Shannon’s snapper sparks squeals and smiles

It was my 40th birthday and I said to Shannon I wanted to spend the day fishing, as usual.

We all went out in the morning, including Shannon’s mum who was visiting to celebrate my birthday. Things were ticking along nicely; a fish here, a fish there, nothing trophy worthy up to that point but then, zzzzzzzzzzzzz! That noise every fisher loves to hear. Shannon’s reel started peeling line like crazy!

He slowly started to reel in whatever had taken a bite of the pilchard on the end of the line.  Several times Shannon said he had a shark on—he always says that when he has anything with a bit of weight to it and, to be fair though, he usually is right! He’s caught a few 7 gillers and mako sharks, but not this day. This day was something much more special.

After a while of making line back and losing it, making it back and losing it, we started to see colour. He was almost there. Then, ominously, Shannon felt some rubbing on the line—panic set in.  

I started to pull up the berley pot but, sure enough, the fish was excited and decided to do a couple of burnouts around the berley rope. We untangled the line, being careful not to break it—we would be gutted to have that happen when so close to getting it on board.

Finally, success. We were tangle free and had the fish up to the side of the boat and that’s when all the excitement started. Everyone was giggling away in amazement, seeing the sheer size of the snapper.

We had never seen anything like it before. Raikkon, who is 13, netted the snapper, but it wouldn’t fit in the net fully so he needed help to lift it out of the water, while repeating, “That’s a 20 pounder, that’s gotta be a 20 pounder.”

We were all so excited and it was fantastic Shannon’s mum was there to share it.  Smiles remained for the rest of the day for everyone and for Shannon, he’s still smiling. It is possibly a once in a lifetime fish and certainly his PB to date, at 85 centimetres.

For those wondering, Raikkon was right, 23lb 7oz.

Nelson has amazing fishing, and we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

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