Recently returned from a great weekend fishing with Coastal Fishing Charters out of Hicks Bay.
An opportunity to fish the famous Ranfurly Banks, another chance to put the Maven rods under some pressure and a fantastic location to get some footage. We know that Ranfurly Banks holds some massive fish, but you need someone to put you on them, Aaron Sargent has been doing this for many years and knows the area better than most.
The boat is a well-equipped 860 Senator named “Strictly Fishing” and it is a machine. We stayed at the very comfortable Waihau Bay Lodge (via, Coastal Fishing Charters) and drove across to Hicks bay early Saturday morning. Aaron and Donny were all setup and waiting for us on the beach. After a quick intro and a thorough safety briefing we were off; light winds and a favorable sea allowed us to get out to the first mark in just over an hour. I had setup both the Maven Light and Medium jig rods the night before; once on the mark Aaron confirmed the depth at 130 m. I dropped a 350 gm Keitan jig on the Maven medium and picked up the first fish around 100 m, the fish were active and we started picking up some well-conditioned fish. The Banks cover an area of over 30 miles and fishing depths range from approximately 30 m to 180 m.
Aaron continued to put us on the fish throughout the day, we lost a couple of big ones but picked up some good-sized fish and some nice Puka towards the end of the day.
After a quick clean up, we drove over to Whanarua Bay and dropped the fish off to Milby to smoke and vacuum pack. The man is well known down there and he does an amazing job, well worth doing so look him up if you’re down that way.
The following day we hit a few new spots and the Kings were hitting the Jigs hard. I had the Maven Light jig rod in action and put away some good fish on it. Lots of fun on the light rod but you do need to be mindful of the action, it needs some care when you’re in a place like Ranfurly. The biggest King went 135 cm and was a well-conditioned fish, many over 110 cm so action for all.
Overall, a great trip made better by Aaron and the team at Coastal Fishing Charters. The option of staying at Waihau and a quick drive over the hill to Hicks Bay works well. The accommodation at the lodge was excellent and the perfect setting for a quick beer at the end of the day. Only an hour to Ranfurly from Hicks Bay so perfect for day trips and those who prefer to spend the night on land...Give Aaron or Tina a call and get out to the banks…
Look forward to getting back down there... Thx Aaron