|A winter kingy for the smoker
Mercury Islands 30 May 2009
|There have been too many excuses not to go out lately - weather, a cough, the cold, kids, work... but this was a long weekend and we had a competition scheduled, so we headed for Whitianga on Thursday night. Grandparents awaited to baby sit the kids - they are the best!
My wife Sarah has been giving me grief about not enough fish in the freezer - and having just taken delivery of a new chest freezer last week, it was still yet to be plugged in - I do love a challenge!
Sarah and I headed out on Friday arvo in her dad's old 17 ft Haines Hunter, first trying Korapuki Island, then Bumper Point. The weed edge at Korapuki was encouraging, as I got buzzed by three kingfish of about 15 to 25 kg almost immediately, but they didn't stick around. I was using one of Kolt's prototype pole spears which seemed OK but it didn't get much of a challenge. There was not much action at all, so we shot a few koheru at Bumper Point.
On Saturday we went on a kingfish mission: Whale Island, Red Mercury, both clear (10 m vis) but no fish. I grazed a spear off a small snapper only. I had switched to my big Crist pole spear with the icepick sliptip as I was on a meat hunt and didn't want to risk losing anything big. My favourite rock at korapuki was covered in idiot-stickers, so I took the quieter inside reef instead.
A huge current was barelling over the reef which was quite a challenge to make headway against once swimming, but there were only a few baitfish zooming through. Sarah elected to stay in the boat and warm up this time, which was just bad luck for her! Finally I made it to the front of the reef and my first decent dive looking over the edge brought in two kingies of an average size, but quite fat.
I took the larger option. It is amazing how this big spear just reaches out and touches fish! The fish took off dragging 30 metres of floatline and plowed my large 'plat' half way underwater. After a couple of minutes, I worked the fish in, confident that the shot was holding thanks to the sliptip. The fat fish weighed in at 15 kg, not particularly big, but perfect size for me to smoke tomorrow morning so I can take some fresh smoked fish to work for the lads. And the rest, of course, will have to go into the new freezer.