Hapuka Hunt off a Kayak

To go deeper than those before me , that was the goal as Ashley and I set off for Bare Island on the Hawkes Bay East Coast. We were hunting hapuka and were prepared to go deeper and further in our kayak than had been done before.

Our fishing spot was some 8km offshore at a depth of 90m

The fishfinder showed good bait down low and so we set rods , mine with two large blue mackerel strips up on my rod along with a small hook near the sinker just in case there were some smaller mouthed fiish who were keen to bite in this depth.

The fish came fast – a mix of spiny dogfish and some really large Gurnard out of the deep water.

It was straight into bites after they settled down in 86 metres and I soon was bringing up the first fish: A surprise gurnard and a really good one a bit over 1 kg. That small hook was worth it! Both Ashley and I continued dropping lures and baits down picking up a mixture of I knew in the back of my head I needed to push wider to find better structure, but having a safety conscious mind led me to stick it out in this area which the bait was sitting in. Hapuka have really been hammered off this coast so if I were to get one it’d likely be a juvenile. But in this depth, there was a chance amongst the bait so I kept fishing in hopes that one would find my hooks.

A huge pod of dolphins could be heard in the distance and soon an estimated 3 – 400 individuals were jumping past; we got a close up encounter with the edge of the pod and the many stragglers lagging behind. Very cool to see some many in one huge group!

I began to catch too many dogfish, so I pulled up the rods and headed south to a local wreck in 87 metres. To my knowledge I doubt anyone has paddled a kayak to this mark. I know for a fact pup hapuku are caught here so I sent down the baits along with another rod with some Tarakihi hooks.

I quickly pulled up three Tarakihi and was happy that the effort to paddle out here was worth it. No larger fish came to the baits and after about 10 drifts across the mark it was getting towards 3pm.

With still not a breath of wind it was the perfect day to be out wide off the coast. These fish are going to be a difficult one, and some degree of luck is going to be needed to get a bait in front of one of the few that are left out here. In my mind paddling another 5km to 110m won’t likely make a huge difference. The joys of paddle power!

It was 5pm as I touched land again, ending an 11hour day in literal perfect conditions. It was warm for this time of year and best of all I had a big bin of tasty fish.

Share this post :


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Create a new perspective on life

Your Ads Here (365 x 270 area)
Latest Stories

Subscribe our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates direct to your inbox.


Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates direct to your inbox.