Harvey's day, 28Feb08

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing 28feb08 -- Harvey checks in
Date: Thursday, 28 February 2008 3:47 PM

I'll let Harv tell the story but just wanted to send out a couple of pics. Harv scooped the pool and popped his snapper cherry on what was a quiet day for the rest of us, despite near perfect conditions.

Harv, Jaro, Beanie and I went out. Small swell, light winds, but quite strong (~2kph) current from the east at JS. The water was noticeably cleaner than last Friday, but not yet perfect. There were a few small schools of baitfish in the bay and above the reef but no sign of pelagic predators in our vicinity, although lots of terns heading NE indicated carnage out there somewhere.

Pics show Harv with his first keeper sweetlip (sorry didn't get a pic of the snapper) and Beanie battling the swell.

On ya Harv, I knew you'd eventually get there...

Red & Yellow Espri with fish scales on it
VHF channel 09, Call Sign: sunshiner

Spaniard, 09Feb08

From: "Jim Thompson"
Subject: My First Spaniard!
Date: Sunday, 10 February 2008 4:43 PM

Hi Yakkers,

Last Tuesday when I visited Jew Shoal, I had three big hits when trailing a pilchard on a 3-gang hook/lure. On two of these hits the whole lure was bitten off, with the third hit being so hard it ripped the rod out of my rod holder (made from slotted plastic pipe) - lucky the rod was tethered. I was of the opinion that if I had had a wire trace leader on the lure I would have landed at least one sizeable fish, possibly a mackerel. So I felt I had some unfinished business at JS and was keen to get out there again. That opportunity presented itself yesterday (Sat) with www.seabreeze.com predicting only 4kt light winds and a reasonable ocean swell of ~2m.

The shore break at Middle Groyne at 0640 was quite low, and I was easily through the break, lines threaded and setting out for JS by 0700. The conditions were almost perfect with a bright sunny day, the water now clearer than it has been for weeks, a low swell and with a gentle SW breeze behind me, I made it to JS in 35 mins.

I headed straight for the location where I was bitten off last Tuesday about 80-90m west of "the Pinnacle" (my "Hot Spot #2"), intending to again trail the pilchard/3-gang lure on the heavy gear (35lb line on big Diawa baitcaster reel) but now armed with a steel trace leader, while also casting the 1/4 oz jighead and 10cm brown/white soft plastic on the light gear - admittedly not a good idea but I wanted to increase my chances. Whilst there was likely to be fish at this location, there is also some reef structure because I got snagged twice last Tuesday and had been snagged three times (on both lines) in about four drifts over this location in the first hour, losing the first of my 3-gang lures. Having boated (and thrown back) only one small rock cod, I therefore decided to move to my previous “Hot Spot #1”, about 200m north of the Pinnacle. By this time the breeze had dropped right out, and the only movement over the reef was due to the slow SSE current that seems to exist at JS. With still no reasonable bites after another hour I decided to move back to Hot Spot #2.

This time there was what appeared initially to be reasonable hit on the trailed pilchard so I decided to reel in the light gear to get it out of the way before tending the heavy gear. While reeling in the jighead/soft plastic lure as fast as I could, there was a grey/gold flash only about 5m from the yak and then instantly the little Shimano Sedona reel was screaming as at least 30m of line was peeled off. I guessed this was possibly a mackerel and wanted to keep reasonable pressure on the line because I was concerned a mackerel's sharp teeth would cut through the line (tied directly onto the small jighead), but was limited in the drag I could apply because of the light 6kg line. So the battle continued for about 25mins with this strong fish making 7-8 powerful runs before I could bring him next to the yak for gaffing. Once having pulled the mackerel on board, I realised how lucky I was, as the jighead was just in the back corner of its mouth - dare I say it, almost a jag, but with the line clear of the mackerel's needle sharp teeth. Anyway, by whatever method, I had boated my first spaniard!

Luckily I had been able to keep the mackerel clear of the trailing heavy line which I now reeled in to find a small (just keeper) sweetlip - bonus! I fished for a bit longer, but with my light line now severely twisted as a result of the fight I decided at 1100 to head back to Main Beach, now conveniently pushed along by a gentle but increasing SE breeze.

On arrival back at Middle Groyne I got a beachgoer to take the attached pic.

When in Davos the previous day Greg Lacy mentioned that no-one had caught a spanish mackerel in 2008, so I called in there on my way home to show them my prize. Greg and Cheryl (name ?) were quite impressed, and after the weigh in (4kg and 86cm), Cheryl took a number of photos and said she would try to get them included in the fishing report on Channel 7 Local News ~1825 on Thursday evening.

One of my most satisfying expeditions to JS yet!

Callsign : Jimbo, VHF Ch 09