3-Prong beginnings
13 February 2005
I went to Tiri ('the reserve') today and got onto alot of smallish snapper on the outgoing.  I missed one about 5 - 6 pounds and lost a smaller one.  Obviously my burley spots will need to be more carefully considered. Deeper dropoffs are no good as you are not close enough.  Also, I was a bit nervouse when so close that I woudl damage the slip tip on the rocks, so sand or sideways approached spots are better. I missed all the big kahawai because I was not close enough/they were fast.  I did shoot one small kahawai later on.

The spear performed fairly well.  I need to put some grip tape on the shaft now that I know where to put it, because graphite is hard to hold on to.  I used a small elastic band to hold the tension line on the slip tip and that seemed to work well.  I learned how to grip it by the tip adaptor to give me the leverage to power it up.

Overall: 1 fish and lots of things learned, and a sore hand.  Looking forward to the next attempt
Little Barrier
21 February 2005
I went to Little B on a friend's 335 Genesis (yum!) yesterday. Water blueish, 15m vis on the NW side, and sheltered.  a few small snaps around.  I managed to nail my first with handspear off a burley, so I was stoked.  Didn't see any bigguns around.  Those cray diving reported seeing only small crays - but I didn't take them to my good cray spots.

Handspear is working well now with some grip tape on the graphite. It's a little ripper!

Was a touch on the choppy side coming home - awesome for getting a 30+ foot boat airborne! Yikes.  Then we hit gannets diving hard out on schools of small fish near motuora on the way back.  The water was pretty icky, so we biffed in a couple of lures and picked up a couple of kahawai and a small snapper.  Probabaly should'a jumped in with my gun, but it was pretty dark in there.
Whitianga for the weekend
28 February 2005
I saw quite a few pannie snappers aorund Ohinau on Saturday and dived the weedline at Korapuki, but not much current so just got some butters for dinner. They tasted particularly good.

On Sunday I dived an area of the coast that just looks so damn good for snapper that I wanted to have a look. I jumped in with gun and shot a kahawai first off for the wife's father to fish with, and then swapped back to the weapon-of-less-destruction (handspear).

After 20 minutes of shallow stuff I spooked a big snapper and realised I was at the edge of a gut FULL of XXXOS sized snappers!!  I held onto a rock and watched them file past me - and keep on filing past, and keep on filing past.  Big old grey ones, dark red hump-headed ones, smaller ones, large ones....They were still coming past when I went up for a breath.

I returned to my rock and saw them just milling around in the next gutter.  I approached from a different angle, and lay in the weed, looking up through the weed every now and then.  10 pound snappers circled within 6 feet of me, and some of the big munters just hung back about 10 feet away, circling.  These would have ben easy shots with my gun, but the fish were a bit far away to touch with the weapon-of-less-destruction.  That is the point, I guess, that I just don't need to keep shooting these big snappers when the freezer is full.

Overall, I reckon there would have been a dozen snapper of 20+ pounds and about 30-40 fish in the school all up.  I saw them 2 more times, once after the weapon-of-less-destruction shot a kahawai and then a mullet, both of which got burleyed up in the spot I had seen them first.  The big ones came back in, but they were pretty spooky and shot away at first sight of me.

I have only once before seen such a school of XXXOS snappers, last time was with Blair in the Bay of Islands.  What an awesome sight!  I suspect they are hanging around together for spawning.
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