I have recently purchased 2 Nucanoe stand-on-top kayaks. The model I chose is the Frontier 12. I began talking with Gordy Hill (the NZ distributor) about the potential these craft have on the Golden Bay flats as a Saltwater fly fishing platform. He assured me they would be fantastic.
I did a little research on the Nucanoe and watched the videos I could find online. I immediately saw them as being a deadly weapon here in Collingwood. The ability to be silent through the water is a huge benefit as I believe there is scope to target other species other than Kingfish. Trevally and Kahawai and possibly Snapper make an appearance on the flats and being able to sneak up on them in a silent craft is going to be an important thing. The kingfish do not seem to be too bothered by a little sound but the other species are very shy indeed. As well as saltwater flats fly fishing there boats are excellent for softbaiting.
Being able to stand up on these very very stable boats is going to add distance to your cast. The elevation these boats provide is also going to put you onto more fish. While wading in waist deep water The shots can be few and far between depending on the day. Once standing 6 – 7 feet above the water the range of visibility is greatly improved. The day I took my Nucanoe for a quick spin I had 4 separate shot at fish in a 20 minute period whilst my wading fishing companion had not seen a thing. This was very illuminating to me. As a saltwater fly fishing guide I need to be providing my clients with shots at fish and the Nucanoe is going to do that for me.
I have spent quite some time trying to flip the Nucanoe over – I have failed dismally! I have jumped off the vessel and re-entered from waist deep water and have not been able to even make it come close to flipping over.
The Nucanoe comes with a huge amount of accessories. I have purchased the “stand-up” angler package. This comes with a rotor grip to hold my paddle/pole whilst casting and a casting bar which doubles as a rod holder. The casting bar is essential for the fly fisherman. It will provide you with extra stability. The rod can be left laid out across the bar with the line stripped from the reel to allow for quick shots. The Frontier 12 also has the ability to fish with two anglers at once!!! This is going to be huge for me as a guide. I can be at the back with my pole or paddle or even an electric motor (there is a bracket on the back for this) while spotting opportunities for my clients. I will be able to cover big distances in a short amount of time – once again more chances for my clients.
With the electric motor I will also be able to head a short distance offshore and target Gurnard or Snapper on softbaits…. this keeps me in the good books with the family when I return home with a feed of fish.
I also feel these could be quite good for duck shooting.
These craft are going to be a huge asset for any inshore fisherman in New Zealand. Saltwater fly fishing in New Zealand is a rapidly growing sport and for those of us who are pioneering it the advantages of being able to cover ground quickly and quietly as well as providing an elevated position to cast and spot from is going to be a game-changer.