Otumoetai Channel Ultra-Light SWF Kahawai

A stunning sunrise over Tauranga Harbour. So good to be out on the water at the crack of dawn.

Otumoetai Channel and Waikareao Estuary Ultra-Light SWF Kahawai – Tauranga, Bay of Plenty

By Dick Marquand

It was another solo mission out to the edge of the Otumoetai Channel at first light. The tide was getting towards the last of the outgoing and my hopes were high. The moderate westerly wouldn’t be too much of a problem.
 
I was armed with my Speedline Oracle 5’7″ #0 S-glass, Sage Click III, LeiChi WF1F, Maxima Ultragreen 3.0 pound leader and a #8 orange krill fly.
The orange krill fly is a great pattern for kahawai.
The orange krill fly is a great pattern for kahawai.
 

Ultra-Light SWF Tips

If you are interested in ultra-light fly fishing for kahawai using very light leaders (such as 3.0 pounds), here are a few tips to assist you. This is what works for me.
Another nice kahawai on the little glass #0. Otumoetai Channel, Tauranga Harbour, Bay of Plenty.
Another nice kahawai on the little glass #0. Otumoetai Channel, Tauranga Harbour, Bay of Plenty.
 
The Sage Click III is in my opinion, the perfect choice for ultra light fly fishing. Saltwater fly fishing. Otumoetai Channel, Tauranga Harbour, Bay of Plenty.
The Sage Click III is in my opinion, the perfect choice for ultra-light fly fishing.

Fish with flattened barbs to give you easier hook penetration. Ensure that your hooks are as sharp as possible. Check the leader and fly as often as possible. I do so after every five casts. When you have an eat, gently come up tight and raise your rod. Retie your fly after each fish and each fight. I hope these tips are of assistance.

I didn’t have to wait long before the krill fly was eaten. The hookup was successful and the fight was strong. I slowly backed out to the water’s edge and eased the kahawai onto its side.
 
The hook was in the gills, so I carefully removed it. There was no blood until I tried to release the kahawai. It was pumping, so I decided to keep the fish. This happens from time to time.
 
My mission was accomplished, so headed to my vehicle. A quick outing, but very satisfying.
 

A week earlier I fished the Waikareao Estuary

 
Pretty kahawai dink hungry for my orange krill fly.
Pretty kahawai dink hungry for my orange krill fly.

I fished the Waikareao Estuary today 5 July 2023, in the pool just above the Chapel Road bridge for the last of the outgoing and the first of the incoming. The wind was difficult and there was a sediment suspension in the water from all the recent crappy weather.

 
Tauranga Harbour's Waikareao Estuary viewed from Maxwell Road.
Tauranga Harbour’s Waikareao Estuary is viewed from Maxwell Road.
 
My gear of choice was the same as above. My Speedline Oracle 5’7″ #0 S-glass, Sage Click III, LeiChi WF1F, Maxima Ultragreen 3.0 pound leader and a small orange krill fly. For murky water, I will usually choose a black or an orange fly.
 
The Sage Click III is my favourite reel for ultra light fly fishing.
The Sage Click III is my favourite reel for ultra-light fly fishing.
 
The kahawai dinks were keen to eat, and I had a ball. On my little glass #0 rod, they are so much fun. I would be very happy to spend all day fly fishing for Kahawai dinks.
 
So much water for the fly fisher to prospect. Waikareao Estuary.
So much water for the fly fisher to prospect.

Open wound on both sides and blind on the right eye. It's missing about two pounds of muscle. Waikareao Estuary.

Open wound on both sides and blind in the right eye. It’s missing about two pounds of muscle. Waikareao Estuary.

One big fish was caught, but it was in poor condition, and blind in one eye. I should have killed the kahawai, but I put it back to let nature deal with the problem.

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