Soggy Surfcasting

After a tough year of fishing down in Christchurch, the desperation to catch snapper again had truly set in. With only a couple of days spare at the top of the south, I knew I would have to make the most of it.

As luck would have it, the weather had other plans and “sunny Nelson” had decided to rain cats and dogs for the whole week I was there. However, this didn’t change my plans because, as we all know, fish don’t really care if it’s raining; they’re already wet. So, with this strange philosophy in my back pocket, along with unbridled enthusiasm and a good raincoat, I set out to catch my much-needed snapper.

Several hours later, I stood soaked to the bone and appeared like a drowned rat, but I wasn’t ready to give up yet. Sure enough, just as the thoughts of dry clothes and a hot drink were beginning to tempt me, my rod buckled straight towards the surf.

The fight was textbook snapper with powerful runs and reel-screaming headshakes, but I refused to get my hopes up; this spot had yielded plenty of eagle rays who had also convinced me that they were, in fact, of another species. After several nervous minutes of fighting, I spotted Fergus sprinting down the beach to enjoy the show. Between us, we convinced ourselves it had to be a snapper, so when an absolute barn door of a snapper flanked in a wave, we were practically ecstatic. Carefully, I slid it up through the waves, where Ferg pounced on it.

At 17 pounds and well over 75cm, it was a magnificent specimen, and to catch such an awesome snapper off the shore in the South Island is unreal. I’m bloody stoked to have ticked it off. Having said that, to prove it wasn’t just a random stroke of luck, I am now forced to spend as much time as possible trying to catch the magic 20-pounder off the shore.

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