A gram of effort brings a kilo of reward

MARK WATSON
Last updated 12:57 21/09/2012
Sunset
MARK WATSON

Beautiful one day, magnificent the next

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Fish and Trips

Molesworth a highlight Daughter joins in on the fun A little effort goes a long way To make your catch, think like a snapper Swing with the winners Time-out to attack the golf handicap We survived, with only minor injuries Always plenty to learn from the young TV episode good motivation Hunting grounds spotted from above

I wonder if you've ever had times where you wanted to do something, but you just couldn't be bothered?

I have, many times.

Last Saturday was one of those times. I knew I should probably go out somewhere, but with rain forecast I didn't feel like making the effort just to get caught in the rain.

Strangely, when I got up in the morning the weather was quite nice, mild and little breeze. I mucked around and had breakfast then shot into town quickly, but on my way home I couldn't help but think that I was making the wrong choice by staying home.

I made the snap decision to just go out for a few hours, regardless of the weather. So within 15 minutes I had the boat hooked up and a packet of chips, a drink and my rain gear. I was off. It was 11am.

Feeling pretty good about my decision, I got to the marina and found it pretty quiet. When it's like this, launching and parking is a non-event and I was soon on my way.

I had a few reasons why I wanted to go out. Firstly, I wanted to find out what the water temperature was as I base a lot of the snapper movements on water temp, rightly or wrongly.

Secondly, I wanted to see what effect the rain had been having on the water clarity and, lastly, I needed a fresh story to write about.

The answer to the first question was a chilly 9.6 degrees Celsius, still pretty cold for shallow water snapper fishing. Not to say there will be no snapper about, it just makes things that much slower and a lot more finicky. This can also just be an excuse to stay home and do nothing, so don't take my word that there are fewer fish around.

Second answer is that the water is still somewhat murky - not really a huge factor for catching fish but my guess is it also has something to do with the cooler temperature for this time of year.

Next is my story. As expected, it was fairly uneventful in the fishing department as I took only a lightweight lure rod and a few lures. No bait or berley in sight.

I thought I would just have a general look around the inner Sounds to see what, if anything, had changed during the few months since I had been in there.

One thing I found early on in my trip was how much I love Kenepuru Sound. I'm not really sure why, perhaps it is just the countless hours I have spent there over the years or a multitude of things, but I really feel at home in there.

I could see the weather was looking ominous, but I wasn't really worried as I had gone prepared.

The memories started to flood my mind as I recalled earlier trips in heavy rain and strong winds. These never seemed to faze me and I found myself thinking I had become a bit soft as I got older. I would have relished a trip like this 10 years ago.

Since I had taken a rod with me I felt obliged to actually try and catch a fish - after all I keep telling people you can't catch anything unless your line is in the water. I tied on a soft plastic lure and quietly motored to within casting distance of the rocky shore and started casting and retrieving with a slow jerk motion.

I don't know why I was so surprised, but I was loving it. Maybe because I hadn't been in the area since autumn. It was just fun to be out there.

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I caught an average sized kahawai and quickly released it and then changed spots. There was little bird activity and no visible fish activity, so I just enjoyed motoring around taking in the sights.

One thing that did come back to mind pretty quickly was how much rain hurts when it hits you in the face when travelling at speed, especially in your eyes.

I don't miss that at all but knowing the forecast, I had taken precautions and had some ski goggles to wear when under way.

This is where it was fortunate that there were so few other boaties around, as I must have looked rather silly with all my rain gear on plus a pair of ski goggles. But it didn't matter as they worked a treat.

My good fishing mate David often wears his dive mask if it rains while we are coming back from a dive trip in the rain and I'm confident my ski goggles don't look near as silly as his mask. I've yet to see him with his snorkel on as well, but I won't rule that out as a possibility.

So my lesson for the day is simply to make the effort before you can reap the rewards, and even though I was fishless I had a great trip and was home in time for afternoon tea.

Perfect.

- The Marlborough Express

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