Coromandel Trip

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Achilles
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:40 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish Reload
VHF Call Sign: ZMX2317
Location: Te Kuiti

Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:23 am

Monday 27th. Hit Coromandel town, stopped at Rob Forts to hire a Kayak for my buddy Carl who is a long term fisher, but a kayak fishing virgin. Arrived Papa Aroha campground around lunch time, dumped our gear and headed out for a couple of hours, but no success. Headed out again at 7 pm after the afternoon wind had dropped, headed south from camp, staying in shallow. Carl managed to hook his first snapper, and provided quite a bit of entertainment with his antics firstly getting it in the yak and unhooked, and then extracted from his shorts. Not quite sure how, but it managed to wriggle its way into his shorts and perilously close to tender areas while he was fidgeting around trying not to fall out of the Yak and pull the beast away from his wedding tackle. With a fair bit less drama, Brad (another mate) managed to get one too, which left me feeling fishless and lonely when we pulled pin and headed back just after dark. I took this photo of an oystercatcher nest on a pile of gravel next to the filleting station in camp:
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Tuesday 28th. Headed north in the Hilux and launched about 20 minutes north of Colville, on the water at around 7 am. Passed a pod of dolphins moving through the shallows which were pretty cool to see. Conditions were beautiful . A lot more action on the soft baits, again tended to be in water around 10 to 15 metres. We still didn’t get huge numbers of fish, but put 1 or 2 in the bin each, ranging from around 33 to 46 cm. Brad had to head home early in the arvo, but with a belly full of snapper to make him feel better about leaving with such a mint weather forecast. And with a couple of runs on the board, I was starting to come out of my sulk.

Wednesday 29th. Carl and I headed north again, about another 10 minutes further on from the day before. Water clarity was frightening, especially with the glassy conditions. Hit the water around 6 am. The strong tidal currents were quite noticeable as we got further up towards the top of the peninsula. Pretty consistent drift of around 1.5 peaking close to 2.5 kph at mid tide. Got onto fish in shallow water on the soft baits pretty quick. Carl, the novice yak fisher was by now starting to really get his kayak systems dialed in and seemed to pretty consistently produce the goods in the shallow stuff. I started experimenting with slow jigs a little bit, initially just dragging them while I was working the softbaits, but didn’t really have much luck, just tending to get snagged when I wasn’t watching the bottom carefully.

Between the 2 of us we caught 10 or 12 fish, the best hit 52 cm.
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We only kept enough for a feed, so most of them went back. They were all in beautiful fat condition, looked like they must be just on the verge of ripping into spawning? Once we had a feed of snapper, we went right into the weeds and thrashed around trying to entice out a JD, but no luck. Carl got a couple of kahawai and a red cod, and I caught a pretty wee goat fish which was first for me.
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We both had squid follow our softbaits right up to the yak, nearly managed to net one! Had an MPI fisheries boat come and inspect us and check our catches. Good to see them out on the water, we struck one or 2 people during the week who were pushing things a bit with their catches.


Thursday 30th. Once more into the breach! Up at 4, into the hilux and heading north, on the water and fishing by about 5.15. Stunning again. Fishing just kept getting better. Had a real awakening with the micro jigs which to be fair was largely inspired by Hainseys post from back at the start of October. I was starting to be consistently out fished by Carl in the shallow (under 15 metres), and because he had been thrashing me playing cards every night as well, I decided I needed to up my game.
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We noticed the bites really started running out once the drift took us out to the deeper water. It pretty quick dropped to 30 to 40 metres within a few hundred metres of shore, and in retrospect, its pretty obvious I should have tried cranking up to a 1 oz jig head, but I didn’t think of that at the time (muppet!). So instead I tried a bit harder with the micro jig, initially just working them on a fairly stiff boat rod I had on board. Had a bit of success and caught a couple of fish on that, but once I used my brain and swapped the micro jig across to the soft bait rod it was all go. First day I have caught my limit ever, it was bloody awesome! Could have binned around 10 legal fish, up to a personal best of 57 cm – gutted I couldn’t get a photo of that one – I only have my Iphone and when the fish spazzed out, if the fish hadn’t have flipped overboard it would have be the phone going in the briney. We still had another day of fishing, so we just kept 5 nice medium sized eating fish between us.

Friday 1st. Headed north again, on the water around 7. Best day of fishing yet. Now that I was dialed in with the micro jigs on the SB rod, I had 3 fat keepers in the bin by the time I got to the end of the first drift. All in 20 to 35 metres. Had a couple of token casts with the soft baits in shallow, but then gave up on that until another day. We tried a couple of options with Carls set up, and then he got dialed in as well. Beautifully still, the barest trace of a swell, we had a couple of showers of warm rain come through during the morning which was actually pretty pleasant. So we again let go the biggest (couple of mid 50 cms) and the smallest again and kept 8 nice pan fish between the 2 of us.
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All in all an awesome week of fishing. Stunning weather, stunning scenery, lots of wildlife, great to learn new techniques and help a newbie get going. I’m still pretty new to this whole game myself, and I have never caught more than 4 snaps in a day from the yak, so this was just awesome.
Caught up with Rob Fort when we dropped Carl’s hired kayak back on the way home, he had just got back from a trip from Port Jackson up to Channel island, got into some cracking Kingfish action. Its all coming on Reel Screaming Episode 12, so can’t wait to see that. Rob and Janet were awesome helping Carl get all his gear sorted, and giving us some good info and where and how to best get into it – what an awesome couple of really passionate kayak fishers. Thumbs up!!
Achilles

ZMX 2317

Viking Reload

dedant
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:11 pm
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Kayak Model: Fisha 500
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Location: West Auckland

Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:17 am

Cool trip. Great report. There is gold in Coromandel..it's Rob and Janet :y:
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Glass is Class.. dedant

46John
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:47 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak
Kayak Model: 4.3
Location: Takapuna

Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:37 am

Great TR and some nice fish too...

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Hainesy
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:20 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Reload
VHF Call Sign: ZMW 2196
Location: West Harbour

Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:20 am

Great report and it sounds like a great time was had by all !
"The trouble with common sense is that it's not too common !"

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