It has been a long time between reports, my apologies for that but it isn’t always easy to get a decent report out. I recently met up with a Fishing World reader – Gareth from West Coast Boat Wraps. I have seen his work and it is pretty good stuff.
It is very cool to catch up with people that read these reports and he told me that my writing inspired him to fish the harbour more often. That was very humbling and it is nice to get such positive feedback.
After a bit of an extended break we’ve got stuck into fishing big time with a week of The Nationals, our local three day CSFC Classic and the occasional harbour fish all in the last month, For those who don’t know about The Nationals, it is a nation wide fishing comp between clubs run by our governing body the Sport Fishing Council of NZ.
Points are awarded for certain species and the way things are set up means that light tackle caught fish are rewarded, especially for those that exceed line weight.
We targeted snapper on 2kg and 3kg line between 8 and 11metres off the west coast and managed first and second in that line class for snapper with some 6kg plus fish.
There are no prizes in The Nationals, it is simply club vs club. It is certainly one of my favourite comps.
The Nationals run for a week and I would have liked to have put in a whole week but circumstances ruled otherwise.
Bloody cyclones! I spent 4 days clearing fallen trees instead. Apologies for those who were harder hit.
In my time as a recreational fisherman I’ve heard more than my share of hard luck stories and nothing is as good as the classic ‘the one that got away’ story. Sure I always regard those stories with a touch of skepticism because let’s face it – we all love a good story!
This time however it was a little different because I was there and saw it first hand.
My fishing buddies Phil and Carey (in the image above with his class winning snapper) have both caught some epic fish on light gear.
A near 7kgsnapper and a tope I estimated to be 20kg easily falling victim to these guys.
Then the big one struck.
Just before we were ready to up anchor and head in, Phil had hooked up on a big snapper. So had I, or so I thought.
After a couple of headshakes my fish headed toward Australia at a great rate of knots. It could have only been a mako. My line parted moments before being spooled. Meanwhile Phil was still hooked up to his fish.
Over the course of at least 30 minutes this fish circled the boat at least 50m out. He controlled the fish perfectly and I had the net ready and waiting. With only a short distance to go, the snapper turned and spat the hook.
I’ve seen my share of snapper and this was the biggest one I’ve ever seen, making it 25lb plus. Gutted, but also happy to see a real horse all but get there on the skinny string.
Needless to say Phil and Carey fished there two weeks later for the CSFC Classic and got up on stage for some well deserved prizes. We managed a day prize for a 10lb harbour snapper that just didn’t make the grade for an overall prize.
Both the harbour and the coast have obviously been fishing well with those results!
There are plenty of game fish around with yft out deep, marlin in around 120m, especially off the river bar and some huge albacore, I landed one at 8.8kg but it was nowhere near the money!
That albie was eaten but while I’m not a huge fan of smoked albacore as it tends to be very dry, the smoked belly flap was superb.
Get out there and do it because the best is yet to come.
Take care, Smudge
This Manukau / Auckland west coast report is supplied by Michael "Smudge" Parker and supports the Counties Sportfishing Club