Monday, October 21, 2013

You'd never believe me

If I told you that the sea area between Kawau and Tiri was being churned up by maybe 100 boats, you'd call me a fibber. Well, normally you would be right. The reason for the fleet was easy to observe; thousands of gannets bombing into bait shoals pushed to the surface by marauding dolphins. Underneath all of that should've been masses of snapper. Tony and I headed out in The Booger just after a glorious sunrise, leaving martins Bay in our wake as we headed across to and past Motuora.

Its no real secret that the workups are on, and with a fine day forecast it was to be expected that a few boats would be out. it started quietly, with pods of dolphins here and there hunting for bait. We soft-baited and jigged respectively, waiting for signs of workups. The first couple of hours were slow and then WHAM, the dolphins hit the "let's eat now" switch all across the bay rapidly circling bait shoals and carving them up.

Gannets began to circle, then mass up and then bomb. At first the work ups were sporadic and fast moving; several times we set off at full noise but just couldn't get there in time. As the day warmed the workups moved from sporadic to steady. Kahawai joined in and we had some epic fights on light gear. But where were the snapper?

By 10.30 a fleet had amassed and every workup had an attending armada; even so it wasn't too crowded out there (which may describe how wide spread the workups were) and we had time to work up wind and drift into carnage all day without too many hassles with other craft.

We worked hard for our snapper; taking 5 legal fish up to 2.5kg, a couple of gurnard (Tony) and a swag of kahawai. At times I wished I'd taken the fly rod as horse sized kahawai chased bait across the surface...

Home with plenty of time to clean gear and fish, and prepare barbecued snapper. Yum.

Tony rigs something mean in the name of snapper catching

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