Fresh fish has been a little low in my house over the past few weeks as I have not had a lot of time to get out. The kids had put the order in for fresh fish and chips so I obliged ;-). Tide times and more daylight for an evening session were favorable for me to load up the sea kayak and try my luck at Army Bay.
This session I chose the Beachcomber sea kayak rather than my Profish Reload as the wind was blowing from the south and getting stronger, sitting inside a warm cockpit out of the wind held much more appeal plus it would make for a quicker paddle home into the wind, which definitely got up for the paddle home after dark.
After grabbing a fresh mullet from the fish market (pak n save fresh that is) I arrived at Army Bay to see a massive work up of gannets right in close to Army Bay, a good sign and one that had a lot of surf casters arriving to set up for the evening on the beach.
Rigged up as fast as I could, hitting the water around 4.30pm hoping to troll a lure though the work up but the gannets had moved out wide & were moving fast, too fast to play cat and mouse so I stuck to my plan which was head out to the inside of Wellington rock…the wind was definitely picking up which made it a fast tail wind paddle to my spot.
Fishing from the Beachcomber in this short chop and strong wind, I knew I was in for an intense hour or so of fishing especially if a fish put me side on to the swell. Sea anchor deployed off the bow I quickly got a piece of mullet down to the bottom, I use 4/0 Pauls Fishing Kite target hooks and a small 1/4oz sinker set above the swivel so the fish can run before I set the hook.
Did they run! First bait down got smashed! with still enough light I was able to capture this on the GoPro mounted behind me on my RAILBLAZA Telepole 1000, shortly after this I removed the GoPro replacing it with the Navilux nav light.
Watch this short clip from the session.
The fish took me side on to the swell and wind, then ran the braid into my sea anchor while my paddle kept trying to go overboard… so the fun begins! Nothing like managing a little drama sitting in a sea kayak…however I knew the Target hooks were reliable, when a fish s hooked it’s not getting off.
This meant I could park the rod, secure the paddle and get the line off the sea anchor. When I picked up the rod again the fish was firmly on and still pulling string. After a short battle I was pleased to see a nice 58cm snapper alongside the kayak securely hooked in the lip.
After that each bait I presented got the same treatment by hungry fish, with the wind blowing as it was I had to paddle forward each time to set my drift. I spent an hour doing this keeping only a couple for our weekend fish n chip dinner and also enjoying a spectacular sunset.
Fresh snapper fillets for dinner and the wings will be smoked at lunchtime for hot smoked fish sandwiches.. you can check out how I get the wings off the snapper ready for the smoker in my video guide HERE, some of the best tasting flesh you can get comes from this part of the snapper.
My sea kayak set up
These pics show the way I set my Barracuda Beachcomber up for a session like this to make it fishing friendly. The most important piece of kit is the RAILBLAZA StarPort and StarPort HD mounts. I have the StarPort flush mounted on the forward deck which I fit a Rod Holder II & SwivelPort. The SwivelPort allows for quick easy re positioning of the rod holder when fishing or paddling, no need to loosen any knobs just twist with one hand.
Behind my seat I have of the new StarPort HD mounts, this allows a few different options from camera boom mounts to the way I have used it in this session with a TracPort 500. This allowed me to mount 2 x Rod holders and the Telepole 1000 which was used for the Gopro while the light was good then I replaced the GoPro with the navilux nav light after dark (I have used StarPort HD over Standard StarPorts due to the extra foot print offering a more solid mount especially in the case of cameras, you can read more on how and why I have installed the HD mount HERE)
My sea anchor is attached to the kayak bow grab line with a paddle leash, this is a temp measure, a running rig is better and will be fitted shortly. To keep the fish fresh I have a Surf to Summit Insulated fish bag attached to the deck behind me. Back at the car I have my Viking Proish Chill pod in the boot o tha car as my chilly bin to transport the ih home and kep them cool. My Rhino roof box comes in very handy to keep wet smelly paddle gear out of the car.
Thanks for taking the time to read my trip report, until next session PG