Few things excite me more then getting to connected to a big red which is why they are one of my primary fishing targets through the colder months. Its not that you cant catch them all year round but winter is without a doubt the most productive time when it comes to snapper fishing along mid north coast of NSW especially for those bigger fish. The stretch of coastline between Seal Rocks and Port Stephens where I’m from contains some of the meanest hard to stop snapper you’ll find anywhere in Australia especially during winter when the best areas to target them are in less then 20m of water. While we may not get them quite to SA proportions fish well over the 20 pound are caught here every year however many more monsters are hooked and never make it to the net due to the gnarly ledges bomies and pinnacles typical of the most productive parts you’ll find snapper. These fish are not stupid either and rarely fall for the old ill just use heavy gear and skull drag them trick in fact I find if you go any heavier then 20 pound braid and 20 pound leaders I find you just don’t get the bite. This is why you need to red line your gear and get the most out of it putting maximum hurt on that fish before he blows you away. Perhaps the most important instrument for doing this is the rod and as soon as I picked up the Omen 71h Iknew this rod was right on the money for putting the brakes on those big reds.
While I had been giving it a little work out on fish to 3kg I hadn’t hooked anything substantial with it until a couple of days ago when I managed to subdue a red which measured 95cm and weighed 9kg (20lb) before releasing.
It came after a pretty slow afternoon throwing plastics only tricking a few small reds to 2kg and while id love to tell you this fish was caught on a Magic swimmer or a Flatshad in the dying minutes of light it wasn’t.Once we ran out of light we hung around for a bait fish casting unweighted squid at the back of a shallow bombie. I was pretty close to pulling the pin on the day before I hooked up and it didn’t take me long to work out this was a proper one. I went pretty hard on the fish from the get go and really put the omen 71h through its paces trying to stop it before I got buried. The rod performed superbly and after the 2nd solid run I could feel the fish running out of puff and the omen starting to manhandle him which is just want it did for the remainder of the fight