After finishing up 3 days of fishing from the Te Wairoa it was now time to start the next leg of our adventure, launching from some of the local beaches and paddling up or down the coast in search of some big snapper. We loaded up our gear, jumped in the cars and headed to a place called Tuateawa. Rob mentioned that was a high chance of getting John Dory here, along with some big snapper.
We made our way out and drifted straight off the coast making our way out to the 20m-depth mark. Things were very quiet, so I paddled back towards Wes and we discussed our options as the other guys started to move even wider. We noticed that the sounders weren’t showing any structure and it looked as if we were fishing a sandy bottom. The decision was made to move back towards the coast and start a drift from 4-5m out to a max of 15m. We were instantly into the fish with my first decent Snapper of the day coming within the first couple of cast in our new location. It wasn’t long before Steve had caught up with us and he managed a few too.
We repeated this drift and zigzagged our way down the coast continuously picking up fish until it was time for some lunch that Janet had prepared the night before. Into the shallows again with a backdrop of a waterfall seemed like the perfect spot to get out of the wind.
Rob, Pat and Andrew had gone wide around where we were and we all eventually met up at a rocky outcrop where we fished as a group over a reef. Again some more fish, nothing large, were caught but the wind was starting to pick up and we made the choice to start heading back. Wes had a head start on us and as Steve and I started the paddle back up the coast I noticed some splashing happening a little further out with some birds over head. A school of Kahawai (Australian Salmon) had started to get worked up, so a quick paddle over and a cast amongst it saw a school of 5 Kahawai chase my quickly retrieved Zman back to the yak with no hook up. The next cast I let the plastic drop a couple of meters in the water column before double hoping it back up. On the second double hop I hooked up and we got our first glimpse of the fish.
Steve and I continued to chase the school backwards and forwards with myself catching 7 fish before Steve perfected the technique and got his first ever Kahawi. I think judging by the look on his face, he was pretty stoked!
I left Steve with Rob and the others to catch up with Wes who by this time had put a surprising amount of distance between us and was already back to where we were catching the Snapper earlier. With a strong head wind it really took it out of me, but the bright fluro orange pants of Wes’s kept getting brighter and bigger until we were within talking distance. I got absolutely belted by a big snapper on of the drifts that found his way back into the kelp after I downgraded my leader from 20lb to 14lb. This was enough to really annoy me and so we made our way for the ramp. A slow day compared the the previous 3, but what it lacked in fish, it made up in scenery!
We got back to Lazy Daze, got our gear together, packed the cars again and set course for Wyuna Magic (http://www.bookabach.co.nz/baches-and-holiday-homes/view/7786), Pete’s partner Beverly’s house, where we tucked into some more sashimi and a warm meal of chicken drumsticks and veggies. Once again arriving in the cover of night we had no idea what was around us until the following morning.
The weather forecast wasn’t looking like it was going to be working in our favour for the following day with predicted winds of 60kmph and gusting up to 100kpmh with rain. Rob talked about having a break for day 5 and doing some sight seeing and touristy stuff around the area instead.