|95 cm Kingfish on a #7 trout outfit and cassette reel|
I've been salt water fly-fishing for years for Kahawai - Arripis trutta - aka Australian Salmon. I use a 5-7 weight. Last Summer I got on the Kingfish chasing bandwagon. These are the next size class up of salt water predator. Fly-fishing for them them is getting very popular in NZ since Anton Donaldson started writing about them, and guiding for them in the South Island.
I won an 8 weight fly-rod as part of the prize for taking out the heaviest fish category at the Lake Coleridge Opening Weekend competition in 2016, so I took this rod on a week long trip to Northland at the top of the North Island on my Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, the rod, which shall remain nameless, broke on one of the first days I fished with it. Luckily I had my #7 weight outfit along with me as a back-up rod, and so I was able to keep chasing the Trevally and Kingfish on the flats.
Conditions were tough, with no-one catching much. I camped out at one renowned location for 3 nights, and despite constant angling pressure from many fishermen, no Kingfish were caught. All along the East coast and the top of North Island the reports were the same; hot, still conditions, and very little fish activity.
On the last day of my fishing week, I was passing through Whangarei, after visiting my cousins Cameron and Nathan Adams, who are renowned sea fishermen. Nathan Adams specialises in swordfish and marlin, and also holds the all tackle IGFA World Record for the heaviest Bluefin Tuna! For a job he hand makes Red Gill brand trolling lures which sell for up to $300 each! Check out his Bluefin tuna here; http://www.gameandfishmag.com/fishing/new-zealand-man-may-have-world-record-bluefin-tuna/
Cameron told me about some spots around Whangarei, so off I went with about 2 hours left in the trip.
I went down to the beach at the mouth of the harbour and after some exciting sight-fishing on the flats caught this beauty on the #7 trout outfit. The reel was an inexpensive casette type, and I had to apply a lot of the drag by palming the reel!
After that experience I was hooked on chasing Kingfish on the fly.
Since then me and my mates have caught a bunch of other large Kingfish.
|My First Golden Bay Kingfish, early 2018|
In July 2018 I am off to Fiji to try my hand at GT's - Giant Trevally, and other species of Trevally which inhabit clear tropical waters there.
I've got a new Sage 8010 Pro saltwater reel, one of their biggest, top of the range ones. It's got 5 different gears, and I can choose the setting that I am after by just turning a dial to a certain number. This will enable me to instantly go from a light drag setting suitable for pulling line off the reel, to a precisely set heavy fighting drag.
After my experience palming the cassette trout reel, and using various borrowed reels this summer, and losing fish through fiddling with the drag knob mid-fight, I've realised that you need the best reel you can afford for the salt.
I don't want to go all that way to be messing around with unsuitable equipment. I did a test week salt water fly-fishing with the new reel, at the end of the season, and was very happy with it. Even the Kingfish guru Anton Donaldson was impressed with it.
Thank you again to Tore at Fly Tackle NZ for the support with this top quality Sage and Rio tackle.
I'll be travelling the mainland on my touring bicycle too, which should be really fun.