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Arenui Adventure

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    Posted: 01 May 2011 at 3:36pm
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Here's a report from a recent trip with Geoff Lamond and the team on Arenui... The pix are thanks to a Canon 60D courtesy of Canon and loaned to me for a couple of months - just a brilliant camera.
 
We’d been looking forward to our four day trip on Arenui for ages and once the booking had been made the sleeps were being counted. Marie and I were joined by two good friends of ours, Peter and Nicki Treacy, and they were about as excited as we were. Marlin were the primary target species but also other species in between times to mix it up a bit.

Our trip north to Hohoura was uneventful but filled with anticipation of the few days ahead. Before we knew it we had were on the water and heading for our first night at Tom Bowling Bay. Geoff and his very able crew of Shaun and Todd had made short work of stowing a few bags and we were gone.  We had been keeping in touch with the fishing through reports on the site and Geoff had been on back to back trips so we were aware that the marlin fishing was hard. In fact it seemed to go very quiet after the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan and we wondered if that may have had something to do with it. Whatever the reason, the end of this season has been exceptionally lean for the charter fleet and the usual hot marlin action in the far North and the Three Kings just hasn’t happened as it usually does.

 
Arenui - a 48' O'Brien in pristine condition.

Understatement right there actually. The Three Kings were ‘colder than a frogs’ and so our plan was to fish the area around North Cape as the few marlin that had been caught over the weeks prior were in that area. Marlin were few and far between however but the chance of some reasonable Kingfish, snapper and bottom-dwelling ooglies like hapuku was appealing so we took that option.
 

Around North Cape and heading for Tom Bowling Bay.

On day one the marlin were conspicuously absent but we put in a huge effort and trolled up the edge of the continental shelf off North Cape and back to Tom Bowling Bay. A steady 15+ knot easterly which was to stay with us for the remainder of the trip made conditions reasonable and while a bit lumpy, far better than what the boys on Arenui had put up with over the previous couple of weeks.
 
We spent an enjoyable hour or so jigging a few kings at Pedro’s rock and Pete, Nicki and Marie all caught their PB kingfish so that made it a special day.

 
Marie and the Synit having a workout


PB for M!
 
Pete caught a small and rather unlucky puka which had dinner tattooed on its forehead. It was sensational eating later that evening.

Pete with dinner
 
Geoff and his team on Arenui are a quality act. Shaun and Todd were excellent company and really knew their stuff. Plenty of laughs and a great environment to learn from the experts. I watched Shaun sew a couple of deadbaits and it really was a work of art.
 
Shaun and a skipbait on the receiving end of his handiwork
 
Geoff has written a number of articles for Fishing.net.nz and various publications and has a good number of seasons in New Zealand and Cairns under his belt. He’s totally focused on making the trip memorable and client focused – the Arenui operation is simply a good example of how it should be done. Plenty of laughs along the way that's for sure.


Shaun and Todd
 
It’s primarily a switch-baiting option on Arenui and day two showed us what that was all about…. Unfortunately Marie had to return to Auckland as one of our family wasn’t well but after arranging travel back to Auckland, we were back on the water by late morning. About 12.45 we had a fish up on the long corner lure and it was teased to the back of the boat. A deadbait was deployed as per plan and scoffed immediately by the stripey in textbook style. The great thing about switch-baiting is you get to see so much more of the action compared to lure fishing and it’s all really close and exciting.
 
Pete was on the 15kg outfit and in about 15 minutes we had the leader. It was tagged, a few photos were taken to record the moment and it swam off it great condition no doubt wondering what the hell all that was all about. It was Pete’s first marlin, caught on 15kg stand-up and he was a very happy boy!  Another great evening (it’s fine dining every night on Arenui) and we were talking about what day three might bring.
 

Check out the stripey keeping a real close eye on that hook!
 
Day three was quiet on the marlin front  - we had one rather lazy fish up but try as we might, it just wasn't interested in our skipbait or a livebait and that was to be our lot for the day as far as marlin were concerned. We were fishing the ‘Garden Patch’ so we stopped for a few bluenose and puka. A pretty serious troll followed that session that but no sign of a stickface. Damn!
 

Nicki with a very respectable bluenose from the Garden patch.
 
 
And a PB puka for Pete.

Back in to Cape Karikari for a late afternoon snapper session and we caught a dozen or so in next to no time while a school of dolphins entertained us in the distance. Nothing massive but a few good eating snapper up to around the 5kg mark.
 
All in all it really was an excellent few days on Arenui with great company from Marie, the Treacy’s, Geoff, Shaun and Todd. The food was sensational, the boat is just a beautiful piece of work and we’ll be back Geoff – we’re already looking at the diaries and talking about plans for 2012!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote carlostairua Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2011 at 4:51pm
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nice pics and report grant, she looks like a primo rig.  (looks like shauns had a few pies and pints in the uk)
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kezza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2011 at 5:12pm
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Top report and pixs Grunta...love that slightly perplexed look in that marlins stare....awesome mate.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Grunta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2011 at 5:24pm
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Kezz - looks like that eye's rolled right round so he can check out the thing in his jaw that's causing all the problems....  really interesting to see how they can do that and guess it helps to have that ability when you're trying to catch a few flighty baitfish for dinner!

No doubt Shaun will be in touch about the pies Carl! A good wide angle lens will have that effect apparently (as will pies and beer of course). Enjoyed Shaun's company and he's a bloody good fisho - learnt heaps.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kezza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2011 at 5:59pm
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Very cool indeed Grunta and isn't pro switch baiting a joy to witness...
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote skidoggg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2011 at 6:23pm
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gooo grunta !looks like a choice trip ,mean as boat and bit of a variety of fish thrown in to boot!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote of2fsh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2011 at 7:58pm
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nice report grunta,weather looks nice as well Clap
2009 and 2010 BERKLEY SOFTBAIT COMP CHAMPS,Runner up 2013 ( solo),winner 2013/14 longest kingfish nz fishing competition
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote photog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2011 at 8:51pm
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Nice report , looks like you had a great time
If I'm not taking photos I'm fishing. If I'm not fishing I'm taking photos, either way I'm having fun.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Catchelot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2011 at 9:11pm
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Great trip, report and pics very niceClap
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." - Jacques Cousteau
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote John_Ra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2011 at 10:22pm
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Rarity indeed G, well done on the pic's & report, nice
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Memorymaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 8:56am
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Nice one Grant !!

a few days away on a great boat with a great crew fishing is a bonus for sure, really good pics as well
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Southern Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 3:19pm
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Ah yes - the "unlucky" puka. I'll teach you that one Grunta - old Otago tradition - hook them on the underbelly to ensure you never take more than you need for a feed. Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Espresso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 3:53pm
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Nice lines on that boat. Good stuff Grunta Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Te Namu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 9:51pm
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great trip report. 
Have now added a trip on Arenui to the long list of fishing "must-do's"

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Striper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 10:01pm
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Great pixs, great report, awesome weather & a marlin to boot, premoClap
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Damo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 3:32pm
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that is a primo rig. I could see myself swapping to a single hull for a gurl like thatLOL

cool picsThumbs Up


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