A Weight Watchers one fish day

If you were out on the water between Kaiteriteri and d’Urville Island in December, you may have heard someone hollering, “Anyone got a net?”

That was me. Probably not anywhere near you, but I have assured my friend, who swears they heard me from Blenheim, that I was hollering for good reason!

Time on the water has been difficult to come by for us yak fishers—if it looks great now, just wait 10 minutes and its sure to be blowing a gale—so I was stoked to be getting out to my old haunt, on what looked to be a pretty good window. No rain (yeah sure), no wind, chop or swell until well into the afternoon. Or so the Apps said. Rain before even launching gave way to cloudy skies and glassy waters, sun and warmth, then the cold wind a-blowing —followed by, of course, chop and swell. No worries if you’re kept busy reeling in a few feeds but when nothing is biting, it seems more like nature is taunting you. And by not biting, I mean not even a nibble. That was until ‘bite time’…

Well, they did say it was a one fish day but what they didn’t say was that, that one fish would set my reel screaming—massive runs, no head nods or tail beats so it’s gotta be a shark right? I didn’t care, I let out a whoop of excitement at being towed around for the first time in goodness knows how long, before settling into the tug of war we know and love. Then finally, as I started to get her up, those nods and another adrenaline boost. A snapper and a half decent one at that.

I have this visual distortion thing going on where everyone else’s fish look massive and mine look, well, okay I guess, so when it finally came up,I was happy enough but not over the moon happy. Any shred of joy, however, quickly faded away when I got her to the side of the yak—and my line snapped. There I am, my best stunned mullet face, watching her head back down, in slow motion—or at least she tried.

Up she bobbed and it was time to swing into action. She was moving quickly and floating all over the show. Round and round I paddled trying to gaff the blasted thing but each time she would have just enough petrol to duck just out of reach. My cries of, “Anyone got a net?” fell on deaf ears. Honestly, I think they were too busy laughing.

Eventually, I did manage to gaff it. At about 65cm and 15lb it was a Weight Watchers candidate for sure. One fish, job done!

Turned out my estimate was a bit off and I came home with a 70.5cm snapper almost 18lb. A great ‘one fish day’ for sure.

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