
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Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:42 am

Awesome TR and sounded like some hard but fun fishing was had :y:
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...and the countless other kayaks I've owned

Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:52 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish GT
Location: Auckland

Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:29 am

Nice one BF3. Good TR.

Bland Bay is beautiful. I have unfinished fishy business there from about a year ago!

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Kingfish killer
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Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:02 pm

Cool weekend by the sounds of it . :y: Bland Bay certainly is a beautiful spot !

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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:44 pm
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Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:58 pm

Looking forward to the photos - as they say their worth a thousand words - although I reckon I've read a thousand above!
PB# 57cm Snapper
PB# 54cm Trevally
PB# 59cm Kahawai
PB# 51cm John Dory

Ocean Kayak Prowler Ultra 4.3
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 Angler

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Kayak Model: Predator XL Petrol
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Location: Papakura, Auckland

Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:59 pm

Cool TR, certainly does sound like some hard fishing.
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OK Tetra 12
Old Town Predator 13
OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #1, OK Prowler Elite 4.5 #2

PB: Snapper=66cm, J.D.=39cm, Gurnard=38cm

VHF Callsign: ZMW 9858

Kayak Fishing Auckland

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Kayak Model: Profish 400 Lite
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Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:45 pm

I think I ignored you at the pub. I remember standing near you and thinking I think I know that guy but I couldn't place you. Seeing your post has reminded me that I met you after a fish at Sullivans. Sorry about that chief. I'll say hello next time.

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Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:05 am

Nice TR Bigfella. Would love to try Bland bay some day. :y:
Viking Tempo
Viking Profish 440

PB: Snapper=79cm. Rogers Road, 26/10/14

PB: Gurnard=34cm. Orere Point, 17/06/15

PB: Kingfish=75cm. Omaio, 13/02/16

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Kenny Bromwich, Peter Hiku, Ligi Sao, Siliva Havili.

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