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Far North trip report , Lessons I Have Learned
1:39PM 19th Dec 13

Far North trip report , Lessons I Have Learned - Shelley Bradish Cooney. 

I have been told that I am no expert, but I am passionate about my fishing. In the five years I have been fishing from a kayak, I have learned a thing or two. Now as it happens, I have a lovely husband who gets all kind of stick because he has yet to beat me in the Heaviest Snapper stakes. 

So as a kind and supportive wife, what do I do?  I get him to take a week off work so we can go up north with our Profish 440 & 440 kayaks to get his 20 lb snapper.  I am even willing to tell him how to do it.  Or at least offer him choices.  Buy two of everything at the tackle store (he has a nasty habit of pinching my stuff).  Tie him traces, check over his kayak to make sure that all his electrical contacts are corrosion free.

We were fortunate to have a great weather window.  Much nicer to be fishing in the sun and less than 10 knots (although I have dragged him out in 25 knots – that is definitely more challenging)!

As we headed out through a metre of surf in my Profish 400 I paused to reflect on just how much I love this sport.  I have had some great times, and some sorrow, I have learned to hold course, and stick to what I know.  Along the way I have learned that the good outweighs the bad.

So back to the story. 

As it turns out, Stuart, on his Profish 440 was having the best day fishing he has had all year.  He was doing some straylining with dead bait with some success, but was getting hammered on trolled lures.  We often discuss strategies, then just work to a plan – touching base along the way to share what is working and what is not. 

The important thing is he was having fun, and catching some great fish.  I got monstered, but he was definitely having a better day.  Before long, he had caught a new PB – pretty sure it was not 20 lb but still a personal best.  We stopped, took some photos, put it straight on ice under the insulated cover and carried on.

Over the years I have developed an understanding of the water column, and learning to target fish at certain levels.  On this particular day, I was trolling lures that were on the surface, then ones that could dive 3 metres, and finally one that could dive 8 metres. 

 lures top to bottom:  surface bibbed lure, 3m diving lure with a rattle, Strike Pro diving lure with rattle (8 metre) very similar to the Dr. Evil, but available in NZ – I got this one at Sportsman’s Choice in Whangarei. 

I was not having a lot of joy, then I spotted this lovely arch on the bottom, and I paused to present a pilchard 16 metres below me.  Fish on!!!!!!  And yep, you guessed it – I caught my 20 lb snapper.  The look on Stuart’s face, well you can imagine.

Oh, and just so you know, I did not stop to bring in my trolled lure before I presented my bait, and yep – the picture below tells the story.

So if something is not working for you, try something else.  Stray out of your comfort zone, and give something new (or old a go).

Tangled mess….what happens when you leave one line out while deploying another.