Winners’ Report: Fishing the Snapper Classic

AFTER once again fronting up to compete in the Dave Irvine Memorial Snapper Classic, it was clear the weather gods would again play a big part in the fishing of this comp – at least in 2012 it was fishable for all boats. Fishing still proved tough for a lot of entrants, the six metre-plus swell we had experienced a few days before the comp may have played a part in that.

As always, the Coffs coast went on to produce some quality snapper with regular competitor Anthony Miller the standout after catching a 101cm snapper on a Lucanus jig. There were also a few reds in the 90cm plus range thrown in as well and many caught in the 80 cm range.

Our plan of attack was to run a fair way from the crowd to find some quiet spots. In average conditions it took time to reach the locations, not to mention we all got soaked to the bone at 5.30 in the morning due to a green wave busting though the clears! Without hesitation though, we continued our journey.

Day 1

We found most of our fish in close, casting 1/6 oz jig heads and 7-inch Berkley Jerk Shads around the washes and shallow bommies, which is super fun. There is nothing better than catching big reds in shallow country, They fight harder and so much can go wrong. With the chance of them swimming though kelp and or over ledges, it only takes seconds and “bang” it’s all over!

We lost around 10 fish due to the rough country, but without a doubt it was definitely worth it as they were biting hard from the big stir of a few days earlier.

The fishing got quiet through the middle of the day, so we tried a few deeper reefs which produced a couple of fish, then it was back in close for the last few hours of light. This decision to head back in close was the right one. We pulled eight fish up to 87cm from eight metres of water in the space of an hour. It was a great way to finish day one. Smiles all round!

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Hayley with another top Coffs snapper and well on her way to taking out the comp’s Female category.

Day 2

We knew where we wanted to fish, but time wasn’t on our side as the comp was set to finish at 11am … thankfully the fish played ball and the long run was worth it, with nine fish for the morning.

We were happy and started the long hard ride home, With a little time up our sleeve we stopped near Coffs for one last drift. First cast and “bang!” Timmy was on to a thumper from the wash. A few hairy moments and a couple minutes later an 81cm fish was on the Brag Mat. A few high fives and it was one happy team!

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Tim Forster with a cracker pulled from the wash.

Thanks to all the organisers and sponsors for running such a fun event for all ages.

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