Saturday, May 15, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish...

Fishing is an art for some, a relaxation technique for others, a means to get dinner for many, and for me it's a new way to prove my ineptitude, but a great excuse to be on a boat.  We left slightly late on a recent Sunday morning to drive north for an hour to Martin's Bay.  Since we needed to be back in the city by 4:00pm, it would be a short trip.

I've learned that most Kiwis have grown up with, on, and around boats and water their entire lives and so it all comes very naturally to them.  Whereas, I was land-locked in Missouri for most of my life. A trip to "the lake" in Missouri was most likely a drive to the Lake of the Ozarks - a lake so packed with other land-locked drunken boaters that there wasn't even room to manoeuvre a boat.  (Author's note: I should thank my family for at least providing me with regular trips to the coast and lakes in Maine to get a bit of experience on the water.)

Fortunately I recognize my lack of seamanship, so I just attempt to just stay out of the way until asked for help.  At Martin's Bay, we were launching the boats off of a shallow beach, which sounds like a lot of fun and would have been if I hadn't tried to do it in capri pants.  I was drenched in a matter of 2 minutes.

Once launched we rode 15 minutes out of the harbor and anchored on the lee side of an island peninsula.  I learned how to bait the line (which involved chopping up dead fish and hooking two large slimy chunks on the line as best as possible).  I muscled through it all bravely.     

Although my technique of baiting my line slowly improved, it still wasn't enough.  Sadly I was only allowed to boast about fish that were big enough to take home, which eliminated the the three snapper and one yellow tail that I somehow managed to hook, and left me with nothing to claim. Picture left: One of the little snapper that I caught.

On the other hand, the sun was warm, the breeze wasn't too strong, and there were entire schools of fish jumping (at one point it looked and sounded like a stream bubbling over rocks there were so many fish).  After a few hours on the water, a few different locations, and very little fishing success, we called it a day. We headed back to the city with only one snapper (not caught by me). 

Considering the cost of the gas for the day and the bait that we basically just fed to the fish - the one fish we did keep turned out to be a highly expensive catch.  Four days later the fish was thrown out after going dodgy in the refrigerator before we could cook it. And I discovered what I already knew: Fishing here is just like all fishing experiences, it's not always about the fish you catch.

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