Fishing Report - Issue 944

06 Apr 2021

In this week’s fishing column, Whitianga resident, Brent Langridge (also known as “Boppa”) talks about his success with kayak fishing in the Whitianga Estuary. “Fishing in the estuary is very good at the moment,” he said. “Change of light is always the best time to go out, but other times when visibility in the water isn’t that good - for example when it’s overcast or drizzling, or it has rained the previous day - will also give you a better chance to catch snapper and kahawai.

“I normally get into the water at the Robinson Road boat ramp, directly opposite where I live, and head straight for the mangroves. I use squid for bait and a chicken pellet berley trail also helps. The water is only two to five feet deep in the mangroves.

“The past few weeks I’ve caught my bag limit every time I went out. I love cleaning and filleting fish and few things give me as much pleasure as giving some of what I’ve brought home to family and friends.”

When asked if he was concerned about sharks in the estuary, Boppa said that he has spotted a bronze whaler or two before, but he’s not too worried. “They’re not bugging me,” he said. “That’s also one of the benefits of a chicken berley trail as there’s no blood to attract the sharks closer to me.”

Having sharks in relatively close proximity in the water isn’t a new experience for Boppa. He was on board the charter vessel Te Ika Nui when it sunk in the Kaipara Harbour 21 January 1995. Six men were on board at the time. Boppa was one of four who survived. “I ended up in the water holding on to a life ring with one of the other men, not knowing if we were going to be rescued,” says Boppa. “That’s when I spotted the shark fins. It was a very unsettling, especially as the other man had a bleeding head wound. We decided to move as little as possible, which may have helped us not attract any unwanted attention. Fortunately, after an hour in the water, another charter boat came by and we were hauled to safety.”

Pictured: Whitianga resident, Brent Langridge (also known as “Boppa”), is having good success with kayak fishing in the Whitianga Estuary at the moment.