We had started the day out at a few sections of reef where we had previously had success. With large numbers of bait schools showing on the sounder we thought we were going to be in for a cracking day. Unfortunately though there were no snapper to be found under these bait schools. It was a slow morning with only one small pan sized snapper caught. We were determined to find where these snapper were holding so we persevered all day travelling from reef to reef working wide and shallow.
The day was starting to close. I was chattering away to Scott saying that all I really wanted was to feel that big hit and catch one of those really big snapper that you often see on social media. I was fishing with ¼ ounce jig head for a slower drift of my plastic down the water column and 3/8th ounce so I could see which one they preferred. I also fished two different plastics, the large Squidgy Lobby in grenade colour and the 140mm Squidgy Wriggler in white lightening colour.
We drifted to a drop off on the reef and all of a sudden bait schools again started to appear but this time they were pushed to the surface and some sort of predator that remained unseen was actively feeding on them causing the bait to shower on the surface. We also then started to mark snapper on the sounder. Hallelujah!
We were losing light when all of a sudden my ¼ ounce rig went off, peeling some line. As I picked it up and started fighting the fish back to the boat, the hook pulled, bugger. I re-rigged another plastic and put it out again. On the drop I got hit again this time the fish took the plastic and ran straight to the reef. I didn’t even get the chance to get a turn on the reel before I was popped off on the reef.
Scott made the call; this was the last drift of the day. Come on, I was praying to the fish gods, I have had two chances was I going to get another?
Next minute the 3/8th ounce rod was buckled over in the rod holder with the reel screaming off line. I struggled to pull it out with so much pressure on the other end. I could feel it running through things on the reef bottom – ooh that doesn’t feel good. At last this fish gave me a chance to gain some line back but I didn’t want to go too hard in case I pulled the hook. It took another run for the reef and I just hoped it would stop soon. I slowly worked the fish up to the surface, as I seen colour I grew more and more nervous. I was sure this was going to be a personal best and didn’t want to lose it now. Scott was at the ready with the net and we both just looked on in ore, shaking at this magnificent fish that was coming to the boat.
The adrenalin was running until it was safely landed in the net. It measured 77cm and was to beat my personal best by 5cm. It just goes to show perseverance does pay off and wishes can come true.