Let’s start off with fishing. It’s been a while since I planned a land based fishing mission. I was certainly keen, eager and excited whilst hiking to the headlands of Schooner Bay on Tuesday. I was also confident. After all, I haven’t had fish on the table for almost two months and was also looking forward to calling in at my mate’s place and presenting him with fresh snapper.
Low tide was about an hour away, the current was still going hard and my confidence was right up there as I deployed the small berley bomb. I had two rods with me, one rigged with two 4/0 hooks and one with 6/0 and 6/0, respectively. The former was going to be used to catch kahawai in the berley trail, the latter would be used to cast fresh kahawai bait far out to catch a decent snapper.
In other words: big snapper = berley + kahawai + rig for targeting kahawai
So yeah, nothing new if you follow my fishing adventures. Concentrate on catching a kahawai first and you’ll be rewarded with a decent snapper afterwards.
It took a while until 4 kahawai showed up. 3 small and one about 1.5 kg. I took them all with ease. To my surprise, however, nothing touched my perfect baits for the next hour. About half an hour after low tide, the current changed and I felt some resistance on the retrieve. Slightly odd, as I didn’t feel any take. A few winds later and the reel started screaming line out. Wow, what a rush, I was totally in the zone, fighting the fish not too hard but also being quick and not wasting any time.
The fish had three strong runs, which is very unusual for a snapper, so all that was going through my head was: ‘Don’t lose it mate,’ followed by ‘You’re going to lose this one.’ I can’t recall feeling so sure that I will lose a fish ever. Strange. Even stranger when I noticed the colour, the fish being tired out and only a few meters away. It was a nice snapper, slim, about 6-8 lbs. I reduced the drag, realized that it was well hooked and slowly wound it to my feet. It was lying on a patch of weed, all I had to do was lift it out.
I grab the 60 lbs leader, lift the fish and ‘snap’. ‘Ah whaaat?’, the fish looks at me, turns around, but was still too tired to dive, a wave brought it back to the rocks and I tried to grab it by the gills until I realized that I have to jump into the water to get this one. But by the time I took the camera out of my pocket, it dove into the deep and was gone.
So yeah, two lessons learned. a) be prepared to jump into the water to get your fish. b) never use pre-tied rigs. It was one of those ‘Snapper’ ledger rig types and it just broke at the knot.
I was at Whangapoua Beach (have a look at the google maps insert at the end of the article) with the Youth Group yesterday. Have been there about half a dozen of times this year and never encountered another person.
Through my role as youth worker I have been actively engaging with the community on Aotea and just want to highlight that I am deeply appreciative of how much has ‘come back’ toward me from the community. I have been fortunate enough to meet and connect with so many good people, amongst which are the Ngatiwai and Ngati Rehua o Atoea.
Just participating at the shared dinner and the korero at Kawa Marae yesterday, conversing with the families and kids and watching how the young rangatahi speak te reo, honour their ancestors, their elders, their families, the spiritual side of life, speaking and sharing freely, singing and dancing, celebrating and acknowledging the core values of life in a disciplined but nowhere forced or unnecessarily formal atmosphere is moving and from my point of view commendable to say the least.
As a nation, we could ask ourselves why we desperately want to adopt economic and political models that have never been fair or successful for the masses – I’m thinking of focusing on exporting natural resources, endorsing jobs that do not create any wealth, increasing debt and consumption, rendering education a business, neglecting the natural diversity of people and tackling most social, economical and environmental issues only at their surfaces and not at their roots – even though we still have the opportunity to live in harmony with and from the land as ONE and to blend the knowledge base of Maori into our overall policies and way of life in general.
For the sake of fairness, I’m not saying that this is not being done at all, my point is rather that we have all the tools, resources, people, the right climate and a small population (density) to establish the richest country in the world. We should, therefore, constantly ask ourselves why we aren’t the richest country in the world.
Last and also least, I pulled my Marantz loudspeakers out of the shed and hooked them up to a 39 dollar FM/AM/USB/SD/AUX/4x50W/MP3/WMA/bla/bla/bla new radio that even has a remote. Using photo voltaics as the sole power source, this is just another example of how trivial and cheap it can be to sort out your music listening pleasure.