Kapiti Snapper – Trevally – Kahawai – home made down rig trail

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We went out again at Kapiti Boat club yesterday and got 1 good size Trevally, just over pan size Snapper and a nice 4lb Kahawai. There was a lot of bird activity yesterday and lots of Kahawai splashing the surface. They weren’t large Kahawai Schools just quite a few of them. We got an hour of work and got out at about 5pm. We knew that 5pm was just on high tide so in theory there would be little drift but we also knew that the best fishing was an hour either side of this which meant we were about an hour late. By the time the boat was ready and we got our lines in the water it was about 5:15pm and really we knew that we only had about 20 – 30mins before the current would get quite strong. I have always found that around these tide changes you get a patch where you catch all your fish then the fishing action seems to just stop. It might be that you have to adjust your fishing or know where the fish sit – depth wise. I used my heavy tackle rod with a Snapper rig on it and the lighter tackle rod with a dropper rig. The current wasn’t major but what current there was headed south. It wasn’t long before the heavy tackle rod was into a Kahawai. It was a nice 4lb one and we decided to keep it for the smoker. It had also swallow the whole snapper rig so there was no way we could get the hooks out without to much damage. We were quite happy with this as the first fish in the boat is always a great feeling. About 10mins later the lighter rod, with the dropper rig, got into a Trevally. I wasn’t 100% sure that it was one till I worked out that it felt like a Snapper but fought a lot more. Trevally feels almost identical to Snapper when on your line however they tend to not let you pull them straight up like Snapper – there major difference is they dive a bit more. It was a good size Trevally, about 40cm long.

The fishing died after the Trevally and the current started to pick up as predicted. Once we started to feel that our sinkers weren’t sitting at the bottom we decided to give my brothers home made down rigger a go. Basically for those who don’t know what a down rigger is, it’s a heavy weight tied to a rope which has clips attached to it. You attach your line to this clip and drop the down rigger into the water. This will take your line to the bottom attach via the clip. Once a fish takes your bait the theory is that your line unclips and you bring your fish in. The whole purpose of one is just get your line to the bottom without having to use heavy weights on the end of your line. Our rig was made with a diver weight belt and some rope. Attached to the rope we had a piece of nylon and clothes line clip to act as the clip that would release your line.

Because this is totally experimental we didn’t know what to expect. My brother went first and dropped him one down, sure enough it got right to the bottom and the clip seemed to work. Although shortly after the clip decided to unclip the line and it slowly floated to the surface. As his line did start to surface he hooked up on a Snapper. It was not a bad size one, about 40cm. Our other attempts didn’t bring us any luck like that first time and at the end of the day our two rigs actually tied around each other. Also our anchor started to drift, so it became a bit of a mess. Still we did catch 3 fish and not bad sized ones either. We did fish till it got dark, which was about 8pm. Also the wind seems to drop quite a bit as the land starts to cool when the sun goes down, so you tend to find some very nice still fishing evenings out here. When the current started to flow like a river we decided to give up on our down rigger (it weighed almost 5kgs yet still got caught in the current) and call it a night. I suppose yet again tonight we will have Fish and Chips!!

I might think about going out tonight if this rain eases, the wind doesn’t seem to be chopping up the water, but we will see. The current should be perfect today been fully high tide at 6pm – so i would think some great fishing around this time… happy fishing

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