We had a great summer camp this year at Waikawau Bay, on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula.
This was a new area for me and I was really unsure whether the beach was suitable for a bottom longline but the kids would never have forgiven me if I hadn't packed it.
During the first ten days of camping we had nothing but easterlies so we were confined to fishing off rocks and dropping a longline in close from the kayaks.
We had the usual January results though, caught a swag of fish and put them all back to grow to an edible size.
The first sniff of a westerly saw us off to the northern end of the beach to try our luck with the Kite Longline.
The wind was very light on the first set and the line stalled in the middle of paddle crab country.
There were plenty of those down there. My eyes lit up though to see a nice fat kahawai when we retrieved the line to re-set it.
No way was I allowed to use it for bait, as after ten days of trying the kids were gagging for a feed of fresh fish.
I found enough salted mullet to bait up and this time with the breeze freshening we got the line straight out to around 800 metres.
We waited for an hour and bingo, eight very edible snapper weighing between 1.0 to 1.5 kg.
This attracted the attention of a number of passer-bys one of whom gave the ultimate endorsement for Paul's Fishing Kites when he commented that his camping buddy had come down in a four wheel drive towing "a big boat" with a "big outboard" and al l"the
extras, cost him about eighty grand" he said.
"You just caught more fish than he's caught in a fortnight."
Crying on the inside I put on a straight face and proclaimed that this was just an average day for us kitefishers, whats the big deal?
With the wisdom of hindsight and a great deal of snorkeling and kayaking it has become blatantly obvious to me that I absolutely fluked the only clear patch on the entire beach.
There is foul everywhere you care to look, including hidden reefs that rise 20 feet off the bottom like cliff faces.
I will tell you about the mussels some other time. A few days later a guy lost a complete dropper rig set around 300 metres from where I was fishing so I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten away with a feed and with my line intact.
For those of you with the right gear and the experience to use it over foul, this place would have to be NIRVANA at the right time of year.
I know I will be going back for more. I hope you find this info of some benefit to the site as I would be devastated if the newsletters were to stop.
Kite fishing has become a big part of our family life since Paul Barnes converted a second hand kontiki for us around 10 years ago when he was working from a house in West Auckland
Best regards and tight lines to all Gary Fallon