A welcome sight on the sea

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Birds on the sea are a welcome sight. It means fish are in the area. Drop those lines off the back of the boat if you haven’t already. You don’t need GPS to alert you on this one. Don’t forget your natural instincts, don’t rely on modern technology, use your eyes, your sixth sense, your common sense. Be safe. Be well fed! Happy Fishing. 🙂

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William Owen’s Hauraki Gulf A Fishing and Cruising Guide 4th Edition – Book

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Title: William Owen’s Hauraki Gulf A Fishing and Cruising Guide
Author: William Owen
Publisher: David Bateman
Date Published: 2010, 4th Edition
Pages: 280
Price: NZ$39.59 (Fishpond.co.nz)

A fishing and cruising guide for the Hauraki Gulf area that includes anchorages and an in depth guide to fishing in the area, the how, the what and the where guide to fishing. For someone new to fishing or new to the area and boating to fish or fishing to boat then it will be a worthwhile read.

Flood Tide – Book

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Title: Flood Tide
Author: Heather Heberley
Publisher: Cape Catley
Date Published: 1997
Pages: 260
Price: NZ$19.47 (Fishpond.co.nz)

A sequel to the autobiography Weather Permitting by Heather Heberley. Heather talks in more detail about her family and their adventures living off the land and the sea. She goes into the history of her husband’s family and the relationship with Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island, New Zealand

When spite of cormorant devouring Time

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Latin Name: Phalocrocorax carbo novaehollandiae
Common Name: cormorant, black shag, black cormorant, great cormorant
Size: 90cm
Abundance: Abundant
Location: Everywhere, coastal, harbours, rivers, estuaries

I was fishing for snapper and I caught one. It was too small in size for the quota and so I carefully removed the hook with pliers and threw the undersized snapper back into the sea. You know what happened next. I wasn’t expecting it. The cormorant that was lurking nearby quickly grabbed the snapper into its mouth and opened wider and wider and swallowed it whole in one gulp. I watched in amazement. It was not a tiny fish yet not big enough for me to keep but all the same it was about three times or so the width of the neck of the bird. He swallowed it so easily and quickly. He looked so pleased with himself. I was impressed and in awe.  I just just kept repeating, “he ate my fish! Did you see that!” and then speechless for a few moments as time passed me by.

A grilling onboard

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From sea to the plate. Jack mackerel was on the blackboard menu. It couldn’t have been fresher if we tried.
I had a few learning curves on preparing fish on board.

CUTTING
When cutting fish on board a boat seagulls tend to hover about expectantly. They love fish heads and will scavenge what you throw into the water. Nature’s way of cleaning up. Do not leave fish unattended on the boat as it tends to look like an offering.
Have a sharp knife. Have a grinding stone.

REMOVING SCALES
To remove the scales I began by leaning over the rail and holding the fish in one hand while I scraped with the other. Whoops. You guessed it. I dropped the fish and it sank to the bottom. I decided after that to use a bucket half filled with seawater to scale the fish. The best lessons are learned on the job. What a waste.

REMOVING BLOOD
Using a tooth brush to remove the blood down the spine after removing the guts is also easier to do in the bucket.

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GRILLING
Turn the grill on earlier than you need to warm up the hot plate.
Use chopsticks to turn the fish.
With mackerel cook well so that the fish meat is easier to pick off the bone.

JACK MACKEREL PREPARATION FOR GRILLING
STYLE: HEAD’S OFF UNO

Ingredients:
jack mackerel
salt and pepper
lemon

  1. Remove the head by cutting just behind the pectoral fin, see parts of the fish for more.
  2. Remove the guts by cutting in front of the anal fin forward. Remove guts.
  3. Use a toothbrush to scrub along the spine of the fish inside, working your way from back to front. This may take 2-3 brushes. Rinse well.
  4. Remove the back half of the lateral line (spiny ridge along the side of the fish).
  5. Partially cut the fish just before the tail to make a cut. Cut too far and you cut the tail off so a light cut, but not too light. This takes practice.
    Run your knife along under the lateral line to about half way.
  6. Salt and pepper each side of the fish
  7. Grill each side until well cooked. Chopsticks are easiest to use.
  8. Transfer fish to the plate.
  9. Squeeze lemon juice on the fish.
  10. Enjoy!

COOKING AT NIGHT
A light that straps onto your head is ideal for cooking at night.
Your hands are free and you can see what you are doing.
Have spare batteries for the light. LED lights are best.

The bright lights of Squid fishing

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Salt, pepper, lemon and garlic are all packed.
I have the gas burner and the plate for cooking.
The only thing missing now is the squid.

I have a light to attract the squid and I have the squid hooks. I am ready. I have checked to see about the fishing rod movement to see what seems to be best. The jerk 5-6 times and then hold, then repeat will be a good place to start. And to go shallow. They are after all coming to the light. The fancy squid hooks look like mini double grappling hooks.squid1

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Preparation is the key is life, but sometimes the unexpected give life the edge.
I thought I would get the light out of the box and turn it on.  I unscrewed the light and pushed the “Key” button.
And then magic….
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Wow. Beautiful. I am going to enjoy squid fishing. It feels like Christmas.
Wish me luck!

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