Northern road trip

 Northern Road Trip-
What a week.
  Time flies when you're having fun ,on leave so headed up to Kerikeri Sunday pm and gave Ambo a call ,soon having a coffee with him and planning a fish next morning off Opito Bay.
Fairly crisp first light start had us out testing the local waters and though slow initially Ambos supreme confidence in the local wares soon started paying off-Top Guiding effort thanks mate  
Though a bit reluctant to drag myself out of warm sack I was sure pleased I did when after playing tag and release with Ky a reasonable panny came up followed by a lively Trev.


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Felt a few good testing takes then managed to stick one and Ambo could hear my celebrations from the other side of the bay as this 5kg Snap showed me some northern hospitality-
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Beaut conditions great company and a power of fish that I offered around at the camp and fed a whole bunch of happy campers.
Local knowledge guru got a good feed too :y: 
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So a good start for sure ,had a few communications issues with my old cell phone jacking it in, so off to get a new one and check out the place then headed up past Matauri Bay for a look but fairly windy so kept going and ended up checking out a few spots then stayed at HiHi opposite Mangonui for 3 nights.
Wind and Swell had kicked in from NE so a few paddles up towards Berghan Point but she was Gnarly and I stayed in close and got smoked numerous times by humungous head shaking beasts :o 
All good sport for sure keeps the interest up :y:
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The gear was certainly getting put to the test and frequent re rigging needed!
Wind ,rain and all the bizzo slowed me up so headed to Whangaroa Hbr and went for a tiki tour out to the entrance picked up a few and one round corner from Kingfish lodge.
Very scenic have to do it when the weather is more conducive-
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Very slow fishing at times but pleasant stay and good fish would come to smash me up occaisionally but a few kept. The locals took my frames one day to bait their cray pots  
Thought they were going to claim customary-
Time flew and good cabin to stay at night ,then the lure of the mighty Karikari peninsula across the bay got me so off to hook up with KiwiladBrad and the troops-
First stop you guessed it Matai Bay on the Friday and a very pleasant day spent but big ground swell had it stirred up and caution needed around reef surf.
Got a few goodies and added to my tally of prodigious bust offs and braid cuts when speaking of cuts  (read his post) ,as I was engrossed in dispatching a fish a voice from behind startles me and Hairy little Dwarf cruises up and says Gidday.
Good to meet you mate , then Sk8e8 came over for a howdy as he had got a lift with HLD.
Got a massive birdsnest with witness so the Salina back in the bad books! 
Got 2 4-5 kg snap and 3 others so all good as weather 4cast a bit dodgy for the Sat so thought I'd better make the most of it.
Back to Top 10 camp and met Brad ,Spraty, Rosewood,Sk8e8 & family,and Mental ,Snapps later.Top crew and great company  
Great set up at camp good cabins and fish cleaning area -excellent
Even better with Kiwiladbrads generous sharing of his accommodation prize with us absolutely brilliant .Thanks heaps.
As Mental said in his report we split into groups,some staying to fish off camp.
With Snapps turning up bright and early keen as to hit Matai, Rosewood and I did that too.(Local knowledge thing again  )
Conditions had actually improved from previous day and amazed at how quick the water there clears up. 
Fishing was definately slow tho and much persistence and patience req. with the SE kicking through briskly and fish were off the bite  
Snapps toughed it out way out in the middle of the bay a fair bit from what I could see and Rosewood flagged it about lunchtime as it was none to pleasant out there.
I couldn't believe how quiet it was after being dealt some telling blows in the shallow sheltered areas previous day so parked up had lunch and contemplated fickle finger of fishing fate along with licking my wounds (braid cuts from being reefed heaps)and taking stock of my diminishing resources.  
Saw Snapps and Rosewood leave but knew from previous day tide run might help so as wind wasn't letting up fished some shallow inshore sheltered areas as when heading thru shallows for smoko spooked a snap in knee deep water.
Couple of drifts inside island showed promise with a few pannies and KY feeding then got smashed again by a huge fish,did the patience thing and tried to wait for it to come out but no coconut  
Far too sporting with all the rocks and weed for em to break me  
Running out of jigs ,but the Twinpower was on the old Dropshot when on last drift back towards launch spot out in more open area a gentle take suddenly developed into something with a head shake that left no doubt he wasn,t happy then the sweet song of the Shimano peeling line .
Turns out it hooked in the tip of his top lip and testament to the reel and that as a good battle ensued finally getting him worn out and gaffed with very jittery hands after good slog fest.
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Back to camp as late in arvo now well pleased to find boys contemplating going back out so a quick look at this fish they put to sea smartly ;) 

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