Our Return to New Zealand

I have been pretty bad about keeping up on the blog, but I made a promise that I would at least do a post after each of our shoots this season, so here goes the first post from our 2012 shooting season.

Our first shoot of the season was in New Zealand, a return trip for us. This time we were invited to join our friends from Ocean Kayak in the inaugural Ocean Kayak; Kayak Fishing World Cup and then to spend a week of fishing some remote areas. How could we pass that up?
our first stop on the trip was a visit to the Ocean Kayak factory to pick out a kayak.

Hmmm Which one do I want

I decided to try out the new Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.3 in lime green. We spent some time rigging the kayak up with Scotty Rod Holders and a Humminbird fish finder.  Before heading out for a week of fishing I took the kayak down to the water for a test paddle.

Loaded down for a test

I added some sand bags to simulate the extra weight I would be carrying. After the test paddle I decided to add a rudder to the kayak because we were expecting quite a bit of wind and a rudder would help while offshore.

The weather overall on the trip was filled with wind and rain with water temps in the high 60’s . I was glad I brought my Exofficio rain logic jacket and my William Joseph waders. It sure is nice to be warm and dry in those conditions.

Our next stop was a local tackle shop to get a broken rod tip fixed as well as pick up some local knowledge and a few lures.

picking up some last minute items

Before we would get to fish I was asked to do a presentation for the local kayak fishing club, sharing some stories and some of our videos.

Talking once again

The tournament was a two day event with over 200 kayak anglers. I had no illusions that I would win or even contend against the locals I just wanted to catch a few fish and have a good time. In such a beautiful country that was not too difficult.

We spent some time just hiding from the wind but found some great pockets along the coast where we could still get on some fish.

Not a bad place to hide from the wind

I spent the tournament fishing with Jason Walker of Ocean kayak, he managed a few snapper I caught fish but none were target species in the tournament.

Jason with a tournament Snapper

The tournament was a combined event with the Kayak Fishing World Cup as well as a boat and shore tournament. This was a huge event with a lot of competitors. We could not have been happier than to have our friend Jai Sanders win the Ocean Kayak World Cup. Jai paddles hard and fishes hard and worked his tail off for the win in the tough conditions.

Everyone waiting for the awards

Jai with the Ocean Kayak ; Kayak Fishing World Cup

After the tournament we headed north with Tony Free, Jason Walker and Jai Sanders to do more fishing in some less pressured waters. The target species were King fish, aka Yellowtail and Snapper. I was stoked to have a new quiver of rods and reels from Okuma for the trip. The Makaira and Cedros reels really put the hammer on some big fish.

All geared up and ready

Fishing the soft plastics for Snapper

Nice King on our one calm day

On our down time we spent time just telling fishing stories  and enjoying our trip.

Serious discussions going on here.

Jai Fishing the Rocks

Jai hooked up again

We had a great trip with an awesome group of guys, I can’t wait to go back


  1. Was great to have you down here again Jim, some good times were had, and we are looking forward to next time already!

  2. It was great to meet you on the beach at matai Bay Jim. Good luck & be sure to visit us again soon – there’s still plenty more fish for you to chase here! Derrick, NZFisher.co.nz

  3. How did the Ultra 4.3 hold up? And another thing… I’ve been a long time follower of yours and I’ve learned a lot from your videos and stuff i have read I hope one day to meet you! keep it up!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks for the kind words. As to the 4.3. I like that it is a fast and comfortable kayak with a lot of features. The down side to that kayak for me is that I weigh 225 pounds and carry a lot of gear plus a live bait tank full of water. With all that weight the 4.3 was just a little small for me. I do great with the 4.7

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