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"FAT" Snaps & Carrots from out West

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    Posted: 18 Jun 2017 at 4:32pm
fishwisperer View Drop Down
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With a great Saturday weather window with 5knots variable predicted out West the plan was to fish one of the Harbors to see if the Snaps were still in residence...
With the cooler weather and drop in water temp this time of year it can be great fishing for Snapper in the shallows of some West coast harbors, what we find around this time of year once the water cools the smaller snapper leave the areas we fish over the summer months and the bigger fish decide to hang in there and feed up large.
Leaving home at 5.00am we headed for the West - a good 15-20mins into the drive saw fog lingering in the dips along the way, many a times I have ventured out here with similar indications that not only will it be a stunner of a day but the fog will drift down from the mountains like ghosts floating on air and full up the harbor. It can be daunting to any skipper with only 10-20mtrs viz in front of you but knowledge, commonsense and a great sounder will get you to your spot.
Most times when fogged in it doesn't lift till around midday or later and not only does it make for a majestic fishing sesh, it also gives you that solitude fishing experience that we all yearn to get these days. Just fishing this area already gives us this most times with only a handful of boats normally seen, but this lets you sneak into your spot X unnoticed and back out with a bin full of fish and no other fisherman is any wiser Big smile
As we launched we sat and waited for the Simrad to kick in, we had a couple of other boats around as - unseen only heard. With the GPS finally doing it's job we slowly made our way down the harbor, on any other given day at 20knts plus we would be there with in min's but running at around 5knts being safe meant we would still get to spot X. We were on a bit of a time frame as fishing this harbor for us it's all about the inner channels, the little shallow estuaries and drop offs - most of our fishing is done in 2-8mtrs straylining. Most people that fish these harbors use 6-12onz sinkers but fishing these areas have allowed us to keep to our light straylining out fits, 3-6kg rods with little 2-4000 size reels casting out a 1/4 sinker and sometimes no weight at all (floating baits) is a lot of fun on these harbors.
With 2hrs before low the 20 min run was painful - the worrying factor was the 50-100mtr cross over in 0.5 - 0.8mtrs of water from a main channel to a little off shoot you have to do at least an hour or two before low...we made it across at crawling pace so if I was to get stuck I was hopefully able to slide back off and back to the main channel. Reaching our spot it dropped away to 6mtrs where the Simrad was screaming fish at us, heading back up to 2mtrs we dropped the pick so we were fishing back to the drop off.
These secret little spots can be full of fish at times and in such shallow water is a hell of a lot of fun, we also love to burly up a storm in these places - a lot of people will tell you not to do this out West for the nuisance of sharks but over the years of fishing this area you get to know when and where you can get away with it, we find it draws the fish in as it trails down the little channel only with the tide in which brings the fish right to you all lined up waiting for your baits. Being there on slack tide we new there was no hurry so we set the burly, set the rods and waited for the boat to swing the other way letting us know it was time to target some fat winter West coast harbor Snaps.
As the boat swung on the turn we drifted our first baits down the tail and the fish didn't disappoint us, they were sitting there ready for us and the first bend of our rods began with the singing of our little reels Big smile - The Simrad was chocker with mid and bottom sign, one thing sometimes you have to deal with is the schools of Kahawai that also frequent the area this time of year. This just adds to the fun with Kahawai, Snapper and Carrots are there all for the plucking, we were mainly there to see if the Snaps were still in residence and after a few Kahawai our first Snapper appeared. It was in prime condition not only because being a West coast fish but it was fat and plump for the winter, these harbor fish are at the top of my eating list.
It looked like the Snaps were still here as Pea picked up the next one and once again it was a nice fat Snap, the great thing was we didn't expect to catch any small fish and so far we had a couple of 40's in the bin. Between the Kahawai we were picking up some nice Snaps and with the temp at 13.8 deg I new when we hooked into a Snap it was going to be a nice West coast pannie, once the smaller fish have gone you will normally only catch fish no smaller than 40cm and up to 60cm - this is the norm for our spots at this time of year and it wasn't disappointing us.
Being in 2-6mtrs the other great thing is all these fish are releasable unless gut hooked, they are so green when boated as all the fighting is done shallow and even times they come back at the boat where you are adamant you have another Kahawai to only see a nice 50cm Snap pop up at the boat. A couple hours in with the burly still pumping those tasty little morsels "Carrots" turned up and not only in numbers but in size. 40cm, 50cm man these things were like horses and when you did catch a 35cm it was hard to keep thinking man that's a bit small Big smile
The fog was still with us until it lifted around midday with calm glassy water and we even had a fog rainbow with us for awhile, it was like fishing in heaven - Amongst the cloud pulling 40-60cm snaps nothing smaller and Donkey Carrots any fisherman would agree...With such "Epic" fishing non stop for a good 5-6hrs we decided to come up with some common sense, we normally fish anywhere from 10-15hrs when we head out but we decided to pull the pin just after 2.00 so we could get back and clean up the same day for once...
What an Epic day we had and another top day on the water with a mate and no problems putting a few fish in the bin...
Tight lines
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote lemmy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2017 at 4:51pm
lemmy View Drop Down

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Cool report we passed you as you were idling off the end of the wharf in the small Stabi ,the fog was thick eh probaly one of the worst Ive seen we got a good feed too with some nice Gurnard coming aboard.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2017 at 5:05pm
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Outstanding! Some great carrots there! And some nice snaps.

Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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