Southland muster nets ‘puka

Calum with his ‘puka

We hadn’t targeted ‘puka before, and had not caught any either—makes sense that. We made our own rigs then headed out of Waikawa, onto the wild blue yonder. Waikawa— Catlins—Southland… get the picture?

The ‘we’ were of bunch on mates: Jordon, Scott, Toddy, Bronwyn and me.

Being ‘puka virgins, we put in a good dose of time prospecting; looking for good ground until we found sign on the sounder. Then the homemade rigs were put to the test and they passed muster, scoring a respectable seven out of five or for you maths buffs, 7/5. That’s Southland parlance for ‘you bloody beaut’, ‘good on yer, mate’, and, “shit, we got seven Hāpuka between the five of us!”

We also caught a few kahawai for sashimi, along with gurnard and blue cod.

The highlight was Bronwyn’s athletic demonstration of the ‘good ol’ Southland muster.’ It was her first time sea fishing so you can imagine she was pretty stoked to hook into her first ‘puka as well. Ha, not so fast with the applause the bloody thing spat the hook at the surface. No worries. No hesitation—

Bronwyn was over the side quick as! I was quick enough to grab her feet and hung on while she scooped the ‘puka up in the net. Legend.

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