Snapper are still here!

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My brother with the 7kg Snapper caught as the sun was setting. As you can see behind him is the Kapiti Boat Club. This was released

My brother with the 7kg Snapper caught as the sun was setting. As you can see behind him is the Kapiti Boat Club. This was released

We went out today and caught 4 Snapper, sized between 4kg – 7kg, drifting between Kapiti Boat Club and Raumati Beach, at a depth somewhere between 20 – 30m. We also caught another 2 pan size Snapper. We released 3 of the 4 large Snapper due to the fact they were just to large for us to keep, also they were older Snapper ideal for breeding stock. I caught two of the four large Snapper using the Snapper rig with a Large piece of Squid. My brother caught his two large Snappers on the Snapper rig using fresh Mackerel.

We went out at about 10am and there was only a slight southerly breeze. It was cold, but atleast there was a perfect blue sky. High tide was around 10am so there was no current and we headed to a depth of about 25m just in front of Kapiti Boat Club. It seemed like a lot of Kahawai activity had just happened and it didn’t take us long to get into action. It was a huge take and my brothers line started to strip out much like the time I caught the large shark… So naturally we were on edge and we started to talk about what might happen if this is a large shark and it surfaces next to our small zodiac. So I grabbed a small Manuka stick we had in the boat and also my camera in the hope to capture the previous experience where the shark leaped out of the water. It was around this time that my smaller rod got into a fish, but rather than bringing it in I decided to just leave it on the drag and focus on this larger fight. We peered into the water nervously awaiting what it was (you know the feeling, staring into the blue depth awaiting what mysterious creature comes up from below), then it suddenly appeared. No it wasn’t a shark it was in fact a 6+kg Snapper. This was huge and larger than our previous 12lb Snapper. It was obviously an older Snapper as it was getting a small hump on its head. We talked about keeping, however this was only brief as it was obvious that this was a prime breeding fish. We released this Snapper and I brought in my smaller line. I had a small pan size Snapper on my line which we kept. I must admit ever since hooking the 12ft Shark in our little boat I am on edge when we get something large on our lines… It’s really stupid and a bad way to think as it does ruin the experience a bit, however i’m sure that as we get more and more use to the sea we will get more comfortable with it. It was nice to see this old Snapper return and it was a good decision as we would catch a lot more during the day.

My brother with the first large snapper caught within 5mins of us fishing off Kapiti Boat Club

My brother with the first large snapper caught within 5mins of us fishing off Kapiti Boat Club

The first Snapper being released

The first Snapper being released

It wasn’t too long after this that I also got a huge take. Straight away we knew that this must be another large Snapper. We were quite amazed with this type of action as our previous outing we thought the Snapper might have already left the Kapiti waters. Also we haven’t ever caught this many large Snapper. Sure enough after a good fight I got another large Snapper which would have gone 5kgs. This Snapper again had the showings of a hump on its head so I decided this should be released. We took a quick photo before I released it. Stoked with this action we could have finished the day already satisfied however we were determined to keep fishing till the next tide change which was at 4pm.

me with our 2nd large Snapper, just before releasing it

me with our 2nd large Snapper, just before releasing it

We didn’t catch much more for awhile and as the current picked up we started to drift south towards Raumati Beach. I picked up another Pan size Snapper and my brother caught a few Kahawai during this time, also we caught a lot of Spiny Dog fish. These Sharks have poisonous spikes around there dorsal fins so they are a bit hard to handle and are annoying as they are hard to release with the re-curve hooks. We also caught a few carpet sharks which were all released.

We caught lots of these Spiny Dog fish

We caught lots of these Spiny Dog fish


There was a lot of time where we would have no good action and the only things caught were small sharks. It was around 2pm when our rods started to get some good action. My brother and I both got Kahawai on our line which tangled our lines and got us jumping around the boat trying to keep them under control. He got his in however a bit of mucking around saw me loose mine at the edge of the boat. Almost straight away after putting his line down my brother caught a nice Mackerel, which he filleted for fresh bait. I had to re-rig my line and when I finally got it back into the water it wasn’t long before I got into another Kahawai. This time I didn’t muck around with it and lifted it into the boat. I killed it quickly then got my line back into the water quickly, hoping to get back into what must have been a school of Kahawai. It’s important to bleed Kahawai quickly so did that, however just as I had started to bleed it my line went into free spool and I was into another fish. This one felt much larger than the Kahawai I had just got so we thought it was probably a large Snapper. Sure enough after a great fight it was a good size Snapper. It wasn’t as big or old as the previous two we had caught and was a good eating size so we decided to keep this one. It was interesting as this Snapper had bitten through one of the two hooks I use on the Snapper rig and had braided the line just above the second hook. This is why it’s a good idea to use two hooks with one large piece of bait on your Snapper rig.
This is me with the 3rd larger Snapper - though it was the smallest out of the 4 it is a great eating size

This is me with the 3rd larger Snapper - though it was the smallest out of the 4 it is a great eating size

We didn’t get any action around the low tide change and we weren’t sure why – until I pulled up a blind eel! As soon as this happened we were off back up the beach to the spot where we had caught the previous two large snapper. On the way up the beach we noticed a long line out deeper and saw close to it a black shape moving about on top of the water. We weren’t sure what it was until we got closer and saw it was a large Seal. I wonder if it had taken the fish off the long line or if it was just enjoying itself floating around on-top of the water in the sun. We took a quick photo then threw it some pilchard before heading back to the spot.

If you look close enough you can see the large seal on top of the water

If you look close enough you can see the large seal on top of the water


We saw a lot of birds out deeper from our spot, floating on the water – it must have been a work up which had just finished. We headed out and I would estimate the depth to have been 35m. By this time it was about 5pm, the sun was getting low, wind had died and it was starting to get quite cold. So this was going to be just a quick drop of our lines. We didn’t bother with an anchor as there was no current and both my rigs on my line were cut off so I was busy tying some up. My brother had a fresh fillet of Mackerel he had caught earlier on and almost as soon as he had dropped his line he had a huge take. This was much larger than the previous ones and I will admit, again we thought it might have been a shark. So we discussed what we would do if it was and even got to the point where we started our motor incase we had to get out quickly. I think our biggest fear is not that the shark will bite us, but that it might bite into a pontoon which will sink the boat. But yet again it wasn’t a shark it was a 7kg Snapper! The sun was in a great position for me to get the photo with Kapiti in the background!
Closer shot of the 7kg Snapper just before it was released

Closer shot of the 7kg Snapper just before it was released

My brother releasing the 7kg Snapper

My brother releasing the 7kg Snapper


We released this Snapper and headed in to the Boat Club. Feeling yet again very amazed with the quality of fishing we had. I must admit I think every time I go out I get surprised as you just never know what you might catch. I think perhaps there are less smaller Snapper around at the moment, but there are plenty of larger ones. Another surprise came about when we were bringing the boat in and the waves were actually of a decent size. It was very dodgy as the waves broke on the bar and we just got the boat in before a good set came through… though one wave did catch up with us and turned out boat – luckily it didn’t flip us… so we were glad to be on the beach without a swamped boat and very happy with a very successful day of fishing under our belt.

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