After spending much of his day mentoring some new softbaiters, Jake Studd called for last casts in order to get home before dark.
Jake and his friends Sam and Tui had left Omaha with a bunch of mates called ‘The Chums’ in the early hours, making the hour – long trip across to Great Barrier’s Broken Islands in his 4.5 metre Skelton Centre Console.
The plan was to fish any patch of reefy territory and wash they could find; the target species – snapper.
Through the day they experienced some good fishing in the shallows, flicking 7” Z-Man jerk shads, catching and releasing snapper to 5.5kg. After 10 hours of consistent fishing, Jake called for the ‘last cast’ mentioned above.
“Ten seconds into my last cast, my trusty 7” Bruised Banana got hit by something big,” Jake says.
“Only fishing in 10m of water, I wound the drag up on my Shimano Twin Power 3000 as I had no intention of losing this fish.”
It made several big runs and within five minutes Jake saw the dark red kelpie colour of a monster snapper.
“A few short pumps of the rod and I yelled for the net. Tui managed to scoop up what turned out to be 13.67kg (30.5lb) trophy snapper when I weighed it on my digital scales at home – I was one happy soft-bait fisherman.”
Jake said he decided to keep it and will have it mounted.
“I have released a number of big fish around and over the 20lb mark so had no qualms about keeping this fish for my wall.”
Landing the fish had not been without its dramas.
“When we first hooked up we chased the fish down to get on top of it, but Sam almost over-ran it and I couldn’t keep much pressure on the line.”
It felt like it had made it into the weeds but then dragged me through with its power. I had to keep adjusting the drag to get him up off the bottom.”
Prior to his 30-pounder, Jake’s personal best was a measured 80cm snapper – estimated at around 9.4kg (21lb) – caught in just six metres of water in the Far North a couple of months ago.
Jake and his dad went halves in the Skelton Centre Console, powered with by an 80hp Honda four-stroke, which he says suits his style of fishing well.
“We tow it everywhere and on the water it is a great fishing platform – it is so stable and economical to run.” Not to be left out of the action, his dad also caught his personal best snapper which pulled the scales down to 10.7kg – 23.9lb. He was fishing a Z-Man seven-inch jerk shad, a Redbone colour this time. His fish was also taken also out of the shallows.
03 August 2019