Huge West Coast Snapper
by Andrew Blomfield
It was a magnificent day. The sun had not yet awoken and the sea was calm. But not for long as the Blomfield mob had ambitions of gathering seafood aplenty.
Now, the funny thing is, Ross actually had a dream, a premonition even, of hauling a giant of the ocean, a 35 pounder in fact!
We headed out wasting no time as we skimmed the motionless water. We then realized that we had started our trip so early that we were up before the birds were, but never mind, we carried on to our usual hunting ground…Whale Rock.
As the sun rose over the eastern hills, no fish were being caught. But that didn’t discourage us. We moved around to find some good territory. We also spotted the occasional shark, just missing the prop of the motor, luckily for them as we needed the bait.
Mid morning rolled around and still no action, but as the sun burnt of the morning cloud, things began to heat up.
We found a massive pod of dolphins cruising through the bay, apparently not so good to eat and hard to catch so we left them be, but then Greg spotted some gannets diving close by. He headed over to see what was going on. There we found a massive school of bait fish below us. There had to be something under there. Several attempts only presented us with small fish that were not quite legal.
As we continued fishing the bait in the water began to attract some good attention – for us anyway. The bigger, ‘keepers’ started to roll in, myself taking the first decent fish of the day (among other’s) and managed to get around eight good-sized fish.
We decided to retire for the morning as we had to pick up some dive bottles that had been left in Whangarei (nice work Greg), had some lunch, and then headed out for the afternoon stint.
The wind had picked up and it was as rough as your mother. The boat was fully laden with dive gear, bottles and passengers but our trusty vessel, ‘4play’ ploughed on like an old steed. We decided to go back to the previous spot where we had been successful earlier, this time with proper bait and a burley bag. We were set.
Fizz, whizz, zizz, the rods were making all sorts of noises but they all sounded promising! My rod was just about bent back on itself, HAHA! WOOHOO! YEEHA! Were phases to follow! Everyone became very excited. This was easily the biggest fish of the day, around 14 lb and in good condition. What a catch! It was a beauty!
But this glory was short lived. Ross’s rod suffered the same reaction to mine and was a promise of good things to come. He was peeling line almost as quickly as a 20lb snapper, but still very exciting stuff, and after a few minutes of playing around, he hauled the beast in.
We were all elated. It was awesome; it’s not very often that they are caught that large anymore. But our day was not over yet. We cruised over to our usual and consistently good supplier of scallops spot and got enough for a feed.
We then retired to the “ Bayside Mansion ” for right royal feast of Snapper, Scallops, Crayfish and Mussels accompanied by good friends and a spot of rum.
Not a bad way to spend the day, especially on a Tuesday!