mandag den 5. april 2010

Bait-Dorthe & the Pig Fish...

Hey everyone,

It´s been awhile since my last update - sorry about that, been busy with traveling and fishing. Below is the story of my saltwater trip. If you wish to read it in danish go to

The big saltwater trip took place around North Cape and Cape Reinga, which is the northernmost point of mainland NZ. We had driven the 7-hour trip from Auckaland to Northwind Lodge, a deserted hostel 6 km down a dirt road where we stayed overnight and met our guide, Nikolaj. The lodge was a very pleasant acquaintance. The hosts, John and Cathy gave the place a relaxed ambience, and the two marlin-mad (= huge huge fish) Copenhagen fishermen who also lived at the hostel, told great fish stories. Nikolaj went out fishing with Sebastian 4 years ago and now Sebastian comes every year and he has his own boat. Sebastian's friend had met Sebastian at the hostel 3 weeks ago. Instead of going to the South Island and fish, he was now a fixture at Sebastian's boat. They were really into this kind of fishing. I, Johannes, had heard many stories about the explosive nature of saltwater fish, and was really excited - so excited that I slept very loose at night.

Dorthe had decided to go with what she wouldn´t come to regret.

6:30 am we ate breakfast and an hour later we drove towards Parengarenga Harbour on the east side of Northland, where Nikolai is the only fishing guide authorized by the local Maori tribe to rally out. Fantastic morning - leaving with huge white sand dunes in the background. We sailed the long trip around North Cape and further west to Cape Reinga. On the way we saw flying fish (really cool animals), penguins and a single dolphin. We looked after the schools of birds on the water to find fish. Birds eat the small fish that larger fish are chasing up to the surface. We found a bunch of tuna, which unfortunately would not take the fly. Later we found a huge school of Kaharwais, which Nikolaj sailed around, so I could throw my fly to them. It was wild to see a bunch of fish the size of a swimming pool following the boat and my fly. Bam, the first fish took the fly. A nice fish around 2-3 kg. Damn, those fish are strong. My 10-weight fly rod bowed way down.

Nikolaj said that one of his clients one day had done a 'grand slam' in two hours. The term covers a snapper, a trevally, a kingfish and tuna. In addition, the customer had hooked a little blue penguin! I hoped that I could do the sane, with the exception of the latter of cause. We anchored below the lighthouse at Cape Reinga, a place where Nicholas often catch huge travallies. However no trevs were biting, but a bunch of kingfish were cruising near, attracted by our burley (bag of old fish hanging behind the boat. You pull it to create a scent trail in water). I caught here my first king, not the world's largest (they are caught up to 40-50 kg!), but a 3-4 kg is alright. The fish took a popper right behind the boat, without me stripping the fly into. A popper is a fly with a cork in front. It floats and makes a lot of noise in the water when you pull.

A greater king took the fly and my rod (read Ulrik´s rod) bowed perfectly. Those fish will not give up. The rod touched the railing for a split of a second - and an unpleasant sound later the rod was five-piece, not four-piece. Despite the broken rod, we managed to get the fish in. About 6-7 kg, I´d say. Dare not think about how to get a twenty kilo fish up from the depths.

At one point I asked Dorthe if she would pull the burley. As she draws the bag something gray comes to the surface. Something big and gray. Dorthe bursts out: "Nikolai - behold, there is a whale ..." and I was just about to dip the fly in the water (it could indeed be a big kingfish), when Nikolaj smilingly corresponds: "It's not a whale, Dorthe, it is a shark. ". A baby white shark, and Nikolaj was very excited because he had not seen one close to the boat before. I was frankly kind of scared with the situation, as the shark the next 15 minutes circled around the boat, while Nikolaj was trying to grab the tail of it with his bare hands! Dorthe was also very enthusiastic and shot a lot of pictures.

Well, I was not on the water to catch sharks, so we sailed back to North Cape. On the way we saw fly fish again, perhaps the world's coolest animals, and suddenly we saw some huge splashes 100-200 meters from the boat. A marlin (read huge huge huge huge big fish) jumped clear of the water 6-7 times. Nikolai stood silently looking. Not an everyday experience, since these fish usually only jump out of water if they are hooked. Before this experience we told him that we have a magical ability to attract spectacular nature sights, by which he agreed with us.

Next stop was Nikolaj´s snapper spot. "Here is always large snappers", he said. Before long I hooked the first, but no big fish. We had retained some Kaharwais that would be used as bait. Dorthe were given a rod with a large piece of fillet on the hook. 10 seconds later a fish took the fillet, Dorthe tightened the line up and exclaimed "what should I do?". The rod bent perfectly, she rolled in, and to the surface and a proud girl came a snapper in a massive size (3-4 kg). I was just a little envious. And no, I did not manage to catch a bigger one.

Dorthe´s next cast resulted in a truly beautiful and colorful pig fish - its mouth resembles a pig's snout. Dorthe is getting a bit keen on angling, which pleases me greatly. Bait-Dorthe, I call her sometimes with a twinkle in the eye.

The trevally and tuna were still not landed, so we sailed back towards Parengarenga where we would try in the entrance. Unfortunately, the waves were here too large, so we ended up hooking a couple of snappers inside the harbor. Here we saw some great stingrays.
A long day was ending as we drove back to our hostel again. I considered to take another trip the day after, but I chose not to because the weather forecast did not sound great. The next day my body felt as if I had been beaten up the day before, so I was happy with my decision.

Afterwards we drove to Cape Reinga, where we stayed at, what must easily be, the most amazing camping ground on the globe. White sandy beaches and cliffs on both sides for 5 kiwi dollars each. Out on the rocks went Johannes and a sausage of burley which the seagulls would like to put there beaks in. For a long time there was not much happening, but suddenly kaharwais stated chasing baitfish in front of me. A long throw and a strip - good hook up and the fight began. A kingfish around 6-7 kilos had taken the fly. It had a companion the same size at its side. I managed to drag the fish onto some weed three meters below me. My (read Ulrik´s) 8-weight rod was did the job. As I took hold of the leader to lift the fish up, the tip of the rod broke. Big-time bullocks , because it was the last rod, I had with me. Sad I met Dorthe on the rocks.

Before we heading back to Auckland we drove out to the lighthouse on Cape Reinga where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meets. A mythical and magnificent place where you feel very small.

At this moment I am considering a trip to the Coromandel east of Auckland, where fishing should be really good. I must catch king on my new 10 weight before we go home.

torsdag den 11. februar 2010

Down to the river...

We went back to where we had the fantastic fishing (last post).
Two days, 5 fish each, but smaller fish and tough weather conditions.
Forgot to dedicate fish in last post, so check update!


onsdag den 3. februar 2010

What a thrill...

We have been blessed! 

Great weather and big fish rising to dries. In four days we landed at least 6 big fish (8 pounds and bigger) and many smaller. Enjoy the pictures below - they tell the story.

Cheers Johs

Dedicated to Nicolai Kristiansen, from whom I borrow a spare rod, on which I caught the fish above in first cast with the rod!!

The big beauty above I must dedicate to Rick and Lynn Vandertie. Thanks for everything - you are one of a kind, some of the greatest people I ever met.

lørdag den 23. januar 2010

You're young, so I bet you're a fast striker...

..., said Steen before I left Denmark. Today I learned the lesson - I think.

Sunshine and fish rising to my cicada fly. 13-14! takes, 9 missed before I finally got it right. Landed another fish and lost a couple more. What a day. First fish on dry in river. Saw the fish, short cast, take, count to three - action. All fish took green foam humpy size 6.

The beautiful fish above is dedicated to the lovely Dorthe K. Joergensen.



onsdag den 20. januar 2010

More pics...

The finnish guys!

Lake Tekapo

Fishing in the evening

Marko hooked up


Markus and rainbow

Cheers, Johs


Hi there,

Finally took my time to put up some pics from the last weeks with the finnish guys. One of them, Marko, leaves today, so I'm continuing the trip with Markus.

First fish landed, dedicated to Steen Larsen :-)

Second fish, luckily caught, around 5 pounds, good fight, dedicated to Jesse L. Robbins.

More pics to come, have to buy more internet.


lørdag den 16. januar 2010

Hook up....

Hi there,

Greetings from Queenstown.

Caught my first fish now, or actually a few. Got a nice one around 5 pounds. Will put up pics later (internet expensive here). That was a lake fish - now I'm trying to catch one in a river.

Great weather and mountains,