Little things so enjoyable

MARK WATSON
Last updated 12:54 03/08/2012

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Fish and Trips

Molesworth a highlight Daughter joins in on the fun A little effort goes a long way To make your catch, think like a snapper Swing with the winners Time-out to attack the golf handicap We survived, with only minor injuries Always plenty to learn from the young TV episode good motivation Hunting grounds spotted from above

It is often said that it's the little things in life that make the difference, and I'm a believer. It's the principle of doing and enjoying the little things that I find enjoyable.

Case in point - the rest of the family had other things to do on Saturday and the day was clear and calm so I decided, since I was home alone for the day, I would go out and catch my dinner.

All pretty easy with a small boat and the good marinas around Marlborough, but this particular day was made different by a man, perhaps old enough to be my father, waiting at the dock beside a similar-sized boat as mine.

I had backed the trailer into the water as usual and rolled the boat off when this man came over and offered to hold the boat while I parked the vehicle. Yes, only a small thing but a very nice thing and something that didn't really take much effort, but at the same time encouraged me that there are still decent people who don't think life is all about themselves.

The flow on from that gesture was that, while getting ready to leave the marina, we ended up chatting and it turns out he was from Timaru and was out for the day with his family, who live in the area. His son was going for a scallop dive and it looked like his granddaughter was just along for the ride. I like that stuff.

After giving my thoughts on where to try for some good scallops, I left and headed off into the bay.

Once again the water was flat calm and the thoughts came flooding back that it takes only a little effort to change your day and for me, making the snap decision to go for a fish, then doing it, was well worth the effort.

As I have said before, I am using lures whenever possible and this makes life easier as I don't have to worry about buying bait or different hooks and rigs, just grab a few of my favourite lures and I'm set.

The plan was not a terribly exciting one, catch a couple of cod and some scarpies for tea, but my plan was being thwarted by big blue cod. Have I mentioned I hate the new cod slot rules? Like many others, I handle three or four times more fish now than I ever did. How this is supposed to help the fishery I'm not too sure, as the shags are having a field day. They've never had life so easy.

I caught one cod for the day within the size slot. All the others were too big but hopefully they survived the ordeal of being caught and released and attacked by shags.

I shifted spots to avoid the oversized cod and went across the other side of the Sound, still only 10 minutes from the ramp, and found some signs on the sounder that looked promising. Down went my lure with an instant hookup and a nice sea perch, or scarpie, appeared from the depths. Excellent.

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Over the next hour or so I caught a mixture of big cod and scarpies. I could keep only the scarpies, so at least I had fish for dinner.

While drifting around, I happened to catch a glimpse of splashes in the distance. It was dolphins and they decided it was time to show off.

I decided not to go any closer but there was a boat fishing not far away with children on board so I decided it was my turn to do something small for someone else. I wound up my line, motored over to them and showed them where the dolphins were. They said thanks for the heads-up and within a minute or two headed for the dolphins and would have spent 15 minutes with them.

It's the little things that can make an average day a good day and I know mine was changed by a kind act and hopefully the other family had a better day, too.

For an average Saturday it turned out pretty good. I had a sleep in, went for a fish during the sunny hours, caught tea and had a couple of feel-good moments.

Life's good.

- The Marlborough Express

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