Com­plete NAFS

NZ Fishing News - - News -

NAF is not a deroga­tory term. It’s an ab­bre­vi­a­tion for New Age Fisho, which I be­lieve de­scribes the two Daniels. Daniel F might be a very strong, su­per-keen fisho of proud South African ex­trac­tion (with the only pos­si­ble chink in his ar­mour be­ing an ap­par­ent fear of rats), but he and fish­ing com­pan­ion Daniel T set a great ex­am­ple for other rock fish­er­men. For a start, rub­bish bags were lo­cated nearby to keep the area free of rub­bish, with spares to clean up any mess left by less con­sci­en­tious an­glers. The boys carry out all the rub­bish at the end of the trip and dis­pose of it re­spon­si­bly.

I also liked how well they treated their fish. A wet cloth was used to hold fish for care­ful un­hook­ing, and then either ik­ispiked (even the ka­hawai) and iced-down in a chilly bin or re­leased in good health.

And, as al­ready men­tioned, opt­ing for heavy tackle meant they lost very few fish, so could choose which ones to keep and which ones to let go. Heavy tackle also re­duced the amount of busted-off gear left in these pris­tine en­vi­ron­ments. Cer­tainly food for thought…<>

ended when Daniel F hooked it, en­joyed a smok­ing run be­fore be­ing bit­ten off.

And so it con­tin­ued: school-sized snap­per and big ka­hawai in­ter­spersed with oc­ca­sional big thumps and steam­ing runs on mas­sive baits, but some­how none of the lat­ter stuck.

Then it was dark. I can’t de­scribe how weird it feels to stand on the rocks, way out in the mid­dle of nowhere, cast­ing baits into the black night and hear­ing them splash down into an even blacker sea. And while I don’t like fish­ing straight af­ter the full moon (dur­ing the day, any­way), at least the ‘big spot­light’ over­head pro­vided some much ap­pre­ci­ated il­lu­mi­na­tion.

De­spite high ex­pec­ta­tions, noth­ing too spec­tac­u­lar hap­pened, just lots more pan­nie snap­per and brawl­ing ka­hawai, with the lat­ter be­com­ing a wel­come ad­di­tion to our dwin­dling bait sup­ply.

In be­tween fish, flocks of sea birds swooped around us, so close I felt the flut­ter of their wings at times, while pen­guins scuf­fled around amongst our tents, quar­relling and squawk­ing.

Other crea­tures were less wel­come: head­lamps re­vealed large crabs slowly drag­ging off whole pilchards and mon­strous rats feast­ing on any­thing edi­ble. In­deed, the rats were hefty enough and close enough to make Daniel F emit a high-pitched yell that sounded un­nerv­ingly like a woman’s scream!

I was there­fore thank­ful for the tent’s thin pro­tec­tive walls upon crawl­ing in­side just be­fore mid­night, while the two Daniels fished on doggedly…

Bloody rocks! They were so jagged that when­ever I moved to lessen the pain in one part of my body, they’d at­tack me in two or three new ar­eas. It felt as if I was be­ing chewed up in slow mo­tion.

Even­tu­ally I did sleep, wak­ing briefly when Daniel T crawled ex­hausted into the other tent, and then at 4am when Daniel F woke me and sug­gested I get up for a morn­ing fish.

I was sore all over and pretty knack­ered, but an­tic­i­pa­tion of dawn’s ‘magic hour’ en­cour­aged me out into the black­ness – at which point Daniel F promptly slipped into the va­cant tent and bid us both good­night.

Four hours later Daniel T and I ad­mit­ted de­feat, with only an ap­par­ently end­less sup­ply of pan-sized snap­per and big ka­hawai to show for our ef­forts and the An­glers’ Lodge boat on its way to pick us up. But that’s fish­ing, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

An­other typ­i­cal Coro­man­del snap­per caught by Daniel T.

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