A Mid Winters Kayak Fishing Tale of Squid, Snapper and Seriolas.

For me the depths of winter in Perth Western Australia are something to be endured until snapper season fires up in earnest in August /September or I can do a tropical getaway so a red hot metro session on Samson fish and Pink snapper was a very pleasant surprise indeed!

The story of this trip actually started about a month before when Paul “Yakyakker” Tuckwell and I headed out to a spot we rarely fish in Metropolitan Perth ,Western Australia on a freezing cold winters morning to chase Pink Snapper and possibly Samson Fish.
To cut a long story short we had the discouraging experience of watching a boat anchored up and berleying get their 4 fish boat limit of 80 ish cm snapper and couple of big WA Salmon whilst we caught nothing of note even though we could see the fish on the side imaging of our Humminbird Fish finders .

I cycled through all my normal soft plastics and eventually resorted to bait which ended up with me catching wrasse .
Paul who fishes a lot with lures is still a big fan of fresh caught squid for Samsons and Snapper and has converted me as well who never used to fish bait . We resolved to return with fresh squid ASAP .

The following weekend I made a specific trip to our local squid grounds and picked up nine squid, eight of which were bait size and one which is my new PB .

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Finally on a Sunday we managed to get together for the second attempt . On the water with half an hour to sunrise we soon start seeing large schools of fish on the sounders. I have given Paul half of the squid and soon Paul’s squid is smashed and after a good fight gets smoked .

A few minutes later I land small under size snapper about 40 cm and then Soon after hook up something that feels like Snapzilla . Lots of head shakes and few short runs initially followed by longer runs taking plenty of line eventually I lose the fish and find the leader rubbed through under the swivel bugger !!!. Paul hooks up again within minutes and lands a solid snapper in the high 70’s . I am pretty bloody excited at this stage as its been 3 months since I last caught any thing of note in the ocean and sure enough a few minutes pass and my rod goes off and I soon have a very welcome 67 cm snapper on board .

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Another couple of minutes and Paul again gets seriously smoked and now he is calling the culprit a Samson fish . The amount of fish on the sounder in the 6 to 8 m of water we are in is amazing and really looks like the big snapper schools we see in the sounds pre spawn . Shortly after I get huge take almost bashing my knuckles on the PA rails and again it really feels like snapzilla with head shakes and short runs not going far from the yak and then suddenly it lights the burners and its off .Paul yells its definitely a sambo ! and of course its taken my 6 to 8 kg out fit rather than the elephant gun with 50lb braid I had with me specifically for sambos.. after a serious work out that was most likely only 10 mins I get it yak side and yep my first Seriola from the yak which went 14.3 kg and 1.17 m tip You ripper!!!

Photos courtesy Paul Tuckwell

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Paul suffers another smoking and then picks up another ripper of a snapper in the mid eighties range to get his bag limit .

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We keep cruising around an area of broken ground about the size of a soccer pitch and soon find fish again .

Still hoping for a second snapper I have another good hook up and after a short fight this time as its on my heavy rod I have another Sambo on board maybe 80cm long . Damn this is fun !

Second Samson of the day.

Photo courtesy of Paul Tuckwell

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back you go buster I need room for snapper .

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Its now getting on in the morning and I am thinking of heading in to catch some squid and get my fish on ice and say to Paul “no snapper within ten minutes we go ” seconds later its on again on the lighter outfit . A good scrap and up pops this Samson about the same sizes as the second.

Photo courtesy Paul Tuckwell

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Its mid morning by now and we are still seeing heaps on the sounder and after a couple of rat sambos we run out of time and bait and head in for a half hearted squid session but nothing happening on that front .

Back on the beach it was fun to hear one of the gawkers say she had been told earlier that there is no way those yakkers out there will catch anything …

Photos courtesy Paul Tuckwell

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Thanks to Paul for teaching me his Samson techniques .I was with Paul when he caught the biggest fish I know of from a Kayak in Western Australia a 35 kg (70lb) Samson a few years ago and he also has caught a 20kg (40lb) specimen as well .All caught in shallow water on light spin tackle.

For more Western Australian Kayak fishing check out Yakfishwest on face book or the forum http://www.yakfishwest.com and instagram #yakfishwest and @brendonchambers

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