Sizeable shark shocks sparky

On a settled Monday evening, on the 19th of September, I sent out a message inviting friends for a deep-water fish the following day. It wasn’t long before I heard back. Four responses and some shuffling of schedules later, a plan was set. We would leave Deborah Bay at seven sharp.

At 7:10am we were still waiting on one, the electrician, typical! I called him up—no answer. So I called his boss. He said, in absolutely no way could said electrician have the day off. He had the apprentice and his day was set.

With that sorted, we set sail down the harbour without a breath of wind. Against the incoming tide, seven knots was all we managed, but the conditions were still perfect.

The phone started ringing, it was the electrician. He’d managed to organise the apprentice and was swiftly making his way Wellers Rock (Te Umukuri) to meet us as we were passing.

We settled in approximately 8m off the Papanui Inlet, there is a 100-140m drop off the edge I wanted to fish and set up with the standard gear—cod rigs and squid bait. The blue cod were in steady supply and I set the measure at 35cm, easily achievable. By lunch time we’d caught 22 blue cod and a trumpeter.

The boat has a galley that I always keep well equipped, so for lunch we feasted. I cooked the blue cod in butter and served it with tartare sauce, wrapped in slices of fresh white. I used the trumpeter to make sashimi and ate it with white soy sauce and wasabi.

Once we’d filled up, we fished on for another hour and caught 20 more blue cod. That’s when the electrician hooked something big—he said it was a shark. The rod was doubled over and he buckled at the knees. This wasn’t the kind of heavy labour he was used to. At 140m he had to work for it, but it was worth it when we finally saw colour. The sparky was beaming from ear to ear—he’d hooked a 10kg groper. What a way to finish the day.

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