Northland Classic 2018 ~ Epickswid

Go on then, tell us your stories...
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Epicskwid
Posts: 790
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:20 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: ProFish 400 Lite
Location: Napier-Hastings

Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:37 pm

The Northland Classic,
One of the big comps of the year, Dad and I got the gear together for the massive journey ahead. We ended up setting off from Hawkes Bay at 5 am on Friday. Our trip came to an end over 11 hours later and 705km covered.

Matauri Bay was our base for the weekend. Dad and I decided it would be worth adding 3 hours to the trip in order to set up at camp before going back to Whangarei for sign up. I reckon it was absolutely worth it. After meeting some good mates from around New Zealand and having a feed we got on the road and had pouring rain set in, some of the worst conditions I’ve ever driven in. Thankfully we fell out of the car and into the tent to get some sleep for Saturdays fishing.

DAY 1
Forecast: 20 knot Southerly, Rain clearing to sun.
Getting up in the morning to howling wind coming straight into shore was not the best sight at 5am. It was also raining a bit. Not to be discouraged we got the gear on the trailer and headed to some of the eastern bays near Matauri. Eventually we got a sheltered enough spot and got onto the water (This bay was called Piapia Bay). The conditions were far from ideal. We had a gusty wind blowing off the hills and making the water fairly rough. Well paddle-able though. It’s amazing to me the amount of shelter and structure Northland compared to down in HB, everywhere just looks fishy. Me and my mate Nick end up anchored on the northern side of Dome Rock, there was a nice drop-off and structure. First fish went to Nick while he was trying to catch live-baits. A 43cm Tarakihi in 8m of water on a tiny sabiki! Good effort dude. After sorting out the gear, I started to pick up a few 1kg Kahawai. Put one out with an 8/0 through his back for a Kingfish. Eventually I got some snapper starting to show. After a few undersize fish I hooked up and then had a good scrap from a 2kg Snapper.
Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 8.57.25 PM.png
Great start! After some more action with a few Trevally a bit over 30cm, Me and Nick moved spots further along the coast. I Did a bit of soft-baiting and micro jigging into sign I could see in the sounder. No hook ups to be had though. After not managing to hook up to these fish I continued along the coast looking on the chart for some likely areas. A big reef that drops away on one side. Yep that will do me. As I expected there was midwater sign off front of the reef. To me it looked like bait with big fish lurking beneath. Anchored in this area and got the Salmon burley going again. The snapper turned up again, but these were mostly smaller fish. Constant action on the baits though. I had some snapper bites on the rod then bang a big hit. It did a bit of a run and I expected to pull in a snapper in the 40 - 45cm range. After I got this fish off the bottom it started to become a dead weight. Oh my god it’s a John Dory! My net was already set to go but the JD had other plans doing a few circles before he was secure.
JD 2.png
He took a Skipjack bait on a Sunset ‘Snapper Snatcher’ Obviously attracted by all the small Snapper.
JD 1.png
The very next drop I picked up a 40cm Snap. The sun then turned up all of a sudden, this dropped the wind and we made the call to head a bit wider. A rock off Oponui Point was chosen in 22m.
Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 4.35.15 PM.png
Unfortunately, the bite died off and no more big fish turned up. Nick had been towing live-baits all day, but no Kings showed themselves. We paddled down the coast back to Matauri and ended up on the beach just before 5pm 9 hours after launch having covered 11km of the coast.

DAY 2
Conditions: 15 knot South-easterly, overcast
On day 2 the conditions had improved slightly. Enough that we could launch from Matauri. I wasn’t too bothered on going out very far. Just far enough in order to find some nice structure to pump some berley into. I headed back up the coast towards Oponui point and found a good channel 17m deep with a huge rise up to 5m. I set the anchor and got the burley trail going. Snapper were quick to show up, but most were a bit small. Every half hour I picked one up about the 45cm mark and had three in the back in fairly short order on Flasher rigs.
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The next fish to pop up was a huge Red Pigfish. An almost 3kg and 50cm Male. Beautiful white fillets on these fish.
Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 9.30.08 PM.png
The next drop I caught a much smaller female, this went back to the reef. There was heaps going on below the surface watching my sounder. The Snapper had risen in the water column to 4m below the kayak, waiting for any scraps to float down to them. After putting another nice kelpie Snapper into the back
Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 9.35.31 PM.png
I had a small hit and I gave the fish a bit before I wound into it. This fish took off like a dragster and kept going.
Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 4.29.41 PM.png
Of course, It went around my other rod. I quickly cut the line off. The next issue was the anchor, I hadn’t detached quick enough and the fish had managed to go around it. It wasn’t all over though because the fish had gone out the other side and kept emptying my poor little soft-bait reel.
Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 4.29.31 PM.png
At this point I called my two Wellington mates Lindsay and Nick over for a hand. We struggled to get hold the anchor and attempt to free the braid for about 15 minutes. I was gaining line on the fish when I felt it get into the reef. One headshake then two and the line went slack. Ping gutted! Kingfish we reckon. The gear he took was just not up to a fish of that size. Would have had a real chance if he hadn’t of found my anchor. I’ve had a similar thing happen to me here in Hawkes Bay. This was also a kingfish. Funny that a huge fish takes a tiny pilchard cube over the two other rods with way heavier line!
Last edited by Epicskwid on Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Viking ProFish 400 Lite
Catch 290 [Retired]

Kayak PB's
15.1kg Yellowtail Kingfish - Tongoio Beach
3.1kg Snapper - Oraka Beach Mahia
3.2kg Kahawai - Napier Port
2.2kg Blue Cod- Golden Bay
2.1kg Trevally - Taylors Bay Mahia
1.3kg Tarakihi - Whangawehi Mahia
1.3kg John Dory - Taranaki Port
1.2kg Gurnard - Okiwi Bay

User avatar
Epicskwid
Posts: 790
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:20 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: ProFish 400 Lite
Location: Napier-Hastings

Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:42 pm

With that the day was over pretty much. Came in early and got cleaned up with some time to spare before weigh in.
Lots of big fish this year, and I watched some of my dream fish come through the gate to be weighed. Final results were:
Snapper: 10.7kg
Kingfish: 17.6kg
Trevally: 3.8kg
Kahawai: 2.6kg

No prizes for me this year. But took home an awesome feed of JD, Pigfish and Snapper.
IMG_2511.jpg
Shout out to the team at Viking Kayaks who put on a great event every year.
Thanks to Nigel Whiting who once again is the legend that helps me get to these competitions. Also your starting to get good at photos on that ipad of yours bro!

Will be competing more this coming season in some competitions, I think. Cheers - Blair
Attachments
Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 8.57.51 PM.png
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Viking ProFish 400 Lite
Catch 290 [Retired]

Kayak PB's
15.1kg Yellowtail Kingfish - Tongoio Beach
3.1kg Snapper - Oraka Beach Mahia
3.2kg Kahawai - Napier Port
2.2kg Blue Cod- Golden Bay
2.1kg Trevally - Taylors Bay Mahia
1.3kg Tarakihi - Whangawehi Mahia
1.3kg John Dory - Taranaki Port
1.2kg Gurnard - Okiwi Bay

User avatar
shad
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:03 pm
Kayak Make: ocean kayak
Kayak Model: prowler 4.3
VHF Call Sign: ZMW 3124
Location: New Plymouth

Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:52 pm

Well done Blair :y:
Prowler 4.3

User avatar
Blazer60
Posts: 1062
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:51 pm
VHF Call Sign: ZMW5911 - Blazer60
Location: Whitby, Wellington

Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:14 pm

Nice work bud.
Blazer60
In between ships ZMW5911
Any Stealths for sale?

DocProfit
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:27 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Reload
Location: Auckland

Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:23 am

Very nice.

peteatkina
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:12 am
Kayak Make: viking
Kayak Model: pf400

Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:24 am

Nice bro. sounds like you had fun despite the conditions :clap:

TBreezy
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:11 pm

Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:31 am

Always a good report mate. Cheers!

How do you cook the pigfish?

Rabbit
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:41 pm
Kayak Make: Stealth
Kayak Model: Pro Fisha 525
Location: Auckland

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:58 pm

Hi Blair. Interesting to read that your preference is to anchor up, throw out the berley and use bait. We're all creatures of habit I suppose and I'm guessing that is how you guys do it in the HB. Can be really difficult to change from something you have got used to.

As opposed to you I never ever use bait unless I occasionally fish lower north island. Instead I love casting out the softbaits into the shallows and getting smashed and hoping I don't get taken in to the reef. I find this such a cool way to fish as it feels like I'm 'hunting'.

Cheers

Rob

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Epicskwid
Posts: 790
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:20 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: ProFish 400 Lite
Location: Napier-Hastings

Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:23 pm

@TBreezy
I will be cooking the Pigfish just like most species, pan fry or bake it. The flesh is similar looking to blue cod just way wider !'

@Rabbit
The old bait and berley is what i have grown up with down here in the bay, so it's what i've always done. I have caught a wide range of species on jigs: Kingfish, Kahawai, Trevally, Blue Cod, Sea Perch, Barracouta, Gurnard. The one species i haven't caught is the Snapper. I would love to learn from someone who knows what they are doing with the soft-baits. Tried them up in Northland casting into likely looking wash areas + dropping onto sign. Most of that sign seemed to be small Snapper/Trevally, as i was pulling them out on sabikis while trying to catch livies. One day i'll have both techniques learnt
Viking ProFish 400 Lite
Catch 290 [Retired]

Kayak PB's
15.1kg Yellowtail Kingfish - Tongoio Beach
3.1kg Snapper - Oraka Beach Mahia
3.2kg Kahawai - Napier Port
2.2kg Blue Cod- Golden Bay
2.1kg Trevally - Taylors Bay Mahia
1.3kg Tarakihi - Whangawehi Mahia
1.3kg John Dory - Taranaki Port
1.2kg Gurnard - Okiwi Bay

Luke 1
Posts: 448
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:49 pm
Kayak Make: Prowler
Kayak Model: 4.5
VHF Call Sign: N/a

Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:58 pm

Well done mate. That pig fish looks a bit like the wrasse that we used to catch in the UK. Never ate them though.

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