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Golden snapper, gemfish and bluenose
caught at Mayor Island
Having no day charter on a recent Friday meant we could get away on the overnight trip to Mayor Island at 3pm instead of the usual 6pm.
We loaded up the Te Kuia with supplies and the keen crew of fishermen jumped aboard, charged with anticipation. With awesome weather we set off for the fishing grounds, cruising at trolling speed on a smooth ocean. A few yarns and a good laugh on the way out and the time passed quickly.
Lance Schofield with a monster gemfish, Yen Chen with a prized golden snapper, and Macka Wagstaff with a gurnard.
We hit the deep sea grounds at about 6.30pm. With a quick check of the current and drift, and in totally calm conditions, the lines were released, taking the sinker and baits down 350 metres. Within a couple of minutes the bites began, and so did the wind.
We quickly drifted off the mark as the first fish were hauled out of the depths providing a few for the bin.
A couple of bluenose and gemfish hit the deck along with some ruby fish and golden snapper caught on the small keeper hooks. With a quick rearrange of the drift we set off again with similar results.
Smiles and excitement
The fishing was on big time and with each drift, the number in the bin increased as did the smiles and excitement.
As it reached change of light, the tide also changed and the bluenose went off the bite. We gave it one more drift and a few nice gems came aboard. We were then off to Mayor Island for the night. The kettle was boiled and the barbecue fired up, a brew and a feed well earned. Driving around the island, we found an area of good fish sign, anchored up and the fishing began again, this time in shallow water for reef fish. The lumo squid lures allowed us to pull up some huge 40cm squid for eating and fresh bait.
Kahawai were being pulled up left, right and centre during the evening, and with the addition of a spotlight and some burley plenty of mackerel were caught to be used as bait the next day.
All on again
With everyone falling asleep sometime after midnight, I allowed them a little rest before firing up the engines at 4.30am and steaming back to the deep grounds. It was all on again.
A couple of 15kg bluenose came up and plenty of gemfish. Definitely one of the most successful trips of the season and I look forward to taking these guys out again soon!
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