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Taranaki Kayak Fishing Classic 2014 overview
1:56PM 27th Mar 14

Firstly we want to give a massive shout out and thanks to the guys who organize the Taranaki Kayak Fishing Classic...this year again shows why the event is the biggest kayak fishing event on the calendar! Another fantastic year with record numbers attending yet again (we lost count at 220 so don’t know the official final number of entries), kayak anglers travelled from far and wide, as far as VIC AU, Christchurch, Greymouth, Wellington, Waikato, Bay of plenty, Coromandel, Auckland & Northland. All hoping for the chance to beat the locals at their own game and land a personal best snapper (The top 10 snapper this year all went over 10kgs ea.!) . With tuna also on the boil many were also amped to land one of them from a kayak for the first time too.

This report is a bit more of an overview, our sponsored anglers will all be providing individual reports in the coming weeks which will give more detail on the adventures each had while competing. We have some great video footage to share in the next couple of weeks too so stay tuned for that in your email or on Facebook updates. Sign up to our newsletter now if you have not already so you don’t miss the updates.

Taranaki Kayak Fishing Classic 2014 Preview

The images below tell the story and are taken in sequence from Friday evening at the Oakura Beachfront holiday park, which is the base or many during the comp (and a fantastic facility for the whole family!). The surf still crashing down on the beach through the night which made a slightly anxious wait for some to see if that swell might back off in time for the early morning launch.

Day 1, Saturday 

Back off it did not, competitors launched from all areas of the competition boundary and very few were able to avoid the surf, which made for some great stories at weigh in along with some gear maintenance or replacement for day 2. The fishing for most was pretty tough going by Taranaki standards with many of the competitors that went out wide getting caught out in 30knt winds and big swells before mid-day. Whilst others clearly read the weather found shelter and consequently found fish including Shane from Team Viking Maniyaks (Shane Kelley & Bam Blaikie) who got a PB snapper of 10.74kg! Which put him in 2nd place for biggest snapper on day 1 and 3rd place in the final. Much to the frustration of the others who were fishing with or near him, they could only watch as he landed fish after fish and they struggled to get a bite. 

Teams Viking Raiders (Stephen Tapp & Lyndon Cox) & Viking Predators (Shelley & Stuart Cooney) launched at Cape Egmont under darkness with a few locals. The plan being to catch snapper as the sun came up then hunt down Tuna, Kingfish and other target species throughout the rest of the morning.

Viking Raiders had very little action other than dropping the odd snapper that was light on the bite. This sent them out wide to try for some Tuna or deep water snapper, after hitting the 40meter mark and contending with waves breaking over the kayaks they pulled the pin and started the hard slog back to the boat ramp against 30knt winds. Viking Predators story was similar although Shelley had some good battles that were unfortunately lost this time. They both came back with some fat Kahawai to weigh in one of which gave Start a 5 placing in the final.

Back at the Cape Egmont boat ramp even local angler Peter Florence made comment that it has been 4 years since he has not come home with at least a feed. However his fishing buddy and fellow local Tony Hurring seemed to do well with a couple of nice snapper and a few kahawai.

Team Viking Gold Diggers (Grant Montague & Dave Leatherby) were among those that found shelter and bought home some nice fish for the weigh in including Tuna. Team NZBlokes Fishtales (Andrew Fletcher & Brad Harris) also had some results with fish to weigh in but no prize winning fish but good fish for Team and individual points.


Day 1 weigh in saw a variety of good fish weighed in much to the surprise of those that had been battling it out in the wind for little to no result. An 11.63 kg snapper was top of the results after day 1 which set the bar high for day 2. Check out our FaceBook Gallery of images from weigh in on Day 1 HERE

Day 2, Sunday  

The wind was much kinder on all today with a small swell rolling in. Cape Egmont was a target for many of the teams, Viking Raiders, Predators & Gold Diggers all joined a large number of others, including NZ Kayaker (Tim Taylor) for an early morning start. For the Raiders this early start paid off with some nice sized snapper being landed in the shallows before sun up. There day was topped off with some Tuna out in the 80m mark. Predators got a result of some snapper and Tuna for individual points which put Shelley in a good place to take out 1st place in the ladies individual section.

The Gold Diggers had spent most of the morning clocking up some big miles trolling for Tuna with no luck, then right on cue as Grant met up with Jason (paddle Guy) who was on cameras, Fish on!  They were starting filming on a paddling sequence for stock footage when, in 23m of water bzzzzzzz goes one of Grants rods which after a short battle, all caught on film, saw him with his first Tuna of the day. This was followed closely by another while paddling among other anglers out wide. The Tuna action fired up with most out in the 25m plus mark landing a Tuna both on trolled lures and on cast and retrieve. Team mate Dave also landed some nice tuna and a kahawai that gave him 2nd place in the final. These fish and those the day before all added up to helping them take out other titles.

Meanwhile the Viking Maniyaks were having less action than the day before and the Taranaki Tuna eluded them, they landed a few fish worthy of weighing in for team points and Shane kept his top 5 placed snapper from the day before. Viking NZBlokes Fishtales were having what they classed as “the best days fishing ever”! and that’s saying something as these guys regularly get among some good fish back home in East Auckland. They had some great snapper to weigh in and really gave the teams points a nudge, although Brad landed some beauty snapper the 20lb mark still eludes him, Brad is a bit of  a Kingfish specialist, the 1st 20lb snapper was something he was hoping to land here in Taranaki, maybe next year.

Weigh in saw another load of great fish being weighed in, many of which were donated to the charity fish auction which raised $1500 each for the local Coastguard and Legasea… the professional crew from Egmont Seafoods made short work of filleting everyone’s catch (we have some video of them in action which will impress!) Check out our FaceBook Gallery of images from weigh in on Day 2 HERE


A great turn out and well hosted event as always, the atmosphere was great and this year there were some great prizes. Including 2 Viking Kayak packages, a Profish 400 for the junior category and the new Profish Reload as the major spot prize. The Profish Reload went to a member of the Krutz family who also won junior champ, 2nd in the ladies event & the average weight kahawai prize. Check out the full results below taken from the Taranaki Classic website, Viking Warhammers which were Viking Raiders & Gold Diggers combined took out Top team and Manufacturers cup

Again a big thank you to the organizers of the Taranaki Kayak Fishing Classic, for yet another fantastic event to remember, you know you have it right when before the night is through everyone is talking about where they will go next year to get that big snapper! Lock it in for 2015, we will see you there!

Below is a small selection of the best images taken by Jason Milne ( during the course of the 3 days. As you saw in the video preview above we have some amaizing video of all the action. To see the full video be sure you are signed up to our newsletter, liked us on FaceBook and subscribed to our YouTube channel so you can receive notifications when the footage is online. Use the links below to sign up to any one or all of these platforms.

Viking Kayaks YouTube

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Viking Kayaks Newsletter

2014 Competition Results:


1st - Keith Drummond - 11.64kg | 2nd - Oliver Mackintosh - 10.955kg | 3rd - Shane Kelly - 10.745kg | 4th - Lyndon Cox - 10.41kg | 5th - Jason Langman - 10.405kg


1st - Leyton Cave - 9.64kg | 2nd - Kerry Flowers - 7.6kg


1st - Daryn McAnally - 6.01kg | 2nd - Mark Nijssen - 5.37kg | 3rd - Kevin Pilcher - 5.34kg


1st - James Death - 5.7kg | 2nd - Dave Leatherby - 3.57kg | 3rd - Fraser Carr - 3.37kg | 4th - Kevin Blair - 3.02kg  | 5th - Stuart Cooney - 2.92kg


1st - Paul Rountree - 2.52kg | 2nd - Charles Dinnis - 2.67kg |3rd - Keith Drummond - 2.52kg

John Dory:

1st - Jason Langman - 1.44kg | 2nd - Leyton Cave - 1.095kg | 3rd - Gordon McBride - 1.045kg

Blue Cod:

1st - Ollie Gale - 1.355kg | 2nd - Cam Twigley - 1.235kg | 3rd - Mike LaFranchie - 1.23kg


1st - Oliver Mackintosh - 0.91kg | 2nd - Andrew Terwiel - 0.88kg | 3rd - Mike LaFranchie - 0.84kg | 4th - Hoani Collier - 0.83kg | 5th - Steven Blair - 0.825kg


1st - Carissa Krutz | Runner-Up - Cobi McCook


1st - Shelly Bradish-Cooney | 2nd - Deidre Krutz | 3rd - Jennie Willis


5 Species, combined weight of 24.085kg - Dan Fili

Top Team:

Team Warhammers (Viking Kayaks)

Manufacturers Cup:

Team Warhammers (Viking Kayaks)

For more on water images check out the full