Thursday, February 29, 2024

REPORT: North Island kings

I HAVE just returned for a quick trip across to the North Island of New Zealand where I caught up with good friends Milan Radonich and Nikolaj Mathiesen.

While we had originally planned a trip down to Nelson on the South Island, the decision was made to stay on the North Island. Unfortunately the whole country was lashed with strong winds and heavy rains…

With our options limited I found myself up in the Coromandel Peninsula chasing kingfish with live baits. For livebaiting for kings I rigged a heavy Salina II 16000 jig outfit with 80lb Sufix Matrix Pro braid and connected a 2m trace of 100lb Sufix fluorocarbon Invisiline straight to a 9/0 VMC livebait hook.

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With the wind playing havoc and a Tsunami warning issued on our first day out on the water, things didn’t look too promising. Thankfully that was all soon forgotten when a rampaging king appeared from nowhere along a rocky point and demolished the first big livebait of the morning – a 2kg kawahai!
After nearly choking on the bait and a spirited short battle the fish was steered away from the reef and the anchor rope and was landed. While it certainly wasn’t a monster for this part of the world, it was a great capture against the odds and I’ll never forget the sight of the big king terrorising the livebait before it got eaten.

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