Fish and Trips
Well, it seems I may have struck a few raw nerves if all the feedback about last week's column is anything to go by.
I could well have got a few men in trouble and they could find themselves either having to give trailer backing lessons or possibly they may just be a bit more tolerant when their partners or wives are learning. Sorry, men. Of course there is also the option of me giving lessons to would-be trailer backers but I'd probably price myself out of the market, so I don't think that venture will get off the ground.
I'd like to talk this week about some of my observations while on holiday in the Sounds.
From our vantage point we could see all the boats coming and going over the week we were staying at the bach and it was quite evident many people were taking their daily limit of scallops every day. While this is certainly legal, I had to wonder what people do with so many scallops.
If you take 100 between two people every day for a week, that is a lot of fish. To see it go into the freezer is a shame, as these people obviously have a boat of their own or access to one.
So why would you take so many, especially in the bay that you call your own?
I realise I have no say over what or how many shellfish people take but I can't help but wonder why they would, then say there are hardly any scallops around.
There is no one group to blame and I am not directly picking on anyone, as I see this all around us every day in some form.
If we are to have anything for future generations to enjoy in this paradise, we all have to contribute now by being better stewards of our resources. Of course there are numerous benefits to this; as well as looking after the fish stocks and ensuring they will be around for our children and grandchildren, we also get to go fishing more.
Yes, time is precious and none of us seem to have enough, but in reality we all get exactly the same amount - it's what we choose to do with it that is the difference.
Agreed, it can be expensive if you are always paying for fuel and bait and the like, but there are also a lot of people who would be willing to share costs if they could also take home a feed regularly. We could find a hundred different reasons or excuses not to do this, but really, that's all they are, excuses.
I know there are still many who will never try lure fishing and that's OK, but what it can do is add variety and fun to your fishing.
Taking kids fishing is an awesome thing to do and rather than use bait that costs money, get the kids to catch bait on bait flies or small lures. This keeps them thoroughly entertained and gives you a supply of fresh bait for free and that's the best bait you can get - fresh and free.
As you will have seen from previous columns, lures can also catch as many fish and sometimes more than bait as well as make things interesting and challenging.
I have found that you tend to think more when lure fishing. Things like where the fish might be and what sort of lure they might find irresistible.
You also will learn much quicker how your fishfinder shows different fish. For example, if you go over a school of fish on the screen, drop a lure or two and you may catch a fish from that school. If so, you will then know what that particular type of fish looks like on your sounder. This can be as busy or relaxing as you like.
The gurnard I was catching the other week was just by drifting along in the middle of the bay enjoying the surroundings. When I started to see signs of fish on the screen I dropped a lure and was able to catch one of the fish, which was obviously a gurnard, so I now know what they look like on my screen.
Think also of cheaper alternatives, such as taking a young person or a friend or partner out to one of the rivermouths with a couple of rods and some lures and trying to catch kahawai. This is great fun and they are also fantastic eating when smoked - just follow the process I outlined a few months ago and you will find you may have been missing out on something very special that costs next to nothing to catch and cook.
Of course, please consider my earlier suggestion of only taking enough for a feed. I have seen all too many times people taking dozens of kahawai from our rivermouths, sometimes even leaving them to rot on the beach. This is intolerable and we have a responsibility to ensure it doesn't happen here.
- The Marlborough Express