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  Gone Fishing  Stories

Snapper Ban Be Gone

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002

With the periodic enforcement of Snapper Closures throughout our waters, the need for a quick stint of Snapper Fishing becomes even more apparent. To this end, Coho, Chinook and I decided to to plan a trip as soon as the November 2002 Ban was over.

A never ending if not analytical look at the weather on the BOM website was to produce a forecast of weather and water conditions that were not exactly conducive for boating across the Gulf, but given past experiences in traversing these waters in worse conditions, it was agreed to go ahead with the trip to Tapleys Shoals.

Leaving O'Sullivan's Boat Ramp at around 4.00pm, our journey took us 48 kms towards Tapleys Shoals, a trip that lasted approximately 2 hours. Half way across, we paused for a moment, to place our frozen Pilchards into a bucket of sea water to thaw out. Averaging at about 24 km/h, Coho came upon our GPS plot on the first hit, and immediately dropped anchor.

The weather was overcast, the swell was about 6ft, and the depth on the sounder showing about 80ft of water. No sooner had we baited our hooks and dropped them over the side, Eugene was onto a Snapper, a fight that lasted for about 10 minutes.

Using a Paternoster Rig, with Squid and Pilchards as bait, the Snapper made themselves known to Coho and Chinook as well.

Both Chinook and I were using running rigs, and I was still waiting for that impending strike and run of a Snapper. Chinook's Cheshire Cat grin says it all, after landing his prize.

Suffice to say, I did have a huge hook up, and proceeded to play with him, thinking that patience is a virtue. However, I soon realised I had been playing drag with the berley pot for 5 minutes.

As the Snapper went off the bite for the next two hours, we methodically berleyed the waters with diced Pilchards, hoping for a hookup, but to no avail.

Something must be said about about the Pilchards provided by Coho. The Pilchards, having being purchased from an outlet called Cappos, were actually designated as fit for human consumption. The feel of the Pilchards were of a tough exterior, without the slippery feel that accompanies brined Pilchards. As you placed them on the hook, they tended to hold well, even after multiple retrievals and casts.

Heading home towards the boat ramp with a South Westerly on our backs aloowed for a smoother boat ride, with an average cruising speed of about 29 km/h. Unfortunately, about 18 kms from shore, The hydraulics in the steering of the boat developed an air lock, making it virtually impossible to steer the boat.

The only solution was for 2 of us to sit near the transom of the boat and physically move the motor left-to-right, heading towards shore at a reduced speed of 12 km/h.

The trip back took an agonising 3 hours to complete. Given the low number of Snapper caught, and more importantly, yours truly being skunked, the outing was however enjoyable, to catch up with my good mates, and to share a joke or two.

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