A handsome snapper out of shallow water on a crab fly pattern.
The summer season of 2016-2017 was a bit of a non event for most swoffers around Auckland. The seemingly endless easterly “breezes” delayed the water warming and didn’t help water clarity by stirring up silt in the shallows most of the time. There were a few windows of opportunity, usually around dawn when the wind dropped off for a few hours before returning to ruin the scene.
However managed to get down into the water on the ebb tide in the Waitemata Harbour, calm water and barely a puff of wind – sort of like a very late summer day.
Long story short, after missing the first dozen or so strikes, I finally got the mojo in order and started hooking a steady succession of snapper, one legal size and few close to, while the rest were well off the pace. But all were fun and appreciated!
A lot of people will remember Sunday 12 March 2017 as it will appear on thousands of insurance claims for water damage. I awoke Sunday morning to find the weather that morning had calmed down from the rain and wind of Saturday. I dashed down to my local fishing spot in time to catch the high tide – to find the water mostly clear – and within three casts – to be containing kahawai. A small one of 30cm sturdily resisted but the 10 weight Redington Vapen dragged it ashore to pose before being returned.
A second hookup followed in another few casts – this one was definitely bigger and took to the air in two quick jumps – and threw the hook.
But there was more rain predicted and it came across the harbour, the North Shore blotted out by the oncoming rain, and the motorway to the south almost disappearing from sight as the rain poured down on me.
The rain cleared and I worked the water near the mangroves, hooking another small kahawai before it was time to get home.
A good way to start the day.
The weather cleared up and the high aligned with dawn high tide, so time to see if the elusive kingfish were back on the flats, with the water crystal clear and a slightly overcast sky.
However no rays or kingfish were in evidence on the top of the tide, so it was off to the sandbank to prospect for ambushing kahawai on the ebb flow. The first fish hit at the end of a fast retrieve but dropped off after a few seconds. Then two fish came the fly and stayed around long enough to be photographed:
Kahawai hit hard and fight hard
And best of all they jump, no matter what size they are!
A quick pose for the camera and then back to grow up some more
Then on the last fish, not a big one by any means, the leader snapped at the fly – on the loop while the knot was intact. Very strange – especially on 10 kilo fluorocarbon against a 500g fish!
And yes in the rush of early morning I left the line tray behind – and fly line knows how to find boot laces no matter how careful you are.
Roll on the warmer temperatures to bring the fish into the harbour and start patrolling the shallows!
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First outing for spring and five kahawai obliged in the chilly but sunny conditions on the Sunday afternoon on the upper Waitemata Harbour. Unusually for these speed-orientated predators, the only retrieve that worked was a slow, deep presentation that is effective for snapper.