The Nationals

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    Posted: 26 Feb 2024 at 8:27pm
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For many years I've wanted to fish The Nationals. I have spent a day or two fishing that event in the past but I keep promising myself to take the whole week off work and just do it.  This year I spent five days fishing, a PB for me. I flagged a few days because I was busy at work and at home. We did very well. We fished one, two and three kilo line weight for snapper in the Manukau Harbour and off the coast. That's our stomping ground.

While the results aren't quite compiled yet, I'm quietly confident that our team 'Three Jac's' is up for the leading 2 & 3 kg snapper line class. We had an 8.09 on 3 kilo line and  a 5.99kg fish on 2kg.

Another Counties boat got a very impressive 5+kg snapper on 1 kilo line. They fished in 27m which is amazing.

Consider this though: we are very proud of our results. Our club did very well but Matt Watson's team caught 10 broadbill! 

Man, how impressive is that? He's a legend! 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Grunta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2024 at 11:35am
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Good work on those light tackle snaps Smudge - great job. The Nationals finished on Saturday night and you would've thought the results would be sorted by now. I was having a look on the NZDFC website earlier to see how everyone had got on but everything still pending.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote terrafish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2024 at 6:27pm
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Nice work on that line class, takes a bit of patience and skill.

Which one did you get?
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Good work.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2024 at 9:54pm
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Well done Smudge.  I see your team scored a 4th in the snapper teams category and you personally were placed 1st and 2nd in the snapper 3kg line class category.  Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2024 at 6:11am
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Originally posted by terrafish terrafish wrote:

Nice work on that line class, takes a bit of patience and skill.

Which one did you get?

3kg line snapper for me with a 8.1kg fish and a 2nd place around 6.5 from memory
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Awesome effort Smudge, well done.

Top 10 finish
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2024 at 7:46pm
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Seriously good effort Smudge. Kudos to you.
Don't know if I have ever caught an 8 kg snapper, let alone what it would be like on 3kg line. Top marks. I am thinking something more than luck at work here . Skill even.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2024 at 5:39am
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Thanks guys. One Counties team got a 5 kilo snapper on 1kg line, now that's a goodie.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote gurnard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2024 at 10:37pm
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Nice work bro, that 3KG line is no joke. I hooked something decent in the shallows last night on my 3kg set in the Muddy and lasted about 5 seconds before it destroyed me. I saw a big flash of red in 1m depth, im picking it for an eagle ray!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Mar 2024 at 12:07am
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Originally posted by smudge smudge wrote:

Thanks guys. One Counties team got a 5 kilo snapper on 1kg line, now that's a goodie.
Agree Smudge any 5:1 line class capture is a top effort.  Among the results I recall seeing a 10:1 line class Striped Marlin capture by a One Counties team member.  Now that's special imo. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2024 at 5:28am
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Originally posted by Fish Addict Fish Addict wrote:

Originally posted by smudge smudge wrote:

Thanks guys. One Counties team got a 5 kilo snapper on 1kg line, now that's a goodie.
Agree Smudge any 5:1 line class capture is a top effort.  Among the results I recall seeing a 10:1 line class Striped Marlin capture by a One Counties team member.  Now that's special imo. 

Yeah that was impressive at 10:1

Rays and sharks can be particularly difficult on light tackle. I got a small eagle on 2kg in The Nationals but that fish was very small and came in easy.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2024 at 7:23pm
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I'm not sure how you land a fish on 1kg. I once fished with a 2lb tippet to trout that didn't want to be caught. 
I had trouble tying a knot - it either slipped or snapped. Never got the chance to try it on a trout, let alone a 12 lb snapper??
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2024 at 8:23pm
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****, I better call now. Thx. May catch more, of something.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote mozz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2024 at 2:53pm
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Great fish on 3kg Smudge!
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Thanks Mozz, to be fair 3kg is pretty easy over sand in only 10m or so, just needs patience. Last year we lost one at the boat on 3kg which  was the biggest live snapper I've seen. Be close to 30lb, maybe more. As you would know the hardest part on light tackle is setting the hook which is why I use a single hook rig, they are easier to set. The snapper did the biggest runs I've ever seen and at one stage would have been at least 50m from the boat and swam around an entire circle and a half. After close to an hour it was maybe 300mm from the net and swam away. Seeya later! That's why we do it.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2024 at 7:17pm
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Yes I figured setting the hook would be a challenge - you can't really put any pressure on. So I am guessing you are using small size and light gauge hooks. You don't need big hooks to land big fish - ask trout fishermen.
But 1kg - that must be a different ball park. Herring hooks.
FWIW I use small and light gauge hooks for my gamefishing too. Treat them like trout (big ones).
The marlin we got a few weeks back would have been on a size 5 or 6 hook. - the sort of thing you would use for snapper. As it happened it was on 15kg line (tho we didnt know that at the time). But it was well hooked in the gob and would not have got that fish on a 'proper' game hook. Would never have set properly.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2024 at 7:57pm
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Alan - back in the early 80s the Gamefishing Association of Australia (GFAA) went metric with their line classes.  This introduced line classes that never existed previously and so there were opportunities to get your name into the record books.  I dabbled with 1kg line while I was located in the NW of WA with some success.  It was a steep learning curve.  I never used baits.  The species I targeted included various species of trevally (GTs) and mackerel and queenfish.  I soon found out that any weighted lure was gobbled up by coral trout or bottom dwelling species which resulted in long battles, many unsuccessful with species you didn't want.  I changed to trolling saltwater flies and that worked.  Deceiver flies, 2/0 ss hooks.  I scored a few WA and Australian records all of which have since been bettered, although one did last for 25 years.  It was challenging but not suitable for when you have a few blokes onboard who want to catch fish.  Preparation was everything.  I was fortunate that I had some trout fishing experience in NZ where I used to fish 4lb line.  I know other guys who hadn't fished with light tackle previously who just gave up with 1kg class.  Back then there wasn't the selection of rods and reels you have today so that didn't help either.  I ended up using egg beater style reel which had a calibrated drag knob on the bottom of the reel.  I would set it at x number of clicks and not touch it.  In the early days I'd sometimes try for just one more click during a fight, only to fail, ping!!!        
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2024 at 8:15pm
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Originally posted by Alan L Alan L wrote:

Yes I figured setting the hook would be a challenge - you can't really put any pressure on. So I am guessing you are using small size and light gauge hooks. You don't need big hooks to land big fish - ask trout fishermen.
But 1kg - that must be a different ball park. Herring hooks.
FWIW I use small and light gauge hooks for my gamefishing too. Treat them like trout (big ones).
The marlin we got a few weeks back would have been on a size 5 or 6 hook. - the sort of thing you would use for snapper. As it happened it was on 15kg line (tho we didnt know that at the time). But it was well hooked in the gob and would not have got that fish on a 'proper' game hook. Would never have set properly.
Alan
I use Gamakatsu 8/0 Circle hooks for snapper fishing. They usually get in the soft part of the jaw. Those hooks are fairly light gauge and we use the bigger hooks so we don't choke the gape of the hook with our big baits. Small hooks set way easier but 4/0 hooks don't really suit whole mackerel or big kahawai fillets. Smaller baits will get more fish but fewer big ones. Small hooks work so well on snapper jigs so yeah they work well and set easily on lures. Just need to set the drag accordingly
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2024 at 8:17pm
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Originally posted by Fish Addict Fish Addict wrote:

Alan - back in the early 80s the Gamefishing Association of Australia (GFAA) went metric with their line classes.  This introduced line classes that never existed previously and so there were opportunities to get your name into the record books.  I dabbled with 1kg line while I was located in the NW of WA with some success.  It was a steep learning curve.  I never used baits.  The species I targeted included various species of trevally (GTs) and mackerel and queenfish.  I soon found out that any weighted lure was gobbled up by coral trout or bottom dwelling species which resulted in long battles, many unsuccessful with species you didn't want.  I changed to trolling saltwater flies and that worked.  Deceiver flies 2/0.  I scored a few WA and Australian records all of which have since been bettered.  It was challenging but not suitable for when you have a few blokes onboard who want to catch fish.  Preparation was everything.  I was fortunate that I had some trout fishing experience in NZ where I used to fish 4lb line.      

God point FA.If you're fishing light gear, the other anglers need to clear their gear and wait until your fish is in the boat
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