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45 hour far north dash!

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    Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 11:42am
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Busted out a 45 hour solo fish and dive mission to the far north last week. Woke at 12:15 am on Tuesday morning and got back to Auckland at 9:20 pm on Wednesday night!!

Launched the Allenco at Houhora around 7:30 am, and slowly made my way to North Cape throughout the day, taking in the incredible scenery and lobbing baits around as I went. Softbaiting was very slow on the way up, managing some panny Snaps and a decent Trevally eventually off Parengarenga.

Decided I'd go for a freedive on my arrival to North Cape to "clear my mind" and WOW! First breath I came across a solid Snapper asleep in a gut, which I could of smoked with the gun, but gave it a chance and it eventually swam off. Next breath resulted in a big Packhorse Crayfish that was released as it was in berry (holding eggs). The next hour or so I caught about 20 odd big Packhorse Crayfish in shallow water, keeping 6 good ones, and releasing some monsters that were in berry up to 4 kg or so.... Bloody good fun!!!

Eventually hopped out and decided to set up for a strayline not far from the dive spot, cutting up some massive slabs of fresh baits to deploy. Cast the first bait out the back and rigged the second bait. Not long after the second bait splashed down the first bait started smoking off. Wound that in but it was only a 80 cm Snapper hahaha. The second bait made it's way into a "snag" during the commotion, and when I managed to free it I wound up a big Packhorse Crayfish that had eaten the bait!! First time I've ever caught a Cray on a line. What a place and a pretty epic first 2 baits!!! I managed to release 77 cm and 69 cm Snaps soon after, and hooked and lost two absolute stonker Snapper to the Kelp.... Very big fish..... I kept some nice pannies and had plenty more massive runs here and there, before I eventually called it a day.

Slept under the stars (side console boat with zero protection) on my new fold out mattress, waking around 2 am or so to find my sleeping bag absolutely saturated by the dew that had settled..... Lol.

The next day I woke to stunning weather and shot out off North Cape to fish for Kingfish amongst the numerous surface schools of Trevally, Kahawai and Koheru. I managed a handful of rat Kings on a jig, pulling hook on one that felt decent size. Only had a few follows on the stickbait....

Decided to go have another swim, jumping in at a new spot. I was only swimming for 5 minutes, and started coming across some good looking Cray country, before turning around to the sight of a pack of 25 or so Kingfish swimming right at me. I lined up one of the bigger ones and placed a good holding shot on it, enduring a real tough 10 minute fight before eventually getting it in my arms. It went around 16 kg or so. Was pretty nervous of Sharks if I'm being honest, and didn't jump back in at that spot with all the blood and guts in the water! Shot down to another spot and nabbed another two solid Packhorse Crayfish quickly for the family and friends, and had another pack of a dozen nice Kings around 12-14 kg say hello.

Made the journey back to Houhora after that, unpacked the boat and packed up the car, then settled in for the 5 hour 15 minute drive back...

What a place and what an adventure! Will remember that one for a while, and I will be back to claim one of those monster Snapper and Packhorse Crayfish when the stars align again one day.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Gungnir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 12:20pm
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Mate awesome write up, enjoyed that one. Thanks for sharing.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Gungnir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 12:20pm
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Where did you anchor up for the night?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Johnny Watson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 1:09pm
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Originally posted by Gungnir Gungnir wrote:

Mate awesome write up, enjoyed that one. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks Gungnir, glad you enjoyed it. I just stayed west of north cape off one of the beaches. Plenty of decent anchorage options in a trailer boat in west to north wind directions.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote spin king Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 1:28pm
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awesome report will be doing the same soon
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Johnny Watson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 1:51pm
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Originally posted by spin king spin king wrote:

awesome report will be doing the same soon


Cheers Spin King, you done it before? If not you will love it if the weather is good!

Let us know how you go 🤙
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Ecko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 1:53pm
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Nice one makes me sad I'm in my office and not on the boat!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Johnny Watson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 1:58pm
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Originally posted by Ecko Ecko wrote:

Nice one makes me sad I'm in my office and not on the boat!


Cheers Ecko. I'm stuck on land today too unfortunately.... Should be some good days coming up around the corner!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MrWildabeast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 2:31pm
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Epic adventure fella Big smile
Here fishy..fishy....
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Johnny Watson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 2:44pm
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Originally posted by MrWildabeast MrWildabeast wrote:

Epic adventure fella Big smile


Thanks again Mr Wildabeast. Will hopefully get a crack at some more Hauraki Gulf Kingfish or Snapper next weekend 🤞
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Snappa Geoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 2:44pm
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Top fishing & write up Johnny!Put in the effort get the resultsThumbs UpIs That Rob Parkers back yard where he nails heaps of big Snaps? Wot are the packhorse like to eat? Beer
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote pjc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 3:13pm
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I can feel a road trip coming on.Well done,solo??
Don't come home without fish,wonder what the lawns look like??
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Gungnir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 5:14pm
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What boat were you in Johnny?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Johnny Watson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 5:27pm
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Originally posted by Snappa Geoff Snappa Geoff wrote:

Top fishing & write up Johnny!Put in the effort get the resultsThumbs UpIs That Rob Parkers back yard where he nails heaps of big Snaps? Wot are the packhorse like to eat? Beer


Cheers Geoff. Rob Parker is based out of Houhora and seems to catch massive Snapper consistently like yourself. I only softbaited out of there on the way up, but got into the big bait groove up around the Cape once I finished freediving early evening. The Packhorse are great to eat bro 👌
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Johnny Watson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 5:29pm
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Originally posted by pjc pjc wrote:

I can feel a road trip coming on.Well done,solo??


Cheers pjc. Yeah solo mate haha. Had a week off between my last job and new job and the forecast was the best in that area. Get up there mate it's bloody wicked!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Johnny Watson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 5:38pm
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Originally posted by Gungnir Gungnir wrote:

What boat were you in Johnny?




Hey Gungnir, it's just a 5 meter side console Allenco. Have done some pretty big trips on her in the last 2 years, and luckily I have not been caught out in anything too nasty so far (touch wood).
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote shaneg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 5:41pm
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well done awesome write up, fishing diving heaven.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rhumbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 7:20pm
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Awesome trip and report. Well worth the effort
I miss killing things in NZ
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote gumboot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 8:37pm
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Awesome. Your a machine mate. big trip
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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: 07 Nov 2020 at 11:21pm
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Inspirational stuff, Johnny. That is a stunning part of the world and you made the most of it. Awesome skills!

You must be a machine driving through the night like that, I guess running on adrenaline in anticipation of the adventure to come.

There's an Aussie guy on youTube who often sleeps overnight on his open 5m dory on the southern NSW coast, diving and fishing. He uses a canvas 'swag' which seems to keep him and his sleeping bag dry even in wintry weather.Might be worth considering, mate?
About 6 minutes in to this vid he rigs up his swag, the top end running off a pole near the bow. 



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