A few years back the southern end of Pakiri beach, where it meets the marine reserve line of Goat Island, used to be one of my favorite fishing spots for both kayak and kite fishing.
A good mate Dave Clark showed this particular spot to me.
Even though encounters with small mako sharks were a daily occurrence - either seeing their fins scooting past - or feeling the thud of them knocking the kayak from below.
It was somewhat disturbing, we carried on regardless and managed some incredible catches.
Recently while filming with 20/20 and National Geographic regarding my encounter with a huge white shark last year I decided to reinvestigate this location with Dave Clark, Peter Vesetolu and Garry Franklyn.
It was a great days fishing and filming and obviously is still a top fishing hotspot.
Despite the fact the film crew constraints meant we had to fish over the top of the tide and in good light we still caught a few snapper between 3 and 4 pounds even though this is the worst time to fish here. Had we fished when we wanted - change of light with the tide running - I am certain our catch would have been more like the previous trip (see photo left below).
Best Fishing Area
Locating yourself just on the Pakiri side of the marine reserve line you will see a green shed in a small valley adjacent to the reef.
On an incoming tide dawn or dusk is the go here and I set my kayak long line across the face of the kelp.
Personally I like to use sacrificial weights either end of my long line in case it snags.
I use a variety of Target Snapper Hook traces.
My preference is five 5/0 floating bead traces, then five normal 5/0 traces all the way along the line.
I have found this mix of traces to be very efficient, the floating bead traces will deploy the baits higher than the normal traces and they drift naturally with the movement of the kelp.
It's a bit like stray-lining half your baits and bottom fishing the rest.
Right: the catch from the previous trip.
On bright days we have found it best to stay in line with the landmarks above and head straight out as far as the seaward side of Goat Island.
Out here the deeper water and current is much more appealing to shy snapper when conditions are clear.
As part of the 20/20 program Paul attended the autopsy of this 3 metre great white shark.
The pic on the right shows the three metre long great white shark prior to the autopsy.
When the syomach contents were exposed it was found to be chock-a-block full of whale blubber.
Paul was amazed at the huge size of of the sharks liver which filled most of the gut cavity.
He was also suprised at the tiny brain in control of such a powerful animal brimming with such formidable weaponry.
Below : A close-up of the jaw and teeth of the great white shark at the autopsy.