Mid winter blues

Just a smidgeon too short

We had the mid winter fishing blues, so time for one last trip before winter in the south fully set in. Today was the last of our day of fishing trip at Kaikoura.

The weather had finally improved, so we left the South Bay wharf in the late afternoon. The large southerly winter swells from the previous few days had now finally calmed down. Our plan was to head out to a spot we had marked the previous day, about 6km offshore in about 120 metres of water.

As we arrived, the cold grey southerly winter skies were slowly disappearing and the last of the winter sun arrived. Finally a break in the weather and time to fish !

We checked the tide and wind conditions, and then commenced a very slow first drift over the marked spot, catching some good sized blue cod. We had just completed a second drift as the winter sun disappeared behind the hill, leaving us with just enough time for one last drift before the sun set.

For the last slow drift over the marked spot, I decided to go with my slow jig set up and a very worn and battered 200gm Shimano Doterra Baku Baku lure. As the lure reached and bounced off and around the bottom, I could feel a few minor bites and now it was time to get the slow jigging going and see what was going to take it. As I was slowly lifting and winding and dropping the jig back to the bottom, the attacks on the lure kept coming. Finally some very aggressive big bites and the excitement started to build.

The big bites continued as the blue cod aggressively chased the Baku Baku lure upwards as I continued with a very slow and steady wind and, with one last quick quarter turn, he was hooked! And the long wind up from the bottom commenced.

As bluey neared the surface, there were a few last defiant and angry head shakes. As I grabbed the net to land him in the boat, I noticed just how big and fat he was—could this be my PB for a blue cod?

It was the moment of truth as the bluey was placed on the measure mat. After a couple of checks and one further recheck, he measured in at 53.5cm and my PB of 54cm would have to wait until next season.

What a great way to finish the fishing season, with some nice mid winter blues in the chilly bin as we headed back to the wharf to the setting sun.

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