Rewind back to March when I got an unexpected phone call from a representative of Blade Kayak Fishing Magazine named Storm. When he introduced himself over the phone my heart started to pump and I thought back to a few months earlier when I entered a competition on the Blade Facebook page to win a kayak fishing trip to New Zealand. Storm went on to tell me that I was indeed the winner and not only am I going but I also get to take a mate. After the call I was straight back on the phone to Wes, the first question was “can you get some time off towards the end of May?”.
So finally after what I initially thought would take forever to come around, had come, it was starting to finally sink in, we were off to New Zealand to go kayak fishing in Coromandel with Rob Fort from Coromandel Kayak Fishing Adventures and to be more precise the time was 2.15am with the alarm ringing, but it took little effort to drag myself out of bed with the thoughts of what the next 8 days had in store. I swung past Wes’s place to pick him up and we started our 2 hour drive to Sydney International Airport for our 7am flight to Auckland.
Leaving from Nowra, it was just after Albion Park before I realized Wes had snoozed off and the prospect of making the early drive in the belting rain by myself sunk in. We were making great time, found a park with ease and sitting on the courtesy bus by 4.45am. We had some hick ups through check, one being that Air NZ policies on sporting goods don’t necessarily reflect what they say at the terminal. Make sure if you do this trip you book and pay for your rod tubes prior to arrival, you will save yourself half of the cost and a lot of time!
A quick trip through duty-free for our 1L bottles of rum and we were in our seats and awaiting take off. A quick check of my phone before phones were to be off and an email had come through from Rob Fort, alerting us to a delay the Melbourne boys from AFN’s Yak Fisher Magazine were experiencing as their flight was running 3 hours late. Wes nodded off on the tarmac but was rudely awoken by the thrust of the jet engines as we took flight and heading directly east. We seemed to be making good time with the tail wind and found the perfect inflight entertainment in the way of a show called “Rod and Rug Sack” to hype us up.
We landed in Auckland at 12.15pm and caught up with Steve from Blade Kayak Fishing Magazine who had only become aware of the delay once he had landed. We made our way to the pub for some drinks and food as the boys weren’t due in until 3.10pm and with further delays we didn’t see Andrew and Pat until 4.30pm. We met up with Rob’s wife Janet who was there to take us on the 2.5 hour drive to Rob’s house/shop where we met Rob and another kayaker Brad. We did a last minute shop and kit out of waterproof gear, were given some knife jigs and snapper rigs supplied by Bite Fishing NZ, brand new 385C DI Humminbird sounders supplied by BLA Australia and a run down of what the plan was for the next 6 days of fishing. With the weather prediction, Rob made the decision to hook up with Captain Peter McKenzi earlier than planned and take us off shore for the first half of the trip using the mother ship Te Wairoa (www.coromandelfishingadventures.co.nz) to take us from Kennedy Bay to the islands for some Kingfish and Snapper.
We jumped back in the cars and headed for our accommodation for the night at Captain Peter’s house Lazy Daze (http://www.bookabach.co.nz/baches-and-holiday-homes/view/2606) in Kennedy Bay, where a feast of wild caught boar awaited our arrival. A couple of night cap rums and a bit of gear prep and some stories and it was time to get to sleep, or at least try!
Special thanks to:
Blade Kayak Journal
Coromandel Kayak Adventures
Coromandel Boat Charters
Lazy Daze Accommodation Kennedy Bay
Wyuna Magic Accommodation Coromandel
Pepper Tree Restaurant and Bar
Ocean Kayaks NZ
Bite Fishing Tackle
TT Lures Australia