More than a brace of bad weather fish

Finn and friend

I convinced my Grandpa to take me fishing out at Bluff towards the end of May. As we live in Invercargill, it was only a half an hour drive away. However, after we had grabbed the rods and bait and had started the drive out there, we realised how windy it was. The forecast had said 20 knot winds but in town it wasn’t windy at all.

Bluff Wharf was very windy and it was raining as well but we thought, “Oh well, we are here now so we may as well give it a try.”

We rigged up two surfcasters: one baited with squid and another baited with half a dead spottie on a wire trace, which was supposed to be a shark rig. Both were rigged up with size 5 KL Black Magic hooks.

Finn’s Foveaux Strait sailfish

I then cast a little pink soft bait around, on a sixth of an ounce jig head. On my third cast, my line got tangled in the reel so I had to spend about a minute untangling it and, in that time, the soft bait had sunk all the way to the bottom. When reeling the line in, I was surprised to find a 60 cm barracouta on the end! How it did not cut my line, I do not know, but it had certainly destroyed my soft bait.

Twenty minutes later, one of the surfcasters buckled over and line peeled off the reel, the drag screaming. I quickly grabbed the rod and started to winch the heavy fish in, but it kept on running so I had to play it out. It ended up being a whopping 85cm barracouta, which is a big fish on our gear, as we only had 20 pound line on.

Just as I was getting a photo with the big fish, my other surfcaster with the shark rig on it started pulling drag. It was all happening! I ended up pulling in my first spiny dogfish, which was around 60 cm.

After that, the fishing kept on getting better and better, and we ended up pulling in two more ‘doggies’. One was 45 cm and the other was 38cm, so they were getting a bit smaller but not bad for a bad weather fishing day.

When playing football recently, I failed to score a hat trick (3 goals) and ended up with a brace (2), but my brace of barracouta and hat trick of spiny dogs were definitely worth it.

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