Bulwer blues

Two days earlier we had left Christchurch, driven up to Havelock and launched our boat. Our destination was Bulwer Bay in the Outer Sounds for our annual fishing trip with friends.

We had now been at the Bulwer bach for two days and, after an epic day fishing at the southern end of the Chetwode Islands at the Nine Pins, had entered our “Great Gurnard” into the DB Export Fishing Competition.

This morning we had been awoken by the sound of the wind and warmth of the early morning sun at the bach. Over breakfast we rechecked our entry had been accepted and as we scrolled down the list, to our surprise, the “Great Gurnard ‘’ was 25th on the leaderboard, which was a great start to our Bulwer fishing adventure.

Now it was time to head down to the jetty, pick up the boat off the mooring and head out for another adventure. Today, due the weather, was going to be a day in the bay fishing for Bulwer’s blues.

Our first spot was only 15 minutes from the bach. We anchored and waited on the boat to settle with the wind gusts. Our informal fishing competition was about to begin and, with four of us, we had a limit of 8 blue cod.

After a half hour of tangled lines due to the high winds relentlessly moving the boat, we upped the anchor and headed for a more sheltered spot.

This time, as we dropped the anchor, the boat settled far easier into the wind. I was using my Daiwa Saltist 4000 matched to Daiwa TD Saltwater, which is perfect for light jigging. After attaching the jig, I added a small slither of salted squid, hoping that this might give me the competitive edge and a “Big Blue”.

As the jig hit the bottom and I began to slowly wind up, you could see the sensitive rod tip nodding frantically as the blue cod relentlessly attacked the jig and piece of salted squid. I continued to slowly wind the jig up, then the rod suddenly bent and nodded as the blue cod took the jig. Time for a steady lift and wind and let the rod do all the work. As the blue cod neared the surface, it looked promising but after a quick measure at 45cm, a prize winning blue cod would have to wait for another day.

It was now late in the afternoon and the sun was disappearing over the hill, casting long cold shadows across the bay. Our informal competition had ended with 8 good sized blue cod caught. Now it was time to head back to the bach, put the fire on, watch the sunset with a cold beer in hand and enjoy freshly caught fish for dinner.

Tomorrow was another day for another adventure.

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