Out to the back paddock

Go on then, tell us your stories...
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Hairy Little Dwarf
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Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:06 am

Decided to show the Hornet some new water yesterday, so aimed for the Ninepin.
Light winds and a long swell made for a very pleasant day.
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Only took a couple of hours to get out there and was met by clouds of squid on the sounder - with the associated streaks of feeding fish :clap:

First drop came back with a respectable ±6-7kg snap
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I always send the first one home so off he (or she) went, a bit wiser about eating junk food :lol:
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Next two drops were both good fish - they went in the boot and with my requirements already filled I spent the rest of the day poking around scouting new spots, generally enjoying the views and rock gardening.
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The game boats were dragging lures only a few km out from me, and the water was a nice blue. I found myself toying with going wider and dragging plastic but hung around the Pin teasing the local fish population. I was about 30m away from a large charter packed with punters shoulder to shoulder, when the rod folded over. I started the GoPro recording, or so I thought.... turns out it was already on and I'd just turned it off!
This fish was solid, taking half a reel before slowing with big heavy nods. Pulling it off the bottom was like lifting a sack of potatoes, then every time it sensed the pressure change it'd head down again in another unstoppable dive. This went on for maybe 20 minutes, with the sleigh ride taking me round the houses and back again.
When I finally started to gain ground I was starting to think shark rather than Snapper due to the weight and the fight. Then a large doormat sized dark brown shape came out of the haze - It was huge! I got the beast to the side and grabbed the tailstock as thick as my forearm. Between 103 and 105cm of big ol' kelpie. No idea of weight but would have been well over 12kg. After a few boatside poses for the video I pointed it head down and let it kick out and away. New PB and absolutely stoked :rock: I slumped in the seat for a few seconds then reached up and turned the GoPro "off" - and proceeded to record another hour of aimless paddling, Kahawai and a pee stop on a nearby rock! I'd probably made the biggest SNAFU ever |( So, officially, all of the above never happened beyond this:
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"No pics, never happened", don't care :lol:

Later in the day, just after I'd taken this
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I was just lounging around, enjoying the experience with a handful of Gannets and Petrels bobbing on the water. Behind me there was a loud splash, I jumped and whipped around to curse at the Gannet that had just rudely interrupted my meditation - except no Gannet surfaced, and the only sign of the Gannet that had been sitting about 10m behind me was a few feathers and a dissipating swirl... When I realised what I was looking at, I decided that the Hornet wasn't all that big after all and tail between my legs sidled a bit closer to a launch a few hundred metres away. Humans are supposed to be a herd animal anyway ;)

The northerly picked up on cue, which made for a nice lazy assisted drift home.

On the home stretch I noticed a large launch steaming straight towards me from Russell. It kept coming and with nothing but cliffs on the other side of me I was starting to have doubts about whether anyone was actually at the wheel. Still it came, still on a direct line, still at 20knots.... I switched the GoPro on (properly this time) and nervously watched it get closer...and closer. Finally it throttled back and stopped 30m away. Bizarre. Then a couple of large blue flags went up????? Odd, I thought. Ah well, threat removed I was back into the fishing.
5 minutes later, I glanced back towards the Ninepin and saw to my horror 20-30 very large, very fast spinnakers heading straight towards me. The launch was a bloody marker! I tried not to look too panicked as I bent the paddles to get in behind Howe Rock before the race descended on me :tmi: There were fecking boats everywhere! Looking UP at a crew as they go past one storey up at I don't know what speed, is certainly an experience.

Having had more excitement in the last 6hrs than the past 6 trips, I stowed the gear and made for home at speed setting 'lazy'.

Back at the beach, a primary school class was splashing around and I came in through the moorings to excited cries of "Pirate!" Always makes me grin when kids react to the flag. Have to get myself an eyepatch and stuffed parrot.

Total distance 31km
Time on water 10hrs
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Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:40 am

Great read, HLD. Congrats on the new PB and the erm...SNAFU :)
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awondering
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Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:01 pm

Nice one Pete, you will replay that battle few times I am sure...

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YakDr
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Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:59 pm

Nice HLD. Shame about the video but memories last forever :y:
Having been narrowly missed by bombing gannets and had to deal with hooked gannets in my lap I'm glad I haven't yet had one of those experiences!
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Hairy Little Dwarf
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Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:26 pm

YakDr wrote:Having been narrowly missed by bombing gannets and had to deal with hooked gannets in my lap I'm glad I haven't yet had one of those experiences!
It's the ones that whack your livie beside the yak that I hate with a vengeance. Scares the bejeezus out of me when they do that. Heh, they're big birds when you've got an angry one thrashing around in the lap, that's for sure :lol:

Googling has shown a few (mostly Northland) snaps at the same length going around the 14kg mark. Would have been nice to know a weight, but these days I rather it swam away.
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Dad! Dad! Look at his fish! It's way bigger than anything you've EVER caught! - Nosey 7-8yo boy on opening my icebox to father strapping down his $XXX Stabicraft 759(?) - Gold. Pure Gold.

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MikeAqua
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Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:29 pm

Great TR. Wonderful spot. I never had much luck fishing their myself but I had few good crayfish dives off the old man's boat. Interesting topography at the bottom of the nine-pin
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Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:18 pm

Awesome yarn cheers mate :y:

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Hainesy
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Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:58 am

Sounds like an awesome trip mate with plenty of adventures on the way !.. shame about the GoPro but at least you have the memory and can tell the story around the campfire... as the saying goes, the biggest fish are the ones that get away... your one has already put on 2 kg in weight !


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Hairy Little Dwarf
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Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:38 am

Hainesy wrote:... your one has already put on 2 kg in weight !
That's their weights - I'm guessing "over 12kg" but length was the only thing measured so that's what I'll take to the barbecues... although if anyone asks, then I'll use the 18kg figure :lol:
Phoenix Hornet - Specialty Assault Craft

Dad! Dad! Look at his fish! It's way bigger than anything you've EVER caught! - Nosey 7-8yo boy on opening my icebox to father strapping down his $XXX Stabicraft 759(?) - Gold. Pure Gold.

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Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:16 am

Well done on PB. Great TR....
I hate not knowing the weight of some of my bigger fish, but as you say, better they are let go.

I love fly fishing too, and caught a massive rainbow trout in the back country of the Uruwera in 2011.... Let my spring balance at home.... Still wondering what it weighed!

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Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:28 pm

Great trip report and a great day on the water by the sounds of it ! Well done on your PB snap too ! :y:

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Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:32 pm

Great read as always HLD.
Congrats on the new PB!

Even better that is was next to a boat full of anglers.
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