20lb Snapper and a nice string of snaps

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    Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 4:37pm
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Great report Jase, always a pleasure to read.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote nzfishwhisperer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 3:14pm
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With our far north trip coming to an end the decision was made to try our very first night time knotiki set on our last night. We arrived just before 9.00 and it felt a little strange pulling the gear out of the car instead of packing it away at this time. The winds were offshore so it was a little more comfortable than what we've had over the past few days, head touches on Stevo geared up the seahorse and I started baiting up. We were hoping for a few fresh fish to take home with us for the family, 4-5 each would be perfect for the both of us.
I wasn't to sure how this was going to turn out, most times when fishing into the late evening the fish bite really well up until dark then seem to disappear for awhile. Sometimes they come back on the bite and sometimes not - it can have that 30 - 40min quite time after the bite and we were setting it right at that time. It was pretty cool though sorting it all out while dark was upon us and because we have done the tiki a few times now it wasn't to much of a problem.
Stevo had sorted the seahorse and helped me finish off the baiting up, we had some fresh Kahawai which we love to use and a bit of squid. With us running bigger recurve hooks now we decided to try a few bigger baits, some were baited with whole squid others a big chunk of Kahawai and the rest a bit of Kahawai and squid. Our thoughts were from the other day where we had picked up a good 12 fish which most were released - it was a short run and a short soak which seemed to help with releasing fish. That set we caught no under sized fish and we were hoping with similar results but obviously keeping a few more for home this time.
All baited up Stevo dropped the tiki in the and it was under way heading out into the dark, it all went perfect with setting it and after running for 15-20mins it was on the soak. We sat it out in the car which was a little warmer for us and after 25mins or so we fired up the winch and waited in anticipation for the first sinker to show it's self. It was a little different not being able to see fish coming in a few meters out but that made it more exciting, after a little while the first sinker made it's way along the sand. Stevo stood at the shore line with his head torch on full shining where the line met the water while I laid the line on the winch - I herd him yell out fish on fish on.
Stevo un-clipped the first hook that also had a fish on, it was a nice fish to around 50cm so we were off to a good start. "Holy crap" came out of the dark "we got more fish Jase more fish" I could tell by the excitement in Stevo's voice maybe we were in for a blinder of a set again. 2nd hook 2nd fish at around 55cm, 3rd and 4th hook two more fish, yip I think this was going to be a good set but I was also hoping that we didn't have to much. Once again the ones already in seemed quite lively which was good if we needed to release a couple but so far so good.
A couple more fish came out of the dark on the next couple of hooks we were 6 fish for 6 hooks, it was starting to get a little ridiculous but we had a breather after that with a few de-baited hooks. Woh woh I herd Stevo yelling, oh man this could be a 20lb-er Jase it's a big fish. I didn't believe him until I saw a monster come out of the dark and I wasn't talking about Steve. It was a beast of a fish and our PB for the tiki, it had swallowed the hook and didn't look as lively as the others. It was worth a shot to see if we could get the big guy going again so we cut the hook stopped bring the tiki in and went down to the water in hope he had enough kick once back in the water. We tried for about 5mins but no joy, it was rather sad not to be able to let him go but Stevo said it won't go to waste I will get it professionally smoked.
We carried on pulling in the tiki and more fish came out of the dark, these were all good fish and once again there was no under sized fish it was pretty insane. We got a few more nice fish around that 50-60cm, with all the hooks in but not the tiki we stopped retrieving to iki the fish. It was amazing that all fish were legal from 2 - 20lbs and we also ended up with exactly 14 (7 each) which was our quote. With the size of these fish we decided to see if we could release a few, the ones that were still kicking. In the end we managed to release 3 that swam away back into the dark which left us 11 fish, with having 4 members in each family that love fish and family near by once home it was going to feed some happy people.
This had been our best set on the tiki with some solid fish and that magic 20lb fish - it was the end of our far north trip and it went out with a bang that's for sure. It was coming up to midnight and we still had a long night a head of us as we had to get back to camp and fillet up all the fish ready for us to head home in the morning. We hit the sack around 2am with happy dreams of our fishing.....
Tight lines

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