Summer has started a bit slowly; or at least I've normally had my first kingfish trips underway in November at the latest. But, the tail end of the year got jammed up with all sorts of stuff - including of course some epic trout trips - so I've no real reason to complain.
We're 3 days back from almost a month in California, so that explains the lack of trips over the Xmas break.
Jase and I decided to hit the harbour mainly to look for snapper on the reefs, but should a kingi opportunity turn up we'd packed the big guns. A northerly played against the outgoing tide to make the water a bit lumpy but it was warm, sunny and pleasant. We chugged here and there checking out spots that had produced in the past, but bait was scarce although signs of kahawai or kings (I'm picking small kings) moving mid water showed on the sounder. We rounded the reef and mooched up into the shallows and began to cast into water ranging between 0.8 - 2m. The rip and breeze moved as at a pace that allowed us to cover the holes. I had a sink tip on and hooked a few dinks that pulled surprisingly well for their size. We fished in a most relaxed manner for a couple of hours until the tide flow stopped.
We decided to burn a bit of gas and look for kings. As we got into a channel I said to Coch "mate, I've never seen a king there but have a shot". A few casts later and he had a hit and got a good hook set. The fish charged off and so began 20 minutes of toing and froing. At first I called it for a kahawai as it ran high in the water column, but as it didn't do the trademark leap I changed my mind.
The fish began to circle to boat as we drifted into deeper water and at about the 10 minute mark came up to look at us.
We were looking at a well legal fish, no wonder the #7 was doing it tough. Again and again Jase raised the fish with as much pressure as the rod could exert, and again the fish would run down deep and circle. We began to drift into quite a busy channel so I was busy taking shots, watching for traffic and staying at the ready with the net. Finally the leader came into view and I was able to net the fish.
Boom! High fives all round! That'd been a tough bit of angling and a worthy fish lay in the net.
After that we decided to run out of the harbour to a reef that almost always holds fish. Nothing home there. Next we looked at some channel markers and both achieved hook ups but were each dealt to in short order. Really for that style of fishing I should've broken out the #11... but who cares. The run back into Auckland harbour against the setting sun never fails to relax me. I love that sight as much as any I've ever witnessed.
Summer fishing is here.