Great Gurnard

It’s late autumn and midafternoon as we arrived at the Havelock Marina after a long six-hour road trip from Christchurch. Finally, the OSPREY 565c was in the marina and it was time to cast off with the late afternoon sun behind us. The excitement and anticipation were beginning to build as we departed the marina, navigating the Havelock Channel and as we passed the final five knot marker, we powered up and set course for Bulwer and the bach.

Next morning we decided to head out and explore the southern end of the Chetwode Islands, known as the nine pins and after a short 20 minute trip, we were anchored up and ready to fish as the informal blue cod competition was about to begin between the four of us.

I was fishing with my Daiwa Ventio baitcaster and my TD Black Kohga 66HB rod, and both the rod and reel were working hard as the blue cod were constantly attacking my little 1 oz Inchiku jigs, which resulted in two good sized blue cod being landed.

After a quick change of lure to a 60gm Kabura and a move to the other side of the boat, and a quick flick of the rod and reel, the little Kabura was dropped overboard.

On reaching the bottom, suddenly, the rod bent over into a 45-degree angle as the gurnard took the Kabura. I began a steady lift and wind and was surprised at the size of the gurnard as it neared the surface.

After dispatching the fish, we placed him on our New Zealand Fishing Comp measure mat and took a few photos to enter the DB Export Fishing Competition.

We awoke next morning to a warm sunny day with wind and waterspouts in the bay. Over breakfast we rechecked the fishing competition and our entry had been accepted and approved and as we scrolled down the list, to our surprise the ‘Great Gurnard’ was 25th on the leaderboard and a great start to our Bulwer fishing adventure. It was time to head down to the beach and pick up the boat off the mooring and head out for another adventure. Today was going to be a day in the bay fishing for Bulwer’s Big Blues.

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