Beach Fishing – Lower Yorke Penisular (South Australia)
The fish was close and once the knot on the tapered shock leader was on the reel I knew the fish was only 20 meters away and it was just a matter of waiting for the next set of waves to help land the fish. The first and second waves pushed the fish in closer but I still hadn’t seen it, the third wave pushed the fish to within a few meters to reveal a good sized snapper. After a moment of shock at seeing a snapper I landed the gaff shot and dragged the fish from the danger zone before the next set of waves hit the beach. Having targeted snapper from boats before I knew that they often travel in schools so rather than attempting to remove the hooks I clipped on another pre-tied trace and launched a squid head back into the channel. Unfortunately this fish was a loner and it was back to the 15 minute bait checks and burly trail routine. After an unproductive hour the eastern sky had lighted, the temperature already felt above 30 and the zillion earlier riser flies were getting annoying so it was time to pack up and make the long walk back to the stairs.At the based of the stairs I spoke to the guys who had spent the night without a single bite as they couldn’t cast beyond the weed but were now happy landing a few salmon on surface lures. They saw the wheelie bin sized garbage bag I was dragging and fully expected me to reveal a Jew and not the snapper.
The only tasks left for the day was to drag the fish up the Daly Head stairs without giving the fish another bump on its head, take a quick photo, ice the fish in the esky and the hot drive home to join the family for Saturday lunch.
My boy said that a “real” fisherman would have let the fish go as it wasn’t the species I was targeting.