Sam Naden and Rob Nelson from Paul's Fishing Kites fished Sam's big Two Kite Dropper Rig at the top end of Muriwai last Saturday.
The winds were easterlies gusting from 15 to 25 knots, it had been raining and the swell was around a meter.
They managed to get three sets out over the day.
Photo Below: Sam with the monster snapper caught on the last set of the day near the bombing range
Set One The rip and tide run at the top end is extreme.
Even though they had a Nighthawk Kite and Skyhook on the outside end of the gear it went out at an angle up the beach with the incoming tide until the Super Kite was attached 500 meters back from the main kites.
As soon as the second kite lifted the line up out of the water the gear quickly powered straight out to 1000 meters offshore.
It was a swing and a miss, when they winched the rig back their 20 hooks baited with a mixture of squid and mullet had not even been touched.
Set Two It was about then Rob noticed the rain had discoloured the water for a long way offshore even though the tide was coming in.
After re-baiting quickly with more mullet and squid they let the second set out to 1500 meters, Rob climbed a dune to see if they were past the discoloured water, it looked like they were right on the edge of it so they left it there.
After leaving it set for an hour they winched it back in. Strike two, not one of the baits were touched again.
Set Three - A Home Run For the third set they decided to let the gear out to just over 2000 meters. (Sams winch is loaded with 3000 meters of 65kg mono). When the gear got to 1500 meters they attached a Power Chute kite to lift the last 500 meters of line.
Rob describes the way the rig shot out with three kites (Nighthawk, Super Kite and Power Chute) plus a skyhook as a thing of great beauty, although when the winch spool was locked off the gear was under immense load and the line howling for mercy.
At this point Rob believed it would have been impossible to hand haul it in.
When Rob climbed the dune this time he could see the five litre float well out beyond the mud and well into the blue water.
Lets Give the Winch A Workout
Anyone who has fished a 1000 meter dropper rig knows that the load does not really peak until you have hauled a hundred meters or so of line in.
This is because the float bottle and fish remain stationary untill the drop-line is on the shore side of the float.
The tide had turned and was falling. When Rob and Sam switched the electric winch on, the pull from the gear went from extreme to brutal by the time they had 200 meters of line in.
Regardless, they didn't stop the winch until the first 500 meters of
line was in, and then only to disconnect the Powerchute kite.
This relieved the load somewhat and the next 1000 meters was pulled continuosly until the Super Kite arrived back at the beach.
At this point the load became manageable, but there was still a lot of weight there. Surprisingly, the PFK 200watt winch
motor never even got warm at any point in the hauling.
Finally the float arrived back at the beach, as the hook section neared the shore a huge snapper could be seen flapping on it's side in the surf. They carefully pulled the big fish in with the breakers, letting line go when the undertow seized the fish
and hauling in on the next wave. The set had returned a total of two snapper to 11kg, three kahawai and two sharks from 20 hooks.
Shark Mauled By Snapper
It wasn't until the big snapper was cleaned that the third shark of the day was discovered. Incredibly a 30cm shark was swallowed whole by the big snapper and was found curled up in the fishes stomach. The small shark had teeth so it was not a dogfish,
it was also fairly well digested so the snapper had probably not taken the shark from Sams line.
Is anyone else aware of snapper eating sharks whole?
Top End Of Muriwai After Heavy Rain
On heading back down the beach Rob noticed the really muddy water was mainly near the top end of the beach.
Heading down the beach the area from 10 kilometers north of Rimmer Road to Muriwai Township had blue water as close as 600 meters offshore in
some areas. Next time it rains heavily Rob says he will think twice before heading all the way up to the top end.
(Ed : It's good to see Rob giving his knots such a brutal test. With those kites, in that wind, the pull would have been peaking well over 30 kilograms in gusts even while the gear was stationary. Hauling a five litre float half full of sand
plus an 11kg snapper and a smaller one, three kahawai and a couple of sharks would have added a least another 10kg of load)