Had our annual work comp this week based out of Kawau and after coming runner up last year was pretty keen to see if we could take the top spot this time.
With the crew set we all meet up on the coast to rig our gear, pack and fuel the boat and come up with a game plan.
Having fished the Auckland harbour comp on Saturday with the boat that came in 2nd we had a bit of an advantage as to where we could find fish in close. This would turn out to be essential as the weather was poor to say the least, big swells and 20 knot winds. A 5 to 10 pound snap might just do it.
So the plan was to wash fish around Motuhie and Rangi on the sunrise. We would then head wider 40 meters plus, as well as fish our spots around Tiri and flat rock. With a weigh in at Bon Accord harbour at 5pm we figured we had plenty of time.
5.30am and we were on the water at the Gulf harbour ramp with engine started. I began to back out and turn when suddenly NO STEERING. Checked the hydraulic fluid, seemed very low. No leaks in the lines but after 20 minutes of trying and checking everything we could the boat was being put back on the trailer.
Guttered we headed for home and some breakfast. We waited another 2 hours for the marine mechanics to open and crossed our fingers the problem would not be to major.
Luckily for us mikes marine in Silverdale was open early and mike seeing the look of desperation in our eyes set to work on getting us back in the comp.
With the IV in and lines bleed things started to look up. After a few dreaded minutes of the steering still locking something finally gave and we had steering again!
Back to the ramp and on the water at 9.30am. we weren't going to get our early morning wash fish in.
We decided to head into Admin bay and to where we had picked up the 2nd place snap on Saturday. On the way over and only about 1km out from GH whats this, a GANNET WORK UP. It was fast moving and had no dolphins on it but we gave it a drop and the results were instantaneous.We all hooked up and continued to do so for the next hour but the fish were between 35cm and 50cm great for a feed but not what we were after!
We continued on and set to work throwing our SP and slow Jigs around. The bites through out the day were aggressive and we could have filled the bin many times over but the biggest 5 fish all fell in the 5-6 pound range. Was this going to be enough, i doubted it.
We jigged for Kings around Tiri and hooked a few going 73 cm and 74cm so again lucked out there.
We made our way to Bon Accord harbour and the weigh to see plenty of boats tied up to the two jetties. Around 70 of the bois had turned up this year to give it a crack and as always the majority had already made there way to the bar.
We weighed in our 3 biggest and with most guys struggling due to the weather and not being able to go wide we thought maybe we were in with a chance...
And it turns out we were, 1st 2nd and 3rd place as well as the average weight snapper meaning we took away a 42lcd tv, custom rod, burnsco vouchers, blue ray dvd player and the trophies.
The bois were stoked as we turned or attention to what was probably as important as the day on the water. The bar and catching up with work colleagues... with the majority of guys deciding to stay the night the party went on to the wee hours and the one the got away stories continued to flow.
Woke up the next morning (Thursday) to a beautiful view and a not so beautiful hangover.
Variable 5 knots and just out of the Harbour we decided to break out the binos and see if we could find any work up action...We did.
Which soon turned in to this.
Even a few of these amongst it.
Nothing massive underneath but still no complaints, filled the bin pretty quickly.
The snapper were spewing up plenty of these, no wonder the Zman have been going so well!
All and all are truly epic two days. Very pleasing to see the gannet and dolphin work ups in close again. Looking forward to the next couple months fishing!