Borrowed tackle and archived favourite May 2nd 2016

TR by doctordog

Wind: Light South to South West 5 knots with a 9.00am glass off followed by a light Northerly
Swell: variable less than a metre metre
Current: little detectable current at Little Halls Reef
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: doctor dog, tunny, microbe, kiwikelv, redwood, the hoff, bomber, cuddles, stormin, diesel, sunshiner

I for one was very keen to get back on the water after 6 weeks of light duties recovering from a shoulder injury. Bomber and Diesel were already in the carpark when I arrived at 5.00 and the rest of the crew came in dribs and drabs leading up to sunrise with Stormin bringing up the rear after an atypical sleep in. We were met with a small wave beside the rock wall which although not big still wet me as I punched out in the dark with a mistimed run.
I was less than organised this morning forgetting to pack jig heads but fortunately Tunny came to my rescue with a couple of loaners.
Bomber and Diesel and Sunshiner headed to Jew Shoal while Tunny , Microbe , Cuddles and I headed north along the beach following the early flights of terns as they chased the bait schools. Dodging the boats coming out of the river mouth is always interesting in the half light of dawn.

After a few unsuccessful casts at tuna crashing through bait close inshore just north of the river mouth I suffered a few early tangles and found myself drifting towards Little Halls while I made repairs. Taking this as an omen I followed my old GPS marks to LH where a couple of stink boats were catching a few live bait. Both my sounder and GPS were having minor technical issues but I persisted after seeing one of the stink boats landing a nice squire (aka small snapper). I found the line of the LH reef and with my drogue deployed was pleased that the breeze took me in a perfect drift along the length of the structure . With the sounder now working properly I was able to identify structure, bait and some larger fish. I have in the past only fished here for live bait or pelagics so I was well pleased when my cast SP offering was hammered by what proved to be a nice 50 cm Sweetlip.

Repeating that drift I passed over some interesting territory but no bites. On the third drift my SP was hit again and this time I was pleased to boat a nice 45 cm snapper.

I should have called it a day then but I was keen to grab a bit of pelagic action so I followed some birds and bait schools almost into the surf zone in front of Halls Knob. Here I could see mack tuna and I believe also some long tails crashing through the bait but they would not take a lure. One last cast and I was on but this fish was not behaving normally and came to the Yak very meekly after its first spirited run. Only when I had it along side my craft did I realise the hook was not imbedded in any part of the fish but rather the lure and line had wrapped round the fish to form a loop on itself and the loop slipped to the tailstock. I merely dragged the unlucky fish to me in reverse. Release was very easy and the startled but unharmed Mack tuna swam away strongly.
My lack of paddle fitness showed as I struggled to make it back to MG against the inshore northerly drift . Return to the beach was relatively uneventful in spite of the crowds.

the third fish - little snapper is courtesy of Cuddles - Dwayne Thuys​. I was surprised so few legal fish were landed today but pleased I had a feed. Tunny declined my offer of a fish for the loan of the jig heads.
Great paddle out on Laguna Bay this morning. Thanks for the company and thanks for the jig heads Tunny - I owe you a beer or 6.
- good luck to those heading out tomorrow,
Tight Lines,

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