Monday at 0430 hrs six Taumarunui based saltwater fishermen with high hopes head to the small west coast township of Kawhia to board the charter vessel the “Dove”.She slips away from the wharf at 0700 with a total of 14 fishermen on board and included in our team of six are Robert my Bro Farmer , Travis his son Horizons man,George who is Roberts Cousin and Farmer in training, Ross the beared farmer, and our Cobba Dick the farmer retired, who by the way is blind and me Ken the supplier of gear.
As we motor down the harbour,which is calm, we settle Dick into a secure possy on a seat near the stern and proceed to set up gear.As we round the last turn and line up the run towards the bar we have a swell running in against the tide that has been flowing out for 2 hrs and it looks as though the swell forecast was not quite right .
As we head into the standing waves the Skipper Dennis passes out the Life Jackets and we outfit Dick first and help 1 of the Hamilton boys who has not put one on before.After some cautious sailing we make it clear of the Bar and into open ocean, and oh crikey it is a washing machine.We are heading into a southwest swell with alot of cross chop.At this point I am thinking thank goodness I took my Paihia Bombs seasick pills this morning.
We finally anchor up at 57meter and we are into it .Robert and Ross are helping Dick and I am helping George .This is his first trip out off shore and he is using my spare rod.First drop he hooks a Kahawai about 10meters below the boat, same again 2nd drop , 3rd drop and after a short wait he’s into a snapper and Robert is hooked up also, both fish landed.I finally get a bait in the water and just trying to stay on your feet is going to be a real challenge,seconds later george is being sick overboard ,and with in 10 minutes 3 others join in.One or two more snapper have been landed then all goes quiet, apart from guys being sick.
Half an hour goes by then travis hooks a good fish and is battling away when the line goes light , so he carries on in and a barracota head that is gasping its last appears , cut into bits buy a big shark. This does not bode well for this location, so we move and this senario plays out 4 more times with me joining the list of sickies around 1130hrs , OH gosh it is going to be a long day.
By the end of day we managed 14 snapper 6 kahawai 5 gurnard and 1 sand shark for 14 fisherman.We have had better days in lots of ways, but it was a day off work spent with good mates and boy we were all glad to be back on dry land at 1700 hrs.
It is amazing that as soon as your feet hit the dock that sick feeling eases and I have to admit I was grateful for that .
My wife Gill and I really enjoyed the snapper pan fried the next night, and yes snapper does win out in the end.