The weather forecast the weekend was too good to pass up for a kayak fishing session. This trip I planned to take Bill Bragman (owner of Yakgear, kayak fishing accessories and gear) who is visiting from the USA, out from Sullivan’s bay in the Mahurangi, troll lures for kahawai on the way out to fish for snapper in behind Saddle Island. The timing for the this trip coincided with a monthly club trip for the North Shore Kayak fishing club (NSKFC) and even Stephen Tapp of Viking Kayaks was available to join us.
We arrive in darkness to meet a que of kayak anglers from the club waiting for the gate to the park to be opened at 6am so they could get an early morning start. The NSKFC is a great local community of like-minded anglers, a perfect opportunity to give Bill a taste of what kayak fishing means to kiwi kayak anglers. This trip did not disappoint either with one of the largest turn outs the club has had to date.The agenda with this club is to enjoy time on the water with mates, the competition side of things is very much a secondary focus compared to other clubs. The result is a very relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere which is great for those just starting out and looking to connect with others to learn from.
The early birds hit the water on dark while I spent on the beach getting some great pics of the sunrise and video of everyone setting off for the mornings fishing… High tide was due at 12.30pm so we had plenty of fishing time ahead of us. Bill and Stephen headed out in the Viking Profish reloads while I fished out of my Profish 400 with the intention to focus on getting video and pics. Bird activity at the very beginning of the journey was a good sign, Stephen & Bill flicked lures among the work ups but no luck so we headed to some reef structure where the snapper were around but small and very light on the bite. This is pretty much how the morning rolled out even behind Saddle Island, lots of bird activity, Kahawai & small Kingfish chasing bait fish to the surface but mostly small snapper underneath which were all very light on the bite.
A switch from soft plastics to dead baits saw all of us hooking up snapper on most cast’s but seldom where any worth keeping. I landed a rat kingfish while drifting a dead bait and a couple of snapper to take home, Bill also got a couple of snapper worth taking home for a feed as did Stephen along with a kahawai.
Back at the beach the club were all relaxing over a BBQ and good conversation about the day, although we did not put Bill on to a hard fighting NZ fish, the company, location and the weather sure made for a memorable experience worth reporting to his USA network when he gets home this week. Video highlights from the day coming later this week but for now enjoy these images I took during the day.