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Night kayak fishing in the shallows

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With daylight savings back I can now get out on the water for a quick kayak fish after dinner and tucking down my kids for the night.   Most anglers will know that change of light can produce good results and this is when I like to fish my local in the shallow reefs off the beach.

Last night here at Stanmore Bay I headed out around 7.30 leaving me about 1hr of daylight which would allow plenty of time to paddle the Viking Profish 400 onto the reef where I planned to set my drift and float fresh baits over the weed on the change of light.  Which resulted in a nice snapper for the dinner table and a few smaller throw backs.

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TIP – Lights are essential

For these sessions it is essential to have a good all round white light like the Railblaza Navisafe light mounted to a Telepole to get it up high. This light works both the make sure I am visible to all boat traffic and is bright enough to attract bait fish which is useful when looking for some fresh bait. I also carry either a head torch or powerful handheld torch both for working lights and for navigating the shoreline when coming back to the beach.

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Technique – stray lined fresh baits

During the daylight in these areas I mostly only have success at high or outgoing tide, at the change of light I can have good success no matter the tide using the following technique. Firstly locate the reef using your sounder, it is shallow enough that you can actually look over the side and see the reef but the sounder will help set your drift position so you drift just on the edge of the reef rather than directly over it or too far away.

Using fresh baits on a 4/0 PFK Target hook I stray line over the weed line, if weight is added it generally gets snagged.  For bait I use either a Kahawai or mullet purchased at the supermarket on the way home, if time allows I will try to catch bait out there under the light. The bigger snapper will come out of the weed and tentatively take the bait, I will let them run 3-4 times before setting the hook. 9/10 trips in this environment will get a result of fresh snapper for the dinner table with the occasional very large snapper ending up on the line.

From the time I load my kayak on the C-Tug trolley to walk to the beach to the time I am walking back up the hill with fresh snapper I would have been out no more the 2.5-3hrs (mostly less). Staying only just after dark which would see me back inside an washed up by 9.30/10pm. Looking forward to sharing more trip reports like this and enjoying fresh snapper on the BBQ during the summer nights!

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