Enjoying the full Jetskifishing experience... 20th January 2015

One of the most enjoyable experiences we have while Jetskifishing is the exciting road trips throughout the country. If you already have your ski kitted out with our products and it's on an easily towable trailer, there is no reason why you can't experience adventures like mine.

I have a couple of my group social trips in the Coromandel planned for later next month. So with this fast approaching I headed up to the venue to organise a few things before we all hit the road as a group and drive up together in a few weeks time. This was also the perfect opportunity to take the family up there to enjoy the surroundings and at the same time go for a fish.

From my home base in East Auckland, the trip to this beautiful spot is a scenic three hour drive. This location is a hidden paradise, with fifteen luxury lodges set on an 800 acre block of native flora and fauna.

Nestled in the Tangiaro Valley with native bush surrounding the whole resort. The sound of hearing the local kiwi adds to the ambience of this unique base for our trips.

Launching options are a leisurely five minutes drive from the resort, with the choice of two beaches. From both beaches you are able to launch off the sand, yet the first beach requires an all wheel drive car, as it is softer sand. It often helps to speak to locals or observe someone launching first, saves embarrassment later. As you see, when backing in the water, I park the car on an angle, this helps with traction when pulling out of the water.

Along with the location being so peaceful and remote, we gain easy access to some of the amazing fishing spots our country has to offer. On a good weather day, Great Barrier Island is within 15 minutes riding, and with other choices on offer such as Cuvier Island and Channel Island. My youngest son Cooper came along for this adventure, no chance of rejection as he gets as excited about riding the ski with Dad, as he does about the fishing!

The benefit with fishing any area, like Great Barrier, is that it has less fishing pressure which increases the chances of catching a new personal best Snapper. The area we fish has seen many people who have joined us on my "Goes Wild" social trips, catch their biggest Snapper ever, my fingers were crossed for Cooper!

Over the years, I've observed so many people get started with our fun sport, yet spent money in the wrong areas and miss the basics. Often they never get to experience the sport to its true potential and don't ever get to catch that fish that inspired them to get started in the first place. That's why these road trips are the best experience money can buy, after already investing in the expense of kitting out and owning a ski, coming on one of my social trips is a breeze. Everything is arranged for you, in the prime location where all you need to do is fish! Guests learn as much off the water in good company about rigging gear, techniques, and how we hunt the fish. The great meals, meeting like minded people, safety in numbers on the water is all a bonus while enjoying a holiday! I know catching a big fish is the real focus and thankfully this usually happens for most who join us on these experiences.

Below is one of the large areas which we have had great Snapper fishing over the last few years on our social trips. Anyone who is coming on the Goes Wild 6.5 and 7 trip next month, I will forward a more detailed map of where we have found the best fishing.

On this trip, Cooper was eager to catch a big fish. The best strategy for him was to fish an area where any decent fish could not easily bust him off on foul ground. We located structure on the sounder where we could see fish holding and then fished the drop off area, with the drift going to deeper water which also helps to avoid any frustrating snags while mastering soft baiting. My current pick bait for good sized Snapper is the Gulp - New Penny 6.5" Grub. In depths of 35 meters plus, rigged with the Berkley 2oz Elevator Rig, helping the bait to sink easily in the strong tidal current. As Cooper's experience increases his technique is slowly improving, needless to say he is pretty proud of himself, as now he is well capable of casting his bait and allowing for the bait to sink through the water column to reach the target fish area below the ski. Within the first quarter of an hour Cooper soon had a few Snapper on board which was very worthwhile after an early start with Dad.

Cooper still eager to catch a bigger one and now even more excited about Barrier fishing struck another solid fish! Keep in mind, you will need to be more patient with the 'big one', as the bigger fish pull plenty and are much more aggressive. One of the great things you get to experience while Jetskifishing is being so close to the action. I was able to offer plenty of words of encouragement, while also trying to refine Cooper's technique:
•the importance of allowing the fish to complete its runs without the fish's head shakes gaining more momentum than the angler.
•if possible let the fish fight down current away from the ski, don't try fight it with the rod tip bent under the ski, risking the braid rubbing on the edge of the ski. (expect on the initial fish strike, you may have to lift your rod tip over to the other side of the ski, often happens if the fish hits your bait on the drop...)
•lifting the rod the moment the fish stops its run - this is the opportunity to gain the upper hand on the fish.
•do not lift the rod too high - you don't want to point load the rod tip or create too much slack line on the next wind...
•next, when lowering the rod, retrieve as much of the braid on the wind before the fish makes its next run.
•being familiar with the drag pressure on your reel makes the battle easier. Knowing how many tweaks to release or add drag to speed up the fight and tire the fish out.

The moment you see the colour of the fish coming to the surface, is the time to stay calm. Getting the fish in the net is just as much of a challenge, plenty of nice fish get lost at the ski!
•Guide the fish to your net, leave the bail arm open so if you drop your fish, you won't break the rod tip

Cooper did great and the smiles and excitement are another one of those great father and son moments why we take our kids fishing.

With a new personal best for Cooper we carried on fishing to see if he could land anything bigger. The next fish he hooked was a monster, screaming braid and too much for him to hang on to it! Even with some help from Dad, I too didn't manage to get on top of the fish, such an exciting area to fish! We then called it a day and headed back to our lodge with Cooper enjoying cooling off at the local water hole after a rewarding day out on the ski.

Another awesome road trip in a very special part of our country. If you are keen on joining us for this experience, come catch some fish with myself and a great bunch of jetskifishos at our next social trip later in the month. Only a few spots left, sign up before you miss out on a spot jetskifishing.wufoo.com/forms/goes-wild-65/

Andrew Hill
Andrew Hill