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Go'n old school hand-lining carrots and big snaps

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    Posted: 15 Jun 2020 at 8:34pm
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Well what can I say - going old school gave me one of the best days I've had in a long time 👍

About a year ago I brought a couple of Pro Hunter hand-lines and the plan was to fish them at one of our spots in the north when the fish were in numbers. They had been sitting up the front of the little FC's storage compartment waiting to be used but I never got around using them.

With perfect conditions and Stevo keen on a catch up fish in the little FC430, I made the choice to go chance the hand-line on a few big Snaps. I had been talking to Stevo about it for ages and I didn't know if he believed me when I said I had left the rods at home. After scrounging around up front and taking the plastic off one of the hand-lines, he relised I was for real.

Over the years I had fished on and off with hand-lines, I did it as a kid and also when fishing off a friends yacht. I said to Stevo today is the day we chase some solid Snaps on the hand-lines and even though he looked a little weird at me he was keen as mustered.

We launched just after 9.30 in mirror like conditions as we headed off to a spot I wanted to try first. It's about 4-5mtrs deep and perfect to start with on the hand-lines. We set them up with a little half once sinker straight to the hook, the tide was already coming in and there wasn't as much current as I thought there would be. After dropping the berley and giving it a good crank I threw out my first bait, we fished half pillies to start and was hoping for a fresh Kahawai also.

I sat my hand caster down in the corner as normally it takes a while for the fish to come on the bite. Every now and then I gave the berley a good crank to get that trail going and if the fish were to turn up all the berley leaking out would hopefully keep them here. There was zero wind and we sat in quietness and felt fishy. Watching my line it started to move side ways and grabbing it, it went tight and I struck. I felt that heavy pull you get when hand-lining and I was hooked up to a sold fish on my very first bait. With not a lot of current I didn't have to fight it hard and just gently pulled on the line but let it run when it wanted to.

I told Stevo it was a solid fish but I don't think he believed me as it was coming in pretty easy, not fighting it hard I was waiting for it to wake up and go nuts but I just gently fought it. Every now and then it would pull and pull hard and the line would flick through my fingers, I thought maybe it was going to be a big Kahawai until I got a quick glimpse of a big pink and whit tale "It's a big fish Stevo a big fish" I told Stevo to grab the net but he still didn't think it was big because of the ease of the fight until he got to see it. Man it was a good fish and even better on hand-line, it would of gone 70cm easy.

We took a couple of quick picks and watched it disappear as I dropped it back into the gloomy green water - yea boy that's what I'm talking about....We were of to a good start on out little Reel Kiwi Fishing hand-line adventure.

Stevo was next to hook up but this time it was a Kahawai, that was all good as it gave us some fresh bait if the Snaps were to come on the bite. Stevo dropped another bait and pretty much hooked up straight away. It looked more like a Snapper this one but we wouldn't now as he dropped it mid fight. He was starting to enjoy the hand-line but it was pretty slow to really have fun. My line went tight once again and I was hooked up to another nice little Snap around 50cm which made it's way to the bin. After that it went a little dead and with the tide still rising we went to one of my favorite incoming tide spots.

Our second spot was around 8mtrs and there was a little more current which I liked. We sat through the tide with very little action and only picked up the odd fish to 45cm, I said we should sit tight and try the turn as sometimes the fish can really come on after the turn. We did manage a couple nice fish and every time I mentioned moving we would get a good hit or catch a nice fish. With 3-4 nice snaps in the bin it was time to shift to our outgoing spot were we target gurnard more.

Although slow it had been a fun morning and I hoped this spot would fire for us, Stevo was heading back to Tauranga and he was keen to take a bit of fish with him - more so a few carrots. With the berley cranking again and the tide running out it didn't take long for the bites to start. At first they felt small but they also felt very carrot like and sure enough my first fish was a nice fat gurnard, the excitement kicked in again and it was fun catching it on the hand-line.

Stevo was getting lots of nibbles and then hooked up and it looked like it was going to be another nice sized carrot. It looked like there were a few carrots at our patch but then my line went tight and line flicked through my fingers - nope Stevo this ain't a gurnard this time. I was back on the snaps and it was another nice fish, that's the great thing this time of year all the smaller models thin right out and you can constantly just catch Snaps from 40-70cm and nothing smaller. It was another solid Snap then Stevo hooked up but once again it was another nice little carrot, he was happy because that's what we wanted to target mostly.

Although the Carrots were here as the day moved on the snapper came in and basically over ran the place, we didn't mind to much even though our fingers were tacking a thrashing. Snapper after Snapper were smashing our fresh Kahawai baits and they were good fish to 70 odd centimetres. Stevo was having a blast and I was loving it, our hand-line adventure was on fire. I was cranking the berley and every now and then my hand caster would skip across the boat as another solid snapper grabbed my bait - it was just going off - it was off the hook.

IT was an awesome feeling holding your line, feeling a couple little twitches then bang tight lines, line flicking, fish pulling and it was a tug of war. We could feel there were still gurnard there with the smaller bites but then the line would just go super tight when a big snapper would come in and bowl it out the way. It got to a stage where it was getting a little ridiculous with 50-60cm fish constantly coming up, we released what we could and also binned a couple for Stevo to take home. Coming to the end we had 11-12 nice fish in the bin so we called it a day and a pretty sick day at that. Stevo caught the smallest fish of the day on his last bait and normally you wouldn't be happy but with the smallest being 44cm it was still a nice fish.

Our little hand-line adventure had come to an end and it was as good as I was hoping it was going to be, I was stoked Stevo was there with me and enjoyed it just as much as I did. It's not a bad day when you head out in your little 4mtr tin with one bag of pillies, a couple of berleys, a couple of $10 hand-lines, smash some nice fish and back home on half a tank of gas...

That's one pretty epic day out on the water - what do you guys recon?

Tight lines







































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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2020 at 9:04pm
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Nice. I'm far too messy to use a hand line these days Big smile
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2020 at 9:43am
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Titanium
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Hand line these days makes a good burly rope holder.. 3.5mm braided cord from the haberdashery.
the one that has a little handle and hold/ spins in the center
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2020 at 7:17pm
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Titanium
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Next week, Jason goes for a swim at Takapuna beach, returns to shore with a 5 kilo snapper tucked under each arm and 1 in his mouth
Top 10 finish
2021 Grunter Hunter.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Transformations Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2020 at 9:53pm
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Wow! Looks like you two had a day to remember. Once again you put in the miles to get the smiles

We don't know what we don't need till we've got it
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Transformations Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2020 at 9:55pm
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.....the last two pics are the best👍

We don't know what we don't need till we've got it
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Far Quirk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2020 at 12:56pm
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Good onya Jase and Steve!  I must dust off the handline soon and give it a try.
Far Quirk - I'm goin' fishn!
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