Clayton’s fishing competition 

The night before I couldn’t decide wether to go sailing or not. I had been watching the weather, 10-15 knot southerlies dying out late arvo and light winds Sunday.

Saturday morning came round and I still hadn’t decided, I checked the Waikato Yacht Sqaudron website because I thought a fishing competition was coming up soon. Bugger me it’s today! It was already 8.30am and I’m sitting on the couch in Hamilton.

My mother in law Karen was keen to come for a sail/fish so we headed for Kawakawa. Stopped for the usual bait, ice, food etc on the way.

We soon had Corvina floating and ready. The wind was light and sheltered at the ramp, out in the Firth I could see some white caps from the unhindered Southerly.


We motored out a little and I put up the full sail, the wind was so light we only crawled along trying to get out away from land towards the Open Firth. 

I ended up starting the motor to hurry up and get out to the wind, this is a fishing comp after all and it’s nearly lunchtime already.


Out past the point the wind was strong, stronger than I had anticipated. Some of the gusts would have been well over 20knots, I like these conditions but not with full main and #2 jib. We didn’t have time to go to far so I settled on a patch of birds out in the distance. 


I had to loose some sail, the gusts where making it a bit of a handful. An “unfortunately timed” wave crashed up the side and soaked The mother in law. Oops sorry about that I said.

Karen is not a sailor and had a very concerned look when I said “here drive the boat I’m going up on deck to put a reef in and change the jib” 

I said maybe you should grab the auto helm from in the cab.


I set up the auto helm, explained what to do if I fall overboard – another concerned look- so I put on my life jacket.  Then I said when I call out you pull this red rope and lock it in this cleat. 

I went up on deck dropped the main a bit, called for red rope, then pulled main up. A perfect and efficient reef in, I went and changed to the smallest jib. Corvina sailed along nicely under control of the auto helm the whole time I was gone.


We came across the bird patch and dropped anchor ready for the fishing session to begin.

The snapper where biting hard and fast, every bait dropped was instantly attacked. At first small ones then they increased to nice pannies.


The fishing was going so well it wasn’t letting up. Even catching regular doubles.


I didn’t have time to get many photos. If I put the rod in the holder it would bend over in seconds.

I had to keep my bait out of the water while I tried calling the club on channel 77, is anyone on channel? Where are we meeting? I bought sausages! 

Karen hooked a good one that pulled hard. Up came a Kingfish, only just under legal size so back in it went. Not long after I hooked something heavy. Up came another Kingfish, again just under size by a cm.

I still hadn’t heard from anyone, so out a message on the face book site hoping to find out where we are doing the weigh in.

The snapper continued coming in, then my reel starts peeling line, this ones good I said and it was another Kingi. This time a keeper!


I still hadn’t heard from anyone, back on the radio, hello anyone?? Checked face book, sent a couple of texts.

The bin was looking pretty full, we had planned to bring a good catch home to feed a few hungry families.

We decided to just head into Chamberlains and if not there motor  down the Waiheke channel searching the bays and back to ramp if unsuccessful.

Lucky last bait goes down, and again  instantly it’s attacked. This time it peels string and puts a good bend in the rod. Another Kingie I call out as I battle it up to the boat. But to my surprise a pretty decent snapper comes into view, I’m going to need the gaff please! 


By this time I’m pretty sure I’ll single handedly clean up the entire competition! So I put a photo out saying I have the winner!


A few minutes later I get a text saying it was canceled last week, an email went out!……

Argghhh well, fish for tea and at least I’m off the couch I thought. To be fair I would have released that snapper, I don’t usually keep the bigger ones.

With some effort I pulled the anchor, my arms must have been tired from all the fishing haha that’s my excuse anyway. It seemed way heavier than usual.

We sailed back towards the ramp as best we could going into the wind. 


When we got to Ponui I set up the auto helm, started the motor and lowered the sails. 

Heading across towards the ramp as the sun was setting and the wind dying away, was a nice way to end en epic half days sailing/fishing.


We got to the ramp before dark and put Corvina back in the compound. On the drive home I figured out why I hadn’t seen this email. 

Obviously when they saw my catch they canceled the competition and sailed off into the distance……lol


Next morning I got stuck into the job of filleting the catch. 


And had some much earned Kingfish steaks for lunch.


The fish are out there, and sailing to and from the chosen fishing spots is a really fun way to go about it.

Author: gulfwanderers

Just an average kiwi bloke

2 thoughts on “Clayton’s fishing competition ”

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