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Jason Grimmett

Wellington Kayak Fishing

From my earliest memories, I've been fishing with my father, starting as a toddler on his boat and from the shore in Tinopai up north. I would catch crabs for his bait and gorge on rock oysters. I even hid a shark under my pillow at the age of three.

As I grew older, I began saving money to buy my own fishing rods and reels for spats, then progressed to surf casting gear. During my high school years in Whangamata, I fished and dived along the coasts, accessing areas others couldn't because my father was a forestry manager. I caught crayfish in ankle-deep water, paua in knee-deep water, and plenty of fish.

I still recall my father's advice that "big baits equal big fish." His preferred bait for snapper was whole big Kina or a half bonito head, which consistently yielded 16 to 20lb snappers, with his largest being 24lb. I surpassed his record in 2016 with a 27lb snapper caught in Pukerua Bay, Wellington. This achievement led to an opportunity with Jackson Kayaks, who approached me to paddle their kayak, and Catch offered to sponsor me to go #nobait, marking a new chapter in my fishing journey. I've been honing my skills in jigging and soft baiting, learning how different species respond to various techniques.

I've enjoyed the evolution of fishing lures, from jigs to the development of hard body lures and hybrid soft-hard body lures. We established the Wellington Kayak Fishing page and community to share stories, adventures, and meet new people to fish with, as well as to offer advice on setting up new kayaks.

My fishing expeditions have covered a vast area around Wellington, from Foxton Beach on the west coast to Castle Point on the east. While I have my favourite spots and marks, I'm always eager to explore new terrains and update my maps with fresh structures and reefs.

Working on the water has always been a part of my life, from offshore fishing around the world, handling 200lb gear to catch Mahimahi, tuna, small marlin, cobia, and various species in Australia, to spending weeks exploring Fiji and its islands, catching a multitude of different fish. Nowadays, I fish whenever I can, whether from a boat, kayak, shore, or even the tug boat at work. Fishing is my passion and my happy place, my sanctuary.

My son has now embraced the passion, walking the canals along Australia's coast, and my daughters love to join me to fish and catch mullet, piper, and mackerel.

I'm looking forward to the coming years as the fishing seasons heat up, sharing this passion and the joy it brings with my family and the wider community. #theoceanismychurch

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