One hell of an"Epic" day live baiting for "BIG REDS" in my mates new back yard... (Kerikeri Inlet)
Leaving Friday after work it looked like it was going to be a long haul North with every other Aucklander heading the same way, my journey was to get me to Kerikeri inlet before dark. Darren had invited me up to his new pad - Darren is the one that taught me a lot on his old back yard "The Mighty Kaipara" He's in the middle of moving to Kerikeri inlet - it's been a long year but Feb this year he will be perm playing in his new backyard (Bay of islands) I have fished the BOI's since the mid 80's and use to base my fishing trips there for about 15yrs before moving them further North to Doubtless Bay.
The plan was to try and get Fri evening on the water as I was only there for a day, Darren had been catching Big Snaps to 20lb with a few bust offs in between on live baits for the past couple weeks. Normally the trip takes 3-3.30hrs but this time It took me 5.30hrs with all the traffic - The great thing Darren was packed and ready to go so as soon as I turned up we were hitched up and drove the 2min drive to the end of his street to one dodgy boat ramp....
It was lucky the boat wasn't to big as it would of been a long tow to a better ramp - although the plan was to live bait for big Snaps we didn't have time to look for Mac's so we took one burley and a 2kg bag of pillies - Sat was going to be the biz and Darren said we will fill up on livies in couple mins tomorrow morn on the way out to his spot. With him living at the end of the inlet it only took us about 10mins to get to the middle ground.
We fished for a few hrs with some nice Reds coming aboard with the biggest being about 10-12lb - Darren always likes to fish with livies when it comes to Big Reds, he even did this on the Kaipara. Getting back to his place round 10.30pm we had a quick munch and it was off to the back of the Surf where I had set up my sleeping quarters for the night - it was like the good old days and brought back a lot of fishing mems. With a good 4hrs sleep we were back up at 4.30 Sat morn setting off for our live baiting big Red mish - Like Darren said and with the sun just rising we filled up the live bait tank with Mac's and we were on our way.
The one great thing I like about live baiting for Big Snaps you really keep the mortality rate down as you only normally catch solid fish from 3-4lb up and you normally catch them every 10-20mins and only keep a few because of size. We were set up just as the sun came over the Brett, he said it normally took about an hour for them to come on once the burley got going. There was already a few boats turning up and I remember this area being like Queen Street this time of year.
Dropping the burley we took our time and both threaded up a livey for our first crack at some of these big far North Reds, Darren said don't expect to much at first but once they come on they will smash us left right and centre. We had about 20 livies to play with and we had a bag of dead baits to if needed, I don't do a lot of live baiting for Snaps but when I have it has been very exciting and always produced solid Reds. As Darren said it took awhile for our first baits to start twitching and with big livies we had to restrain ourselves from striking to soon, it felt weird to let line peel of the spool for about 30secs then flicking the bail arm over it would load up and on the strike the rod to keep bending.
Sometimes after 10-20secs it would stop and you would be cursing - I new I should of struck only for your rod to load up again and sometimes striking with solid weight and shakes then nothing again, we dropped some solid Reds through the morning but this is what it's all about winning a few losing a few. The early morning was a little slow and not the usual when fishing (Best time just before daybreak) but around 10.00 all hell broke lose and we where getting smashed by some good Reds - We landed one to every drop or miss we had. We had a couple of chances to make a 20lb plus fish stick but it wasn't to be this time - Darren dropped a real goodie and I dropped a couple myself - maybe we didn't let them run long enough or maybe even to long who knows but all an all the morning was one "Epic" live bait sesh.
We let some stonkers go and with most being double fig fish we didn't need a lot for a good feed - Fri night we kept 3 of the 6-7 solid fish we caught and the Sat morning Big Snappa mayhem out of the 10-15 solid fish we caught we kept another 5 as Darren had the en-laws up for New Years and I wanted to take some home for the fam.
| Telecaster wrote:|
That looks like great fun. How do you rig your livies when targeting snapper?
| KaiKatcha wrote:|
I have the same question too. I've been suffering stolen livebait the last few times I've been bottom fishing with Jack Macs. How's your hook up rate / technique?
| Snappa Geoff wrote:|
Hi Jase, Nice Fishing- Great Photo's Cheers G.
| Rozboon wrote:|
Do the maccys last long rigged like that? I've always thought they were a pretty delicate fish so I try to rig them kinda minimally, although the tradeoff is getting "cherry picked" when a fish just sucks the maccy off the hook.
Though I guess when there's a hot bite the longevity of the bait is a secondary issue :P