Northland - a great place to scratch the itch!

Go on then, tell us your stories...
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Limitless
Posts: 1591
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:47 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish, Espri, 2+1
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Location: Viking Kayaks, Matamata
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I love winter fishing in Northland, and the weather window of the last couple of days was too good to pass up. An early departure from Matamata on Saturday morning had kayak deliveries done and fresh bait supplies on board by lunch time. An afternoon launch from Taiharuru meant plenty of water to sneak out of the estuary and into the nice lift pounding the surrounding reefs. The goal was to head out to the end of the main Taiharuru reef for a look around and to blow out a few of the cobwebs before a big Sunday paddle.

My best laid plan was smashed to pieces as I ran over increasing snapper sign. In the end I couldn't resist and started dropping baits - what followed was some hot action paddling round and targeting the best fish arches. The biggest boated was an easy 10+kg, the smallest at least 3kg. Everything releasable went back. Returning to the beach just before dark I had three nice snapper and a cray to put on ice.

Sunday was another early start, this time further north. It was also one of the biggest paddles I've done in some time - nearly 3 hours of solid grinding to get there. The sign on the sounder was crazy, as were the surface temperature fluctuations - at one point the water jumped nearly 2 degrees and went almost purplish! On the marks the sign was stacked from the bottom right up to 40 meters - this was going to make chasing hapuku hard! Even with big hooks I had snapper problems, and given the depth releasing them wasn't an option (even winding slowly I had one go "googly-eyed"). Once I'd limited out I changed to jigs and ended up with 3 kingfish before my arms gave out and I decided to head back to the coast.

On the way in I hit the warm water again and the sounder tempted me into dropping another jig. This time the rod bucked and the line angled out to the side before screaming off. After a short battle on the heavy gear I was surprised to drag a tuna to the surface, my 300 gram jig firmly planted in its jaw! Finally getting a gaff shot I got the screamer on board and discovered a new species kayak capture for me - a slender tuna! At this point my arms were telling me enough was enough so the rod was stowed. Even though I was more than half way back I was still at 70 meters and had several kilometres to go.

The icing on the cake for the day was a special visit by a bryde's whale on the way back in. This was stunning with the whale coming within touching distance to check me out. I was so gobsmacked and in awe of this amazing animal that I totally forgot to grab the camera - DOH! In 40 years of kayaking I've never had an experience like that!
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Saturday snapper and cray, what a way to scratch the itch!
Saturday snapper and cray, what a way to scratch the itch!
Tarakihi: decision time - live bait or dinner?
Tarakihi: decision time - live bait or dinner?
Slender tuna on a 300 gram jig - even though its 800 long its still slim enough to squeeze into the leg well
Slender tuna on a 300 gram jig - even though its 800 long its still slim enough to squeeze into the leg well
ZMS8574 LIMA INDIA MIKE INDIA TANGO LIMA ECHO SIERRA SIERRA - practised your phonetic alphabet yet?
The current fleet: Profish Reload, Profish GT, Profish 400 Lite
The historic fleet: too many to mention... the adventures since 1974 have seen lots of kayak carnage
Find me at Viking Kayaks in Matamata... you gotta love our sport!
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awondering
Posts: 6637
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:47 am
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Viking PF400 Custom Black
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Location: Auckland
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Nice work Stephen, how was the cray caught ?
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Limitless
Posts: 1591
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:47 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish, Espri, 2+1
VHF Call Sign: Limitless
Location: Viking Kayaks, Matamata
Contact:

Nobody believes me when I say a pillie and 7/0 Trokar hook. A couple of the Naki boys seem to be able to do it on a regular basis (I've landed one down there too)
ZMS8574 LIMA INDIA MIKE INDIA TANGO LIMA ECHO SIERRA SIERRA - practised your phonetic alphabet yet?
The current fleet: Profish Reload, Profish GT, Profish 400 Lite
The historic fleet: too many to mention... the adventures since 1974 have seen lots of kayak carnage
Find me at Viking Kayaks in Matamata... you gotta love our sport!
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awondering
Posts: 6637
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:47 am
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Viking PF400 Custom Black
VHF Call Sign: ZMT8884
Location: Auckland
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I have had the pleasure of doing it once myself... makes you grin we you see it.... :y:
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FatherOfMany
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:34 am
Kayak Make: Old Town
Kayak Model: Predator XL Petrol
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Location: Papakura, Auckland
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Don't you hate it when you have "snapper problems"!!! Nice going Stephen, that sounds awesome.
----------------------------------------------------
Old Town Predator XL
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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Yaktofish
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Location: Waikato

Great report Stephen :y:
Viking Reload
Ocean Ultra 4.3
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Hairy Little Dwarf
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It's a long paddle out to the Knights, eh Steve? :lol:

Some quality fish there :y:
Phoenix Hornet - Specialty Assault Craft

Dad! Dad! Look at his fish! It's way bigger than anything you've EVER caught! - Nosey 7-8yo boy on opening my icebox to father strapping down his $XXX Stabicraft 759(?) - Gold. Pure Gold.
Big k
Posts: 1544
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 12:21 pm
Kayak Make: Vicking /Stealth / OK
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Great reading your a legend alright well done chap
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OK 4.7 ultra arrived
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Big k
Posts: 1544
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 12:21 pm
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Location: Maramarua

Well done that man , your a ledend alright great read :y:
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Viking 440
OK 4.7 ultra arrived
Stealth EVO 495 gone
Stealth Carbon Kevlar 495 arrived
ZMU3384

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Hainesy
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Excellent stuff there mate !.. Well done !
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owaldock
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Awesome trip report. I think there was a few people pretty happy about getting back on the water. That cray must have been a real bonus.
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