For the last day of winter I headed out for a night fish here to my local beach with Mike from RAILBLAZA … we had some wild seas the days before which usually means there is plenty of sea life dislodged on the shallow reefs making a natural berely to fish over…these stormy conditions also made the water quite dirty which meant lures where not likely to be as effective so I purchased a fresh kahawai for some cut bait to stray-line over the reef and some for a set of the kayak longline.
After trolling a bibbed lure and Mike flicking some soft plastics, both with no success, we made the switch to baits. Mike drifted over the reef while I set the 12 hook kayak longline… With little happening, even with the baits down and the light from the sun almost gone a very large moon appeared over the land prompting Mike to say… it was the moons fault..”they say never fish a full moon” he said.. with that he threw some bits of bait over the side of his kayak, close to my straylined piece of kahawai… bam! just like that fish on… a short battle and I had a nice 40cm snapper in the insulated fish bag (while I was busy landing the fish & laughing about Mikes full moon theory my landing net fell over the side and quietly disappeared to the ocean floor!)
unfortunately that was about all the rods produced other than a couple of snags… so with it now dark and getting a little cold I picked up the longline (which was set very near where we where fishing and using the same bait we had on our rods)… this longline only has 12 hooks (most boat longlines have 25 hooks which is the legal limit) which makes it easier to manage from a kayak or small boat… 3rd hook in and another nice snapper (hows that full moon looking Mike ;-).as I dealt to that fish i could feel the line tugging again, a sign of more snapper on the line…6th hook in sure enough another good snapper…after all hooks where in we had 5 fish in the fish bag, 4 from longline 1 on the rod….
I put this success down to the fish being very tentative on the bite and even though we were stray-lining, we were drifting fast. The longline baits were stationary, perhaps the moon played a role? either way we got a nice feed for the last day of winter with enough fish for both of our families to enjoy some fresh snapper over the weekend … we look forward to spring and summer fishing her in NZ… see below short video from our session,,
What we dont see in the video or in the pics is Mikes introduction to surf landings… Stanmore Bay is not known for its surf but the storm from the previous night created a little swell…add the fact that it was pitch black and Mike has been in a kayak less the a dozen times and things could get interesting.. i leashed everything down, clearing the deck of any loose items and suggested Mike do the same as a precaution .. as small as the surf was it pays to be sure ever-time…well he only half took me serious..I advised i wanted to surf in for some fun but that he should pick a small wave.. I landed on the beach after a little surf and got up t help Mike only to see he had obviously just put his head down and paddled after me 🙂 all I saw was the underside of the hull and Mike scrambling t hold his rods (which were leashed)….a couple of other items went missing including a prototype light pole that we were testing ;-0…worked a treat and probably still lighting up the ocean floor… great effort just wish I had the camera rolling 🙂