Living the Dream –

We are so fortunate to live in Nelson with an amazing fishery right on our doorstep, we feel like we are living the dream.

We were up bright and early hoping to time it right at the boat ramp. Loads of boat trailers were already parked but only one boat in front of us in the queue. Perfect timing, a great start to the day.

We cruised out and chose a spot. but not much was happening to start. Then we started to lose gear left , right and centre. We caught a couple of small fish, then noticed a tonne of barracouta chasing them up, some even surfacing out of the water like dolphins do, so I decided it was time to move.

We had family come from Ashburton that hadn’t caught snapper before so we were hoping we could change that. The pressure was on so we shifted to a different spot.

Riley’s line started going off, after a solid fight and a lot of excitement he bought in a 64-centimetre snapper, his first and he was stoked. Then Dave caught his first snapper, not as big as Riley’s but a great first snapper. It was slow fishing but catching great fish when we did hook up.

I was chatting away and felt a massive tug on my line.

“Fish on!” I shouted to the others.

Line was peeling and I knew it was something sizable, the snapper nods started, and the excitement grew. After losing quite a bit of line, I turned the tension up a bit, it didn’t help! Line was still peeling, tension up a little more, but line was still running off. I managed to get a bit back, a few more solid runs and my rod bending like you wouldn’t believe.

I could feel something flicking the line, which made me nervous, I didn’t want to lose this fish. Everyone went to my side of the boat, finally we had colour! As it came closer and closer to the surface, it was getting bigger and bigger, and we could all see what a stonker it was. Got it in the net then it popped out due to its size, a second grab and it was safely in the boat – phew!

Lots of excited words, woo-hooing, high fives and a smile that eventually made my cheeks hurt.

It was my PB snapper and quite possibly a one in a lifetime fish.

Weighing in at 20lb 12oz with a length of 82 centimetres, I couldn’t believe it.

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