New Zealand Fishing World - - Destination -

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

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