The same but different!
  |  First Published: November 2012

I don't like to do things the same way for too long. I like to change it up and try new ways to target fish. A new perspective on the same thing is a great way to keep it fresh and I often pick up a few new tricks along the way and try things I might not have otherwise attempted. The episodes that are coming up this month fit exactly into this mould.

Earlier in the season I tackled a marlin from my surfboard and while I was out bobbing around I thought that this could be a good way to target the big bronzies that patrol a lot the Northland beaches. I put it into practice later that year with the help of a couple of locals and some blokes with a remote control helicopter. The chopper helped us to spot the fish as they cruised up and down the surf line and then I got on my board to paddle a bait out.

The plan was to try and hook up and then launch the Stabicraft and fight the fish in the deep, but you know what they say about the best laid plans!

I was just back in from my paddle when the fish made all of our decisions for us. It tore off down the beach and we had no choice but to chase it. I don't think I’ve ever backed the Cruiser that fast and it was a good couple of kilometres before I was able to turn around and chase the shark head on. There’s an awesome climax at the end of the episode, and just to prove that sharks aren’t the blood curdling killers people think they are, keep an eye out for my kids.

I also did something I’ve only done once before and that was trout fishing… but again I used a helicopter to do it.

We set off for some high country streams up on the central plateau in the North Island with guide extraordinaire Mike Davis. To be fair, I could be described as a bit of a greenhorn when it comes to trout but Mike had me feeling, albeit not looking, like a pro in no time. Shortly after that I was into a beautiful New Zealand rainbow trout and I was running/falling all over the river trying to subdue the fish. I had to swallow a bit of humble pie that day because I’ve often rubbished trout as a sport fish. But no more, it was awesome!

You’re also going to see if I can train up a replacement for myself when I take some competition winners to the Ranfurly Banks off the North Islands East Coast. Weather keeps the fishing pressure off this place and that’s why a lot of records have been made on the bank. This trip had it all, great company, great weather, great fishing and I’m still not sure if my guts hurt more from the kingfish or the laughing.

Then I get back to my favourite black marlin spot, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. I’m also on my favourite game-fishing boat The Ultimate Lady as we try and get that pinnacle of game fishing, a grander or 1000lb marlin. The guy in the chair has never caught anything bigger than a sea trout before so how’s he gonna handle being hooked up to a rampaging marlin? This one’s got it all with a very big marlin going berserk only metres from the camera and everything is put to the test.

Kayak fishing has become more popular over the last few years and my mates at Viking Kayaks hooked me up with the gear, and then lent me their experience. I was in two minds as to whether I’d enjoy kayak fishing but I’m a convert through and through. I enjoy the ability to quietly stalk your prey, I like how you feel really close to the ocean and nature in general and I like the success rate I’ve had from the ‘yak. This is a really effective way to catch fish and it’s amazingly affordable too.

To round out the month for The Ultimate Fishing Show I’ve got my good mate Jeff with me and I’m pulling out all the stops to get him his first marlin. Jeff’s been trying for a number of years to tick that box and while he’s been hooked up on a few occasions, all on film too, he’s never managed to get one to the boat for a tag. The day didn't go to plan at all and it was getting hard to look Jeff in the eye. That vein on his forehead was starting to pop and the last few hours on board were pretty tense to say the least.

Don't forget to say g’day on Facebook, let us know what you think of the episodes and any fishy tales you’ve got.

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