Watch: Chasing the smallest fish in Holden's biggest ute with Beaver
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While it might be up there alongside Pavlova and Pineapple Lumps in terms of their Kiwiana power rankings, the humble Whitebait fritter was one Kiwi delicacy that I hadn't tried.
Because of this, when the opportunity to join one of New Zealand's most iconic Whitebait fishermen at his Waikato River stand arose, I jumped at the chance.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade or so, you'd know why Stephen 'Beaver' Donald's connection to Whitebait is so iconic, they even made a movie about it...
The peaceful shores of the Waikato River are where Beaver retreated to after missing out on the final cut for the All Blacks' 2011 Rugby World Cup squad.
It was upon these same shores that the humble star missed a couple of phone calls from his colleagues due to the fact that he was elbow-deep in Whitebait, only to discover a string of messages once he returned to the boat ramp.
Once Beaver learned about the string of injuries that had led to his name being called upon, he dropped everything, and rushed up the Northern Motorway to Auckland and make the kick that would change All Blacks history.
While kicking life-changing goals on the world stage would be a priceless, adrenaline-filled experience, the appeal of the peaceful river is easy to see, and feels like an eternity away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Due to the watery nature of the activity, getting to each Whitebaiting location could prove to be an issue if your vehicle of choice wasn't up to scratch; thankfully Holden had this covered with the monstrous Colorado Rox.
We quickly learn from our local expert, Beaver, that there are two methods of Whitebating, one being significantly warmer and less wet than the other, and we were to experience both.
The first spot that we hit is at the end of Kariotahi beach, at the mouth of the Waikato River, where Beaver takes one for the team, and jumps in his wetsuit.
Despite the temperature of the cool winter’s morning and nasty wind shipping across the sands, Beaver wastes no time in wading into the chilly waters, net in hand. With this method, it seems that you put more in and you get more out, but the large net wasn't yielding many results.
After following Beaver and his net up and down the beach a few times, we check the net, and we haven't even cracked double figures — bummer.
We climb back into the Colorado Rox, Stephen jumps into his (much more standard) Colorado Z71 and we head out towards the Mighty Waikato River to try our luck at the iconic RWC (can we call it that?) stand.
Upon arriving at the boat ramp we are greeted by Stephen's mate Dougie who has kindly lent his boat, stand, and captain skills to us for the day. After packing the nets, white bread, and five or so Whitebait that were caught on the beach, we set off down the river.
I was quite surprised by the sheer numbers of baches that line the banks of the river, and condition that they were in. Stephen mentioned that battles over territory and Whitebait channels do occur, but the community spirit seems high.
After pulling in a few more of the little critters at Dougie's stand, tummies start rumbling, so we decide to migrate to Beaver's batch. Unfortunately, this was the exact time that a hail storm rolled over, so the fire was cranked at the batch upon arrival.
Over the years, Beaver has become quite the Whitebait fritter connoisseur and assures that his trusty recipe is sure to please. He wasn't wrong, eggs were cracked, fritters were eaten, and good times were had.
Look out for the full off-road of the Holden Colorado Rox rundown in the upcoming Driven Off-Road Special Edition.