The fishing close to home is brilliant at the moment with water temps increasing as we lead into summer. As much as it is inviting to fish locally for a feed of Snapper, I aspire for the more challenging trips. This adventure I was eager to fish the legendary fishing grounds of Mayor Island at the Bay of Plenty.
The drive is a scenic, hour and forty five minutes from Auckland and always a great sight when arriving at Waihi Beach to see Mayor in the distance.
I am very familiar with the area, as I holidayed there a lot in my earlier years. This trip had me using the access way of Anzac Bay, at Bowentown to launch my FX HO. The beach is hard packed sand and if launching with an all wheel drive vehicle it isn’t a problem. Keep in mind at low tide you may be limited by the amount of water to float your ski to the trailer, sometimes you need to be prepare to remove the trailer from the car and tow it out via a tow rope.
Once leaving Anzac Bay it is quick navigation to exit the bar which I had previewed earlier from up at the look out on the hill.
The ride out to the island is 30 minutes on a good day and on this occasion I was close to an hour, due to a strong south-easterly wind.
On arrival at the island it was pretty baron, with only one boat in sight. It is a special place with so much to offer in nature, yet you really need to be prepared for everything with safety. I, myself operate a Jetskifishing Tracking system, mobile phone, 5 watt VHF and PLB, keeping me very well prepared for any unexpected scenarios.
The fishing was hard going throughout most of the day. I decided to mechanical jig to target the Kingfish. It can be quite frustrating when you can see the fish on the sounder and they don’t want to play ball. I caught a few small rats mid way through the day and spent a lot of time searching the likely spots with no reward.
The day was coming to a close and by the movement of the other boat nearby he was having the same lack of success also. Once circumnavigating Mayor, I came across that same boat again to see them at my last ditch spot... It wasn’t looking good as I saw them retrieve a Barracuda from the deep!
While I was watched with disappointment, and with the possibilities of more Cuda lurking below, I drifted over a blackout of Kingfish on my sounder!
I dropped my jig and it was smashed within 40 metres into the water column. The fish was an easy retrieve, though being 10 kilo plus it was swiftly released for another day! My ideas were of bigger fish so next drop, I got the hit and a solid fish it was, 30 seconds later, busted off with broken braid...
I knew it was a decent fish and there was no time to be retying knots and miss the other fish below. An impulsive decision was made to step up the challenge and catch a good Kingy on the lighter gear, my Daiwa Sol set.
The following video tells it all!
As captured on video, what an awesome experience and fortunately a great outcome. The fish was placed in the “Ultimate Catch Bag” and I was back home to Auckland with a big smile after landing a new Personal Best on the light gear.
Cheers, Andrew Hill - The Jetskifishing Guy