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Go the Mighty Manukau!

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    Posted: 20 Mar 2017 at 7:33pm
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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 Big smile. 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. Dead

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 Big smile

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 Big smile.

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 Star

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.


Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Wefaknis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2017 at 8:02pm
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Great post smudge... Love it
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote pjc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2017 at 8:13pm
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Well done Smudge and Arron and Skotis big fish alrght,did you sneak down to snappergeoffs?
should of been out there yesterday!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Espresso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2017 at 8:20pm
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Good stuff Smudge .
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2017 at 8:35pm
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Awesome report Smudge, some great fish and photos there, liked.
Top 10 finish
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote skunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2017 at 10:06pm
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Wicked smudge, having a solid crew cannot be underestimated when fishing comps.
Form a plan and stick to it...Unless it's not working then you need the crew to come up with a new cunning plan..
A fair bit of cunning between you ,Skoti and Arron I reckon.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FlawOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2017 at 11:03pm
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Nice work Smudge, Aaron and Skoti you guys and your photos always make me laugh! Nothing better than fishing with the boys.

Great effort on the snapper front and congrats on the 5kg Manukau pannie, shes a beauty! I am yet to find me a proper double digit harbour fish. Might have to follow Skoti and his giant burley bag around next time!

Cheers for the title credits..... Go The Mighty Manukau!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote jackel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 2:17am
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Thanks for the report Smudge, we spotted you around the inner harbour this weekend when fishing the Westcoaster. Liked!!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MacSkipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 6:38am
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Great effort and good to hear there are good sized Snaps in harbour. 
Good fishing trip nothing breaks, great trip catch fish.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Snappa Geoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 7:17am
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Great read Smudge! beaut haul of Prizes.....Outboard sorted, hope its minor? Cheers......
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 8:36am
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Thanks guys, MacSkipper, from now through to August is probably the best time to target big snapper in the harbour. We've regularly been getting 4 & 5lb fish all year but things seemed to have picked up a little in the last couple of weeks.

Snappa Geoff, boat is on the agenda for today. I don't want it sitting around too long!

Jackel, how did the West Coaster go? I hear lots of good stuff about it but it has usually clashed with our Fish'nChicks, now it's clashing with our new one. Doesn't really impact on numbers so that's all good but be nice to fish it one day.

Skunk, dead right you need a plan and yeah plenty of cunning tricks with our crew Big smile.

Kitno, we have a couple of comps coming up, Grunter Hunter the next biggie!

FlawOne, got to have a laugh. Not hard to when you're fishing with funny fullas like those two.

Thanks Espresso, always amazes me how you guys get so much traffic your side and comparatively little here. Just how we like it Evil Smile

PJC, no we caught them fair and square but the current was right so we took enough berley to reach all the way down to Mokau and lure those big snaps up LOL



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Raging Bull Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 9:10am
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Shot fellas!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kevin.S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 10:21am
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I need to get out more, not had many trips this year and on the trips we've had don't think we've had a single legal snapper yet.  Continually plagued by bloody goldfish sized ones, dropped a 10/0 hook with a whole pillie on it the other week and it came back up with a snapper not much bigger than the pillie had been -I'm not sure how it managed to get the hook in its mouth.  Good to see there are some bigger ones out there though.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Skoti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 12:32pm
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That's a top notch report Smudge and a good summary of the events Thumbs Up
I haven't much more to add , but I will add this .
If I had to rate the top three sessions I've had on the muddy ever , then Sundays effort is one of those Big smile
Such a good feeling it was to wipe the M family off the leader board Tongue
Good times a'plenty were had and many many laughs about stuff I couldn't possibly share here LOL
Allways good to fish with Smudge and Arron Clap

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 1:20pm
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Originally posted by Skoti Skoti wrote:

That's a top notch report Smudge and a good summary of the events Thumbs Up
I haven't much more to add , but I will add this .
If I had to rate the top three sessions I've had on the muddy ever , then Sundays effort is one of those Big smile
Such a good feeling it was to wipe the M family off the leader board Tongue
Good times a'plenty were had and many many laughs about stuff I couldn't possibly share here LOL
Allways good to fish with Smudge and Arron Clap



Yeah definitely one of the best Skoti. We've had bigger fish, more varieties, more fish Big smile, but never such epic snapper fishing! Especially having so much fun with it. Always good to fish with you two guys.

Big credits to your dad too, he's a good keen man Clap


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote skunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 8:38pm
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But where's the horse?..He dog food or just booted off the crew?
"Team Skunk 3rd and 5th place-The Grunter Hunter 2016"
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 9:22pm
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Originally posted by skunk skunk wrote:

But where's the horse?..He dog food or just booted off the crew?

Sadly the horse has been very quiet the last year. I wonder who it was? I wonder what happened to him?


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote coxie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2017 at 7:00pm
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I completely forgot about the horse... I have a feeling the brown bomber has done something with him.
Great report Smudge, you 3 deserved the podium finish. Couldn't believe the calibre of fish I saw on the floor of Delta One at the weigh in.
We also had really good snapper fishing on saturday morning with endless fish in the 40 to 50cm range but none of the size that you caught, makes me very interested to see what coming seasons bring to the harbour.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2017 at 10:13pm
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Originally posted by coxie coxie wrote:

I completely forgot about the horse... I have a feeling the brown bomber has done something with him.
Great report Smudge, you 3 deserved the podium finish. Couldn't believe the calibre of fish I saw on the floor of Delta One at the weigh in.
We also had really good snapper fishing on saturday morning with endless fish in the 40 to 50cm range but none of the size that you caught, makes me very interested to see what coming seasons bring to the harbour.



Thanks Coxie. Those 1 to 2kg fish have been a common catch this year but Sunday turned on the best snapper fishing Arron, Skoti and I can remember. We've caught them  bigger but it was the average size that we liked Big smile. The harbour is certainly improving. The clear water was definitely a bonus on Sunday and I'm sure it's part of the success we had.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MataT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2017 at 5:42pm
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Chur you fellas did allright Clap
Some hard case pics too LOL

Seeya at your 60th Smudgey Beer
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