Trip of a Lifetime

written by Wayne Downer.

The legend of Rob Parker and his Far North charter operation is well known by those that long to catch that big snapper.

He’s a bloke who’s ability to catch monsters is nothing short or spectacular.

For most of us, this sort of fishing is just a dream, that magic fish eludes us for many years, for some it’s not a problem just being out there is good enough.


More on Rob soon, firstly I’ll fill in the gaps.

Our good mate Geoff Bostock, is in the “happy to be on the water” category of fishermen.

Driving his boat, catching a feed and being around the constant banter from his mates is more than enough.

A year ago Geoff contacted Kris Hines and myself and said he had won a trip with Rob, the trip included food at a local restaurant and accomodation for 2 nights.

As you can expect the answer an instant “hell yeah”.

To cut a long story short the trip was put off until just recently, October fishing in Hohoura sounded just perfect.

We set off in Geoff’s Remuera tractor, we didn’t need the radio – as the banter was non stop, from personal insults to political ribbing to just generally taking the piss out of his 4×4 Audi that has never even seen dust let alone mud.

Checking into the house in Hohoura went seamlessly and we hit the hay with dreams of that monster fish.

Now I’m not sure what Geoff dreamed about but it involved Bill English. We met the man, Rob Parker at his boat and from the instant we met there was some serious bullshit and piss taking going on!

Mainly by us, aimed at Geoff’s Audi and Rob’s slim athletic body shape.

It seems Rob’s a famous pie maker as well, I’m pretty sure Rob and myself are related through our mutual love of pies .

With the banter over we headed off, well let’s say the banter was only over till the safety briefing was finished.

After that I asked Rob every single stupid question I could think of, he really enjoyed that especially the one where I asked if everyone will catch a 30 pd snapper.

A short trip up to the “honey hole” saw us set up a drift in the forecast 15 knots, by 15 I think they meant 20 gusting 25 but that was ok we were in the “honey hole” and primed and ready to all catch 30 pd snappers on the 1st cast.

We had set Geoff up with a combo that was sure to catch him a big fish.

An Ocean Angler Microwave rod, 3000 size spinning reel loaded with 20 pd Braid ,25 pd ghost leader and a 1 ounce lightbulb jighead with 7 inch z man nuked pilchard bait.

He was set up to shoot elephants, and it would also pull the Audi out of the mud if one day he accidentally went to the wrong side of town!

We set about casting jig heads in every direction including over the bow, under the bow and into the cabin .

Rob was perplexed by this as In one of the 86 phone calls and 101 txt messages he had told Rob we were professional anglers.

Rob soon set Geoff straight and told him to cast out the back and drag the bait.

Geoff listening to this immediately cast forward again, this wasn’t missed by us and he got an ear full for about as long as it took for the jighead to sink in front of an 8 kg snapper, the fish to eat the bait, some how accidentally hook its self, run away from the reef onto the safety of the sand.

Geoff was intently watching everything except the rod and after enough time for the fish to get it’s self unhooked somehow Geoff realised his line was doing that pulling thing and the reel was doing that clicking thing and he struck the fish with reckless abandon.

It’s was about now that he realised this was no 35 cm Hauraki Gulf pannie.

Watching the semi professional fully retired pro angler deal to this fish in expert fashion brought tears to our eyes.

Rob was in awe of the skill set on show…..

After a spirited battle Geoff has a new PB, around 8 kgs of fat snapper was released to live another day.

The next few hours saw us all catch big fish, it was nothing short of exceptional fishing with a 6 kg fish looked upon as small.

The day wore on and the banter kept going, Rob was getting really worn out as he was in the foetal position making funny mumbling sounds with tears in his eyes.

We left him alone as he looked happy.

The late avo saw Geoff really hit his straps, he continued to catch and release 6  fish that were just stunning fat Red northland beauties.

This didn’t go un noticed by Kris and myself as we were pretty much catching nothing.

It was then that the magic happened.

Geoff was still casting ahead just  like he was told not to, when a steam train hit the bait.

This fish was a step up from the others, the initial run was hectic, Geoff played the fish very well for someone who would normally be having an afternoon nap by this stage of the day.

After a 10 minute fight up popped a fish that was a very special fish, it was obvious Geoff has gone from a previous  PB of 5 kgs to a new pb around 10 kgs.

What a special moment to catch a fish like that with your mates and the good bugger that Rob Parker is.

That fish ended a trip that I rate as one of my best,the combination of good mates and a new one in Rob topped off with a fish of a life time for Geoff.

It seems Karma is a real thing, Geoff won the trip through a competition to support a young girl that was terminally ill.

This sort of thing is very common with Geoff, helping people out comes easy to this imposing figure of a man of over 2 metres tall.

Personally, I would like to thank Judy from Tranquility Lodge and Rob Parker.

If you want to fish with Rob you can contact him on 021 056 2582 or visit his website here 

The 2 day’s we spent in your neck of the woods will live on through our photos and memories for a long time.


Top Man Geoff with his good Karma catch


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