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Shakedown cruise – too many snapper!
4:25PM 26th Jun 14

Kayak fishing trip report from Stephen Tapp - Having spent a couple of evenings fitting out the “expedition” Tackle Pod for the Reload (I also have a “lightweight” Tackle Pod – more on this soon) it was time for a shakedown cruise. The idea was to spend some time on the water testing the compatibility of the new Simrad NSS7 evo2 and iCOM marine VHF mounted in close proximity. It would also be a great opportunity to target my first hapuku for the season.

The pre-dawn launch went without a hitch, and 5km off the coast both the sea and the sky turned to fire as the sun prepared to leap onto the horizon. Time for a photo, a swig from the water bottle, and then pick up the paddle again for the remainder of the 15km sprint to a spot that’s performed so well in the past.

This time the torture wasn’t grinding away on the paddle trying to beat the sun, but all the fish sign I was paddling over! The Simrad was showing massive clouds of fine but densely packed bait that were being rounded up by streaking signals looking remarkably like snapper marauding around for breakfast – this was going to be an awesome day!

On my marks in around 110 meters of water I was confronted with the biggest schools of fish I’ve ever seen there. Targeting hapuku was going to be incredibly difficult! In fact, for the whole time I was on the spot not one bait made it into the hapuku strike zone – pink maomao, goldies, and plague proportions of snapper around 2-3kg pounced on anything thrown in the water.

By the end of the session I’d run out of bait, the lures had taken a hammering, and it was a tired pair of arms that lifted the paddle for the three hour journey back to the coast. 

These pics are from Stephens Hapuku hunt the previous year where the action was non stop! check out the video from this session watching Stephen landing some seriously big Hapuku by kayak standards!

Watch the Video HERE