Winter blues and clues

An unusual find a frostfish

Fishing has been dead as usual down here in Otago/ South Canterbury with winter coming to an end. 

The crabs go off to sleep, so that’s a no go for bait, so we’ll stock up more over this summer, so we have enough to get through winter fishing for rig next year.

One of the perks of winter are the storms that blow through. Last week we had a good blow around Moeraki Beach and by chance we were at the beach the next day.

Thousands of cockles washed up on the beach, babies to big ones, there were so many the birds were so full they just stood there looking at them – video on F/B Dronefish.co.nz

No good for eating as they had been out of the water from the previous tide, most were still closed just, many were open and dying. We filled up what containers we had, you could start to smell them in places, so it was a gift from the fishing gods, heaps to salt down for bait.

Our days fishing went out the window and it became a bait gathering day instead. Now the bait fridge has a lot of salted cockles in it, great baits for everything that swims.

While we were there, we noticed the small holes in the sand around the low tide mark. This is a giveaway sign for beach shrimps, beach yabbies, ghost shrimps, whatever you want to call them.

We came back the next day and put the drone out 500 metres, and left it an hour before we pulled it in. It got about 100 metres in and that was that. Stuck big time, just not budging, so it was put around the towbar. As expected, it gave way, lost about 250 metres of 300lb braid, trace section, 20 hooks and 24oz of sinkers. The joys of fishing – it happens.

We got the bait pump out, sucked up a lot of beach shrimps, set up the rod for flounders but no bites. If you’re interested in that video on how to do it and how to rig up your rod for catching flounders go to F/B page Dronefish.co.nz , look for the date Thursday August 25, Flounder rig and bait pumps.

The water temperature is still eight degrees and really needs to be up around 11/12 degrees for fishing to start to get interesting. We found a lot of elephant fish eggs on the beach, which was encouraging to see.

Once the crabs show up the rig arrive, so just a little more patience needed. It will kick off in early September. Reports from commercial fisherman are good rig are getting caught further out to sea. Get your gear and bait sorted.

If you’re interested in coming out for a day’s fishing or drone lessons, drop me a line at  [email protected] or 0225408187 and if you’re planning a trip to Oamaru, feel free to give me a call and I can let you know local conditions.

Tight lines Tash, Wayne 

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