Fish and Trips
A this time of year the question I get asked the most is, "where are the snapper?"
For a lot of people chasing snapper in the Sounds it means fishing from the shore or from trailer boats in the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.
I like to think about it like this. If I were a snapper, where would I choose to be? I know it sounds kind of strange but in reality it is that simple. Most fish seek out shelter, food and reproduction so if you find the areas that provide those three things you will generally find the fish. When you break it down even further you start to see why certain areas fish better than others.
If you can find some current, you have found one way of getting food past a snapper's nose. If you find some structure like rocks or reef, you have found a way of protecting baitfish, which of course snapper also look for.
These structures also provide a bit of cover when the fish are in reproductive moods, although it is understood that snapper spawn in mid water, they will also seek places that offer the correct temperature and shelter for the time that they are not in that mode so somewhere close is where they will be.
They say time flies when you're having fun and that is certainly the case for me as I get back into the writing mode.
Thank you to all those kind people who have been asking when I was returning to the column.
Perhaps the big question that needs answering from the outset is how have I gone with my quest for a single-figure golf handicap?
I'll come right out and say it - I'm not there yet.
Does that bother me, you ask. Well, no, not really. I had set the goal with a due-by date of the end of the year so I still have quite a bit of golf ahead of me.
Well they say all good things must come to an end, so I have decided to have a break from writing this column each week for a few months.
There are a number of reasons and just so you know the thinking behind my decision, I will elaborate.
It should be well-known by now that I love the outdoors.
I love fishing, diving, hunting and boating in general. In fact, just being on the water brings me pleasure that I can't really explain in words; but I just have that feeling of calm excitement and contentment all in one.
The trouble for me is that I also enjoy various other things, particularly golf and just plain hanging out with friends and family.
Well, I survived the week away skiing with a bunch of 100 teenagers at Hanmer and made it home safe and sound.
We did have one casualty - unfortunately it was one of the leaders. He broke his wrist when he fell off his snowboard and landed awkwardly. His week ended a couple of days early but he was very calm and is now recovering well after having his wrist put in a cast.
As expected, we had loads of fun and laughter. It truly is a form of medicine and can certainly change you for the better. We all need to laugh more.
What always amazes me is how fast young people can learn new things such as skiing or boarding.
I know from playing golf that kids have such nice swings compared to adults who take up the game later in life. I am sure it has something to do with their muscle development and I'd be interested to know if there is any truth to this.
Here we go with another week going by with no fishing or diving on the horizon for me, but I can't say that I am missing out on the outdoors.
Instead, I am with a group of 100 or so teenagers staying in Hanmer for five days.
With a number of other adults to help transport and look after the group, we are in for a great week.
This is an annual event organised by several youth groups and is a fantastic opportunity for some teenagers who have never been on skis or a snowboard before to learn.
We spend our nights at the old forest huts in Hanmer and travel to Mt Lyford to spend the days on the snow. While I cannot say that I am in any way proficient on either, I am still more than happy to walk the hills and pick up the fallen.
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