Fishing can become catching... November 10th 2014

The switch has flicked and we are all go in the Jetskifishing world, everyone is eager to get started for summer! Added in this report is a selection of some smart looking skis which are up for sale.  These skis had been purchased and kitted out by the team at Jetskifishing and have enjoyed many great days on the water.  Their owners are now upgrading and are getting a custom fit out of their new skis at the Jetskifishing Store.

Earlier last week I managed to get away for a night to enjoy a couple of short fishing sessions. I ventured to the Far North where I really enjoy the adventure and challenge of fishing areas which I am less familiar with. These road trips are a  great break away and I always appreciate the versatility when fishing from my custom kitted out jet-ski.

Over my decade of Jetskifishing interest, I have met thousands of people eager to get started with the sport, most wanting to do it once and do it right, who happily utilize my skills and services to set them up from start to fishing. Although it frustrates me that some still try to reinvent the wheel in our sport, it unessisarily dulls their experience with the sport, by them enduring more trial and error than just enjoying what we do.

If you have been struggling or about to get started, here are some straight forward tips to save you the hard yards so you can do more catching rather than fishing.

Key factors to enjoy the sport the way I do:

  • Purchase a late model (2004 minimum), 4 stroke Naturally Aspirated, 3 seater, 155 plus horsepower craft with adequate storage for your necessary safety equipment and fishing tackle.
  • A Trailer which can be beach launched easily.  I personally use the customized DMW rollered trailer which I can easily beach launch and retrieve in tidal areas with little hassle. Often a retrieval will be solo and sometimes an added challenge when there is little water to get the ski all the way to the trailer.  Pivoting rollers and an appropriate winch ratio make for hassle free retrieval off the beach.
  • The Fishing kit which I use is the Ultimate Rod Holder with a minimum of 4 holders .Typically I only take two or possibly three rods, as to not over complicate the fishing adventures with tackle in the way when playing fish 360 degrees around the ski. An important feature of the kits is the rod holders, and making sure they are in practical and easily accessed locations. If considering one of the many other brand kits, think realistic... How many fish will you be really be keeping to fit in your chilly bin? How much salt-ice expense will you require for each trip for over sized bins? How secure are they and can you ride the ski to its full potential without losing the kit or your gear? Are there leashes for all add-on hardware?
  • Safety is paramount, I need to be relaxed and have confidence while fishing to get my best results! I carry a fully charged cellphone in a LifeProof case, 5 watt Handheld VHF, Personal Location Beacon (All these items are available in stock at my Jetskifishing Store). I also support Coastguard services and have membership so I can call them on my VHF when required.
  • Bait - NO dirty smelly bait! I only purchase and use Gulp soft baits, I have from day one, after being introduced to soft baiting 10 years ago, I have consistent success with a selected series of baits in the Gulp colours. Reluctantly after being gifted various other brand soft baits at times to trial and whether it has been slow fishing or inferior product, I haven't seen results to make a sudden change. Currently my 'go to' versions of Gulp are the Nemesis and Grub series baits. There is a great colour selection that our local Snapper attract to and this helps me do more catching than fishing :-)
  • Slow  jigs - with so many brands being introduced to the NZ market, it is a challenge to know what actually is the best bang for buck! I have caught nice Snapper and Kingfish on most brands, you can't go to wrong with what you are using beyond the required weight for your depth and colour that the fish are keener for on the day.
  • Navigation Light, Sounders/GPS units with thru-hull transducers and dual battery systems, all a bonus for building your ultimate fishing machine. Call me to discuss what gear we use and why specific models suit Jetskifishing more than others.

This latest adventure had me fishing areas of 60 metres deep with the Berkley Squiddo - Orange Tiger slow jigs for an 18 pound Snapper on my new Daiwa Sol3000 soft bait set.

Once catching the big one I was keen on some shallow water fishing, but couldn't believe how shallow I would be able to catch big fish in! Only a few 100 metres from the launching point I spotted some birds and bait fish working on the surface in 8 metres of water. Using the Gulp - New Penny 6" Grub, I cast a 1oz jig head about 20 metres, just to land behind the trail of the bait fish. Repeating this technique with a slow retrieve, as to not allow my hook to be snagged on the foul ground, I was striking big fish on light gear. Exciting fishing where I needed to be on my game, catching and releasing many nice fish!

 This was one of the most enjoyable fishing sessions I have had in a long time, so many different species caught and with shallow water fishing for big fish you need to be on your game. Deciding to keep a few fish to take home for friends and family, I also got the bonus of a big Kingfish from shallows.

Sounder/GPS tips


  • Always back up your spots to your chart card, rather than the unit

  • Off the shelf sounder units (unmodified) are at risk of getting water ingress on wet Jetskifishing days from salt water spray.

  • If your sounder/GPS powers down when starting your ski, this is because the supply voltage is going below the required level for the sounder, which can cause a voltage spike resulting in unit damage. To eliminate this inconvenience the Jetskifishing Store offers, dual battery systems installed and the other option is a DIY kit.

  • Sounder rain coats are now available from Jetskifishing, keeping your screen clean, to and from your spots... Also adding the required extra protection to your unit from salt water spray that penetrates the rear of the sounder, email for further information.

Cheers, Andrew Hill

Andrew Hill
Andrew Hill