OK I stole that line off Flawone in his post in the Manukau and West Coast fishing report.
Arron, Skoti and I have just spent three days fishing in near idyllic conditions, competing in the CSFC Counties Classic competition. It was a revamp of our tried and true One Base and man did it work out well. Overall we had 274 anglers who caught 11 marlin to 163kg, mostly off Port Waikato in 120m, albacore to 13kg, some huge skippies, snapper to 8.1kg, hapuku to 19kilos and the usual trevs, ky and gurnard.
Day one saw us bottom fishing way too long but it was a slow start after dropping anchor at 36m. our plan was to stop at 30m but as well known west coast experts C Crazy passed us and dropped anchor where we were heading I decided to go a little deeper. We will show them!
Well I don't know how they got on but we found it very slow. After a couple of hours Arron pulled up an unusually slabby 65cm snapper to add to our tally of good pannies so we stuck with it as the fish were getting bigger all the time. Until that one
. Here it is:
We had pack attacks of kahawai and as I released one a sneaky mako appeared from under the boat and shortened it by about a third. This poor fish flapped around out of net reach for five minutes before the shark came in to finish its meal. Typical mako behaviour. It was a good solid fish so we decided to put a bait out for it. It took the bait after circling around for ten minutes. Arron was on the rod and the fish just didn't seem to care that it had picked up some 12/0 carat jewellery:
Having had to wear a silly hat for dick of the day after trying to leader a lazy mako before without gloves a couple of years back, I was reluctant to take this beast on but after 10 minutes I got impatient and leadered it anyway. With gloves this time!
When we put a tag in it's shoulder it didn't flinch and it swam peacefully away. Nice shark!We trolled out to 95m after that only to still be in green water and all we caught were three tiny skippies. These pics kind of sum up day 1:
Day two our boat only started up on two cylinders, haven't diagnosed the problem yet but probably an injector.
We 'borrowed' Skoti's dad's 5.0m tinny and were on the water by lunchtime. We stayed in the harbour of course in rather choppy conditions and came back with 6 35cm snapper. Not competition winners but we gave it a shot.
Day three was perfect for the harbour and coast. We hit a spot in the little tinny hoping for snapper, trevs, kings and gurnard. One trev and half a dozen more 35cm snapper later we decided to move. Skoti took us to his secret spot after swearing us to secrecy (hope he doesn't read this) and blindfolding us. I still don't know why the strip search was necessary but hey, it was his call.
In 24m we put down 20kg of berley and then it started. Small snapper galore. A couple of hours later though and Skoti had this in the bin:
3.39 kilos of Manukau goodness, caught on a small tuna head.
We had a run of fish almost as big then Arron started to show off with this:
A good honest ten pound fish!
Before I go further I have to say that I'm not sure of my biggest Manukau snapper but it wasn't as big as Arron's whose personal best came from the harbour at 18lb, nor was it as big as Skoti's best fish of 19lb. While I possibly have a higher profile than those two fullas they have both caught many more big snapper than me. I don't know why I take them fishing! Maybe it's because we have a few laughs
Anyway I got the last big fish of the day with this, a 5.1kg beauty:
We moved to another spot after that fish to find some kings, trevs and gurnard, only to catch more 40cm snaps that we didn't need. Arron did manage a trevally that got him a day prize so was worth the $1.50 in fuel
Here a few more pics from the three days:
Here's the Manukau Snapper Man in action. Skoti knows how to do it and one of the best guys to fish with, never a dull moment!
So how did we get on? Well that's a story too! We do very well in the harbour but there is plenty of competition. There is one family who do very well in our comps and it's fair to say they do pretty good in the snapper stakes in our comps, as do we
It's also fair to say there's some friendly rivalry going on and while they had a clean sweep of big harbour snaps up til Sunday, we did the damage on day 3 taking out 1st 2nd & 3rd overall for harbour snapper
All up we got some sweet prizes for the Counties Classic, a TLD 50 with BBE fully rollered rod, a Hutchwilco lifejacket. 3 x Shimano bags and sunglasses, a handheld VHF radio, a Tekota rod and reel set, a lovely Trinidad 14a reel and nice Shimano rod a20 litre fuel tank a $50 voucher and some stuff I forgot about.
Thanks to all our sponsors, all the anglers, all the helpers, everyone else who made this a classic event. Great way to spend 3 days.