Joy, I knew it had woken SWMBO up; so by 04:00 – the real wake up time – we’d not really got much more sleep. Heading out of the driveway a fuse blew in the car; taking out the interior and rear lamps. I decided to risk the 10 minute trip down to the bay --- but I also know that I’ve got a wiring issue on the boat trailer… anyway the launch was uneventful and soon I was powering through the dark. We needed fish for dinner so I’d decided to berley the crap out of a reef that I’ve been spending time sounding lately. The outgoing tide made it a pretty good proposition.
I’d also thrown my live bait tank aboard; last week’s John Dory had tasted so damn good… Before 05:00 I had berley in the water and a cloud of piper and mackerel were darting into the berley; down with a sabiki and soon a dozen mackerel were swimming in the tank. I pinned one through the back and he went over – johnny trap set. The first snapper that came aboard had picked up the bait and swum up-current so was lightly hooked; back he went – even though legal there’s not much on a 32cm fish. The next fish was lightly hooked also – after the cast and drop the line went slack and I wound hard to hit a 40cm fish that went onto ice. Nice. The sun came up and things were looking good. I was busy checking the livie when I noticed that my 10kg rig had gone slack…. I reeled in and hit when the weight came on and the fish charged away with the nodding run of a good snap.
I fought him hard over the reef and knew it was a good fish as piper sprayed out of the water as he charged around the place and then finally I had him boat side – I’d need the gaff for this one… as I reached for it, the hook pulled … for a moment of helplessness the fish lay there as I tried to grab the gaff… but a thrash of the tail and he was gone. If only I’d been paying attention and had got a good hook-set… Another couple of pennies were put back after that and all too soon the tide had gone out. It was time to move, so I decided to go and scout for bait balls. Despite plenty of sign I only managed to jig a couple of goatfish.
That was my signal to pull the pin and go. Home and a quick fuse change-out… I’m sure that there’ll be more to that particular story yet [read; re-wiring].