Stinker’s Fishin’: Just a stone’s throw

Thumper snapper swallowed a fat prawn.

IT was early last week when I had run out of things to do. The wind had been blowing from the west or northwest for close to a month and the sea was as flat as a flounder. The worst possible conditions for me to catch a snapper.

I need a southerly gust on a 2 metre sea to whip up waves that crash over the shallow reef in front of the Fingal Outer Light.

This creates the ideal conditions for big snapper to gather in the white water.

As if sent by some mystical fishing God, the wind started blowing from the south and a bumpy sea slowly built. Here we go. I’m off!

With ‘Stinkpot’ hitched up I headed for Kiddies Corner on Fingal Beach.

It was about 2.30pm when I dropped anchor just north of the two white poles that signify the Sanctuary Zone.

The wind blew me to within 20 metres of the bombie. Perfect!

With no berley trail, I tossed the first bait of a fat prawn on a 6/0 hook, no lead, just short of the white water.

Set my rod in the holder and started organising my second rod.

As I baited the second rod, with a cube of fresh yellowtail, rod number one went off with a bang!

The reel screamed, the line was tight as a violin string and the rod had buckled over, with the tip just out of the water.

The squeal of the reel was fantastic.

The pressure was so great I had real trouble pulling the rod out of the rod holder.

After a fair battle I hauled a cracking 8kg snapper over the side and into the esky.

As I was recovering, rod number two buckled and buck jumped.

Another awesome snapper.

I caught a couple more and ended up leaving the fish biting, upped the anchor and headed home.

I remember driving back up the driveway at 4.45pm.

In a bit over two hours, I had launched the tinny, motored out to the lighthouse, caught a bag of fish and returned home.

Where else, apart from Port Stephens, can you catch cracker snapper out of an 11-foot tinny with a 9hp motor, less than 2km from home?

Nowhere I know.

By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE

A few more for the neighbours.

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