deserted beach and the 06.00 kick off coincided with low tide and sunrise.
We would explore as much area as we needed to, drifting south down the coastline fishing only soft baits and Kaburas in the very likely looking water at the base of Whananaki’s foreboding black cliff faces.
Once out to sea, a solid 2-metre lift soon had us disappearing into the oily troughs of the huge swell. This helped enormously to relieve my mate James of his stomach contents. Sieved through his beard it provided a useful if unplanned berley trail.
It was apparent we were no longer in the Haurakui Gulf or the buzzing Coromandel. Evidence of other human life was zero, save for two swaying sky towers far on the horizon that must have been attached to absolutely massive ocean going yachts.
We settled in to start fishing in about 20 metres, which was deep given that it was only twice that distance off plunging cliffs. In the dull light of early morning the still grey sky and slick water surface encouraged a feeling of fishy anticipation. The odd penguin was pleasant and reassuring company; but when shark fins appeared, slicing lazily around our inflatable steeds, to us it seemed more like tiger country. For a while our little boats felt just a wee bit too small. Although we were on the famously sedate east coast of the North Island, there was a definite aura of rugged wildness and a sense of vulnerable exposure to the heart of the vast Pacific.
FISHING UNKNOWN AREAS
Fishing a brand new area with no prior knowledge requires a little bit of feeling things out. Firstly, in light of no other information, start with gut feel. Begin fishing where it just feels right, and take it from there. We had a rocky outcrop that a quick check on the depth sounder confirmed continued under the water. Any structure like this often attracts fish and helps produce feeding areas in a current.
Where shallower foul thins out to meet sand is also a favourite zone for fishing. Often good-sized snapper and kings can be hooked and kept away from busting you off, particularly important on lighter gear.
The sounder showed no real rough