Many kayak fishing enthusiasts made their way down to Coromandel during the weekend for the annual KFNZ forum meet up. It’s a chance to catch up and meet with other like-minded people plus get out on the water for an adventure.
My fishing buddy during the weekend was Paul McIvor from Cameron Sports (Ocean Kayak). Our adventure started with an early wakeup call that had us departing just as the sun began to come over the hill. With the forecast predicting rising northerly wind strengths throughout the day the decision was made to play it safe and find somewhere offering shelter.
We arrived at the southern end of Opito Bay however the wind was already rising so we carried on over the hill. As we traveled down to the bay we were greeted with pristine calm conditions that are perfect. It’s a bit of an effort to get the kayaks down on the beach here, however the Ultra 4.3’s keel wear strip allowed us to slide them down the grass and onto the sand with ease. Launch was easy with no swell and a check of the Humminbird sounder showed plenty of sign within the bay. The fish didn’t seem to be interested though and our success would result from plenty of exploration.
The wind that appeared to be strengthening had now slowly diminished, then the sun came out to warm us with its rays. A quick paddle to the other side of the bay placed us in even nicer conditions which was topped off by the odd nice pan sized fish getting caught on the softbaits we were using. The fishing was slow however despite this we managed to put a good feed of snapper into the rear well of the kayak. Our drift line had taken us along the coast and past a few boats anchored on the reef. We traveled out past the headland into deeper water which had lots of fish sign on the sounder. Next minute Paul get hooked into what appeared to be a very decent fish on light fishing tackle. The fish towed him around causing the kayak to turn in many directions and after a good 10 minute battle including many strong runs a kingfish surfaced at the side of the kayak. It was a real highlight watching Paul play the fish out and really gives you an appreciation of how well these kayaks perform.
With more than enough fish to feed our family we headed back to the beach and a couple of hours diving for crayfish and scallops. With the free dive gear on and our fish on ice it wasn’t long before we were back on the water again. The crayfish proved hard due to lack of legal ones and the same unfortunately the scallops where the same. That evening we enjoyed sharing stories of the day’s adventure with other kayak anglers over a few drinks at the KFNZ Meet Up.