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Wonderful Rangiputa: dolphins, sharks, skippies...

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    Posted: 25 Apr 2019 at 6:44pm
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The Far North is a magical fishery, with great opportunities for people like me with a small boat. So for the past few years I’ve tried to experience a brief taste of it – with fishing combined with a family holiday.

This year’s trip to the Karikari Peninsula during the first week of the school holidays was the second with our little FC465 runabout. What a fantastic journey it turned out to be.

The weather, which I'd anxiously watched in the lead up to the trip, blessedly included two glassed out days with almost no swell, allowing me to get well out into Rangaunu Bay. I usually fished in close first thing, then moved out to about 18m when the sun got up about 9am. When the wind blew up, I happily fished the Rangaunu Harbour.

Being solo or with my 5-year-old, I didn’t quite have the guts to head for the islands near the tip of Karikari, but I was sorely tempted on those flat days.

The week highlights included:

  • Catching my first skipjack tuna ever, and on softbait, with the family aboard – we came across a work up of fish porpoising and I mentioned to my wife that they didn’t really look like kahawai and sure enough they weren’t. Such a beautiful fish, and it went like a scolded cat on softbait gear. It took a 3.75” Z Man Smokey Shad on a Z Man ‘Trout eye’ jighead I got from the US (see pic below). I really like the look of that rig, and the hook proved to be plenty strong enough (the 'trout' are a salt water fish they get in Florida, not the fresh water ones). I've since caught a bunch of anchovy chasing kahawai up to 55cm on the same set up.
  • Being befriended by a pod of really big (3-4m?) dolphins which seemed to love zooming around my bow. If I throttled back they swam away, when I accelerated again, back they’d come (pic below).
  • Hooking what I presume was a kingie while winding in my 7” Bruised Banana fast at the end of a cast (the hook unfortunately pulled after several long runs which make the reel and braid whistle – nothing like it!). Gutted that didn't stick.
  • Driving over a monstrous grey shark near the harbour entrance reef marker, clear as a bell in mirror calm conditions, on the bottom in about 6m. An eye opener!
  • Tangling with a number of the region’s famed trevs on softbaits, two just over 60cm, and several in the high 50s. They're powerful fish on light gear and are stunning in kokoda and as sashimi. A real treat.
  • Seeing dozens of healthy honking korora (blue penguins) out on the water after the sad sight during last year's trip of dozens of dead ones on Tokerau Beach.
  • Taking my little fella out and sharing the stunning sight in crystal clear water of a dozen or so stingrays and leopard rays swimming away from the boat as we puttered away from the beach.

My best snapper of the trip was a tick over 9lb, on the Z Man Streakz Curly Tail in ‘Midnight Oil’, but the last fishing session showed how awesome the area can be for small boaties. Due to the narrow shape near the entrance, the Rangaunu Harbour can still be fished from a small boat with confidence in strong easterlies. With the help of a good sea anchor and a 3/4oz jighead, I landed more than 20 keepers and a big trev in two hours – all on the 5” Atomic Sunrise which they attacked as it reached the bottom in 8-9m across the flats.

A very special trip which will provide great memories for the winter months to come.







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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote White snake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2019 at 11:36pm
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Nice report.so great being able to share those memories with the young fella.The far north truly is a magical place.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Far Quirk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2019 at 8:48am
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Once again a masterclass in report writing with some great tips and techniques - liked.
Far Quirk - I'm goin' fishn!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Catchelot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2019 at 3:49pm
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Nice one TK and good report.
"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 Troutzilla Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2019 at 4:13pm
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Nice one Lester!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Speedy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Apr 2019 at 2:03pm
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That’s outstanding mate! Love family camping / fishing missions!! We stayed at Matai for the second week of the holidays - and while we didn’t have those glasses out calm days, we had plenty of opportunity to fish rangiputa, whatawhihi, and Matai - all with good results too.

Small boat paradise.... and beaches and scenery to match...
Proud supporter of Ronald McDonald House & the team at Legasea

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 8:51am
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Thanks for the positive comments everyone. It's nice to have a reason to get down on 'paper' a record of fun trips.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Clifftastic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 10:49am
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Cracking photos and delicious looking fish....kokoda..yum!
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