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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The roads to the Wairau Bar and Diversion after the Kaikoura earthquake

I heard that there had been some damage to the road to the Wairau Bar after the Kaikoura earthquake, so a few days after the quake I rode down on the motorbike to take a look.
You could still get to the Bar easily enough dispite part of the road looking like it'd been plowed. The road splits before that point so you could avoid that part.

The end of the Wairau Diversion road was closed due to similar destruction but without an alternative route.
I walked down to the mouth and all appeared normal down there.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The wily trout of Spring Creek


I often see trout in Spring Creek, and have tried fishing for them, but never landed one. They'll follow a lure, but probably more out of curiosity than considering it food.

Today I parked the motorbike near the train bridge that goes over Spring Creek beside State Highway 1 for a quick look. There was a trout feeding just downstream of the bridge, so I set my rod up and had a few casts.


The trout followed my lure on the first cast, but that was as good as I could do.

I almost had a heart attack at one point - all of my attention was on the trout, and I didn't notice the freight train approaching until it barreled over the bridge above me. As much as I appreciate a lovely and accessible spot like this, there's something to be said for getting away from it all...


There is something very cool about trains too, though...

Friday, 26 August 2016

Sea Trout

From Game Fishing: Trout, Salmon, Sea Trout by W. E. Davies


Here is a fish I never tire of talking about. 

It is one of Nature’s finest examples of streamlining and inside its small but well-shaped head is a brain capable of setting many tests for the angler.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Time and tide

I haven't been fishing as much as I'd like this year, and haven't had much luck the few times I have cast a line in the water.

Some days, though, make up for all the fruitless efforts.

Earlier in the week I had been pruning some trees in the yard and trying to start the lawnmower, when I noticed my watch showed four fish.

My Casio 3768 showing a 'good fishing' rating
of 2 out of 4 fish at the time of writing.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Every Trout Has A Silver Lining (or What To Do With Over-Cooked Trout)


Despite the mental and physical benefits of fishing, let's face it - many of us like to fish to put some food on the table.

Admittedly, my family would starve if they had to rely on my fishing, but I provide a meal every now and then.

As mentioned, I over-cooked Henry's trout, but without the need to find a way to make use of the rather chewy flesh from the over-cooked trout, I may not have tried Jamie Oliver's very tasty pate recipe.


Saturday, 30 April 2016

Songs about rainbows

I received an email from Fish & Game about two and a half weeks ago. They were holding a 'Getting Kids Hooked on Fishing' event in Blenheim, releasing some rainbow trout into a netted-off area of the Taylor River near Blenheim's town centre for children to fish for.

My son Henry was booked in almost immediately.


Henry practising casting on the lawn at home.

Today was the big day, and we arrived a bit early (just before 9 a.m.). It was a chilly start, and we had to return to the car to upgrade Henry's sleeveless vest that I thought would keep his arms free for casting. His teeth had been chattering while we were peering into the water before the fishing started.

Set-up rods and tuition were provided; I helped Henry get going, and he was doing some nice casts - some a bit sideways, but all out where they should be. The rods had been set up with a bubble and little 'bait nuggets' on a hook. The bubble moved and bobbed down a few times, but Henry's interest started to wane when others were landing trout and he hadn't received more than a few tugs.

Then he was on! After a few minutes of fighting to get the fish in close enough to be netted (he was winding, and I was helping hold the rod in case it all went in the water), a nice 1.5 kg rainbow was landed.


It was a great morning on the river and a very well-run event. Hats off to all involved: Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game, Marlborough Freshwater Anglers Club, Hendersons (Blenheim).


Henry now has one up on me - I've only caught brown trout so far, and have been keen to track down a rainbow... I swear that has nothing to do with me over-cooking his trout on the barbecue when we got home...

Friday, 25 March 2016

You know your lure is realistic when...

Overcast and still - it felt like perfect conditions at the river mouth, but nobody was catching any fish.

I was about to pack up when a guy hooked a decent-sized kahawai that leapt out of the water a few times. He had it on the line for a minute or so (I find 'time' takes on a different quality when a fish is hooked and have trouble judging how long playing a fish takes - more so when I'm the one playing the fish), but he ended up losing it.

It renewed my urge to fish, so I started casting again.


I've had this lure for a while now, but seldom use it. I love the paddle-tail action of these types of lure, but this one always feels a bit big for some reason (it's only just over 8 cm long, so it's not really that big).

Soon there was a tug on the lure, and before long a shag instead of a fish broke the surface.

I pulled the lure out of his beak and was able to wind it in quickly before he got hooked (shag grabbing it once more and chasing it underwater to the shore).

One more cast in case the shag had learnt his lesson; he hadn't. I was able to wind in again and change lures.

I've never had a bird grab my lure before - they normally seem quite aware that they're imitations. Must be a good indication of future success (with fish!), surely...


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Sanding and Savoury Muffins


Prep work for painting is never fun, but perhaps because of this, when the final stages of the painting are eventually done, there is that extra bit of satisfaction in the completed job.


Despite the hard work, there was a strange sense of melancholy at the thought of the relaunch, after working on her in the boat yard for four days.

There's a nice feeling of camaraderie with the others working on their boats and people passing through. Everyone feels comfortable stopping for a quick chat or a passing comment, and most do.

~ At least it's not a 50 foot boat!

~ That looks like a tedious job.

~ At least you're up to the painting stage!


There's always something going on, something to watch or talk about - boats are getting lifted out of the water to be worked on; boats are getting put back in the water.

The Waikawa Marina has the added bonus of The Jolly Roger Restaurant & Bar sitting at the water's edge, so that was the obvious destination for lunch/breaks/drinks while waiting for paint to dry. I highly recommend their savoury muffins, coffee, and Macs Three Wolves pale ale on tap. On the last day I saw a stingray swim in the water below my table on the deck.


The marina is quite sheltered from the wind, and despite strong winds being forecast for the relaunch, it wasn't too bad in the marina. The white caps just outside the marina entrance weren't overly comforting as I motored towards them, though.  After motoring across Waikawa Bay in strong winds, I appreciated my telescopic boat hook that I bought a few years ago, managing to grab the mooring buoy between gusts, and securing her safely back on the mooring.


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Fish Words

I like words.

I stumbled across (and purchased) a copy of The Complete Crossword Companion recently in a second-hand store.

It's a 1988 edition of two older books combined - Complete Crossword Reference Book (1932) and The Pocket English Dictionary (1976) (both also published in 1983 under the titles The Newnes Crossword Dictionary and Newnes Pocket English Dictionary, respectively).

As I often do with all sorts of reference books, I see if there's anything specifically about fish or fishing in them. In this book I found words divided into letter length (to help with crosswords, obviously) under the title 'Fish, etc.'

... and here they are!

2 letter, 3 letter, 4 letter words


amia, bass, bib, blay, bley, bret, brit, burt, cale, carp, chad, char, chub, clam, cod, coho, crab, cusk, dab, dace, dar, dare, dart, dorn, dory, eel, eft, elva, esox, fash, file, fin, gar, ged, goby, grig, hake, huck, huso, id, ide, jack, kelt, keta, ling, lipp, lomp, luce, mago, mort, newt, opah, orc, orca, orfe, parr, peal, pike, pope, pout, quab, ray, roe, rudd, ruff, sapo, scad, scar, scup, shad, snig, sole, tai, tau, tpe, tuna, tusk, zant

5 letter words


ablen, ablet, allis, angel, apode, banny, beroe, binny, bleak, bleck, bogue, boops, bream, brill, charr, cisco, cobia, cuddy, cudle, doree, dorse, elops, fleck, fusus, gadus, gibel, gummy, guppy, julis, loach, loche, maray, minim, moray, morse, mugil, muray, murry, mysis, myxon, nurse, perch, phoca, piper, pogge, porgy, poulp, powan, prawn, reeve, roach, roker, ruffe, saith, salmo, saury, scrod, scurf, sepia, sewin, shark, skate, smelt, smolt, smout, smowt, snook, solen, sprag, sprat, sprod, squid, sudak, sweep, tench, toado, togue, torsk, troll, trout, tunny, twait, whale, whelk, whiff, witch

6 letter words


alburn, alevin, allice, anabas, barbel, beakie, belone, beluga, blenny, blower, bonito, bounce, bowfin, braise, buckie, burbot, caplin, caranx, cepola, cheven, chevin, clupea, cockle, comber, conger, cultch, cuttle, dagoba, dentex, diodon, doctor, dugong, dun-cow, ellops, finnan, gadoid, ganoid, gardon, ginkin, goramy, grilse, groper, gunnel, gurnet, hilsah, hussar, isopod, jerkin, kipper, launce, loligo, margot, meagre, medusa, megrim, milter, minnow, morgay, mud-eel, mullet, mussel, narwal, otaria, oyster, partan, plaice, pollan, porgie, poulpe, puffer, puller, quahog, redcap, red-cod, red-eye, remora, robalo, rochet, romero, roughy, ruffin, runner, sabalo, sadina, saithe, salmon, samlet, sander, sardel, sauger, saurel, saynay, scarus, scurff, sea-ape, sea-bat, sea-cow, sea-dog, sea-egg, sea-fox, sea-hog, sea-owl, see-pad, see-pig, sephen, shanny, shiner, shrimp, snacol, soosoo, sucker, tailor, tarpon, tarpum, tautog, tawtog, tiburo, tomcord, trygon, turbit, turbot, twaite, ulican, urchin, vendis, wapper, weever, whaler, winkle, wirrah, wrasse, zander, zeidae, zingel

7 letter words


abalone, acaleph, actinia, ale-wife, anchovy, asterid, batfish, bergylt, bloater, blue-cap, blue-eye, bocking, bonetta, box-fish, brassie, bubbler, bummalo, calamar, capelin, cat-fish, catodon, cetacea, cichlid, cidaris, cod-fish, codling, cow-fish, crabite, croaker, crucian, crusien, cyprine, dog-fish, dolphin, drummer, dun-fish, echinus, eel-fare, eel-pout, escolar, fiddler, fin-back, fin-fish, garfish, garpike, garvock, girrock, gladius, goldney, gourami, gournet, grampus, grouper, grundel, grunter, gudgeon, gunard, gwiniad, gwyniad, haddock, halibut, herling, herring, homelyn, houting, jewflsh, keeling, lampern, lamprey, latchet, lobster, long-tom, mahseer, manatee, manchet, merling, monodon, moon-egg, morwong, mud-fish, muraena, murexes, murices, narwhal, nautili, oar-fish, octopus, old-wife, pandore, pegasus, pen-fish, pig-fish, pointer, pollack, pollard, pollock, polypus, pomfret, quinnet, rat-tail, red-fish, reef-eel, ripsack, rock-cod, ronchil, ronquil, rorqual, sand-eel, sardine, sawfish, schelly, scomber, sea-bear, sea-calf, sea-fish, sea-lion, sea-pike, sea-wolf, shadine, silurus, skegger, smerlin, snapper, sock-eye, spawner, sphyrna, squalus, sterlet, stripey, sun-fish, thwaite, tiddler, top-knot, torgoch, torpedo, tub-fish, ulichon, umbrine, vendace, whiting, worm-eel, xippias

8 letter words


acalepha, albacore, albicore, ammodyte, anableps, anguilla, asterias, band-fish, barnacle, bill fish, blue fish, boarfish, bullhead, cachalot, cackerel, calamory, cetacean, coalfish, corystes, crawfish, crayfish, dapedium, dapedius, dragonet, drum-fish, eagle-ray, errantes, eulachon, exocetus, file-fish, fin-scale, fire-fish, flagtail, flatfish, flathead, flounder, forktail, fox-shark, frog-fish, gillaroo, gilt-head, glass-eel, goatfish, goldfish, graining, grayling, green eel, grub-fish, gymnotus, hair-tail, halicore, hand-fish, horn-beak, horn-fish, jentling, John Dory, jugulars, kelp-fish, king crab, king-fish, lady-fish, lancelet, land crab, lump-fish, lung-fish, mackerel, melanure, menhaden, moon-fish, moray eel, mormyrus, nannygai, numbfish, ophidion, pickerel, pigmy-eel, pilchard, pipe-fish, polyneme, Poor John, porpoise, raft-fish, red perch, rock-cale, rock-fish, rockling, sail-fish, salt-fish, sand-fish, sardelle, saw-shark, sea-devil, sea-horse, sea-perch, sea robin, shore-eel, siskiwit, snake-eel, sparling, spelding, speldrin, speldron, spirling, springer, spurling, starfish, sting-ray, sturgeon, sun-bream, surf-fish, tarwhine, teraglin, testacea, thornbut, thrasher, thresher, toad-fish, trevalla, troutlet, tusk-fish, water-fox, weed-fish, wolf-fish

9 letter words


acalephae, acipenser, angel-fish, Argentine, ascidians, asteroida, barracuda, blackfish, black sole, blue nurse, blue shark, blue sprat, bony bream, bulltrout, bummaloti, calamarys, chaetodon, cling-fish, cole-perch, conger eel, coral fish, coryphene, cover-clip, crampfish, crustacea, devil fish, dolphinet, echinidan, engraulis, finny-scad, fire-flair, fish-royal, fortesque, frost-fish, globe-fish, golomynka, grey nurse, hard-belly, hardyhead, hippodame, houndflsh, hybodonts, jaculator, jellyfish, John Dorée, jollytail, kingstone, mango fish, menominee, murray cod, pilot fish, porbeagle, pyllopodo, razor fish, red mullet, river crab, roundhead, sand-lance, saury-pike, schnapper, sea-mullet, sea-needle, sea-nettle, sea-urchin, sheat-fish, silver-eel, spear-fish, stargazer, stingaree, sting-fish, stink-fish, stockfish, stomapoda, suctorian, surmullet, sweetlips, swordfish, thorn-back, threadfin, tittlebat, troutling, trumpeter, tunny fish, whitebait, whitefish, wobbegong

10 letter words


amblyopsis, amphytrite, angel-shark, angler fish, banstickle, barracoota, barracouta, basket fish, black bream, black whale, blind shark, blue groper, blue puller, bottle-nose, brown trout, butterfish, cestracion, clouded eel, clypeaster, cock-paddle, coelacanth, cowanyoung, ctenoidans, cuttlefish, demoiselle, dragon-fish, echinoderm, fiddle-fish, fingerling, fistularia, flute-mouth, flying fish, ganoidians, garter fish, ghost-shark, giant toado, goblin-fish, great skate, grey mullet, groundling, hammerhead, hermit crab, holothuria, knight-fish, loggerhead, lumpsucker, mirror dory, morris pike, Moses perch, parrot-fish, pearl perch, periwinkle, pigmy perch, pycnodonts, rapier fish, red gurnard, red morwong, red rockcod, ribbon-fish, rudder-fish, Samsonfish, sand-hopper, sand-mullet, sandy sprat, sea-garfish, sea-leopard, sea poacher, sea-unicorn, silver dory, silverfish, silverside, sperm whale, square-tail, sturionian, sucker-fish, tailor-fish, tassel-fish, tiger shark, tongue-sole, triple-tail, turret-fish, velvet-fish, weaver-fish, whale-shark, white shark, yellow-tail, zebra shark

11 letter words


balance-fish, banded toado, bellows-fish, black-angler, blue-pointer, bridled goby, brown-groper, brown-puller, carpet-shark, carp-gudgeon, chanda perch, common skate, common toado, crested goby, cycloidians, electric eel, electric ray, finner-whale, five-fingers, golden perch, green turtle, gurnet perch, herring-cale, hippocampus, jackass-fish, javelin-fish, Jumping-Joey, kingsnapper, leatherskin, leopard-fish, lepidosiren, little tunny, man-o'-war fish, Moorish idol, orange perch, peacock-fish, peacock-sole, pennant-fish, prickleback, pterichthys, rainbow-fish, red bullseye, red fire-fish, rock-whiting, salmon-trout, sand-whiting, school-shark, scleroderms, sea-elephant, sea-scorpion, silver-belly, silver perch, silver toado, smooth toado, soldier-crab, soldier-fish, starry toado, sticklebeck, stonelifter, surgeon-fish, swallow-fish, tallegalane, trumpet-fish, whistle-fish, wolf-herring

12 letter words


basking shark, black drummer, black rock-cod, blue trevally, coachwhip ray, cucumber-fish, dipterygians, dusky morwong, fan-tailed ray, fatherlasher, fighting-fish, forehead-fish, gargoyle-fish, giant herring, gray tusk-fish, oyster-blenny, painted saury, piked dog-fish, plectognathi, Plesiosaurus, rainbow-trout, rat-tailed ray, river garfish, rock flathead, scarlet bream, sentinel crab, silver mullet, smooth angler, Stout Long-Tom

13 letter words


allports perch, banded-pigfish, barred-garfish, Barred Long-Tom, black king-fish, black-trevally, branchiostoma, climbing perch, dactylopterus, dusky flathead, entomostracan, findon-haddock, finnan-haddock, flying gurnard, giant boar-fish, horse-mackerel, leafy seahorse, leatherjacket, long-finned eel, magpie-morwong, marbled angler, mountain-trout, ox-eyed herring, porcupine-fish, Red-Indian fish, salmon catfish, salt-water fish, sandpaper-fish, scarlet angler, Sergeant Baker, silver batfish, silver drummer, snub-nosed dart, southern tunny, spiny flathead, spiny seahorse, striped angler, thresher-shark, tiger-flathead

14 letter words


banded sea-perch, black stingaree, branchiostegan, brown-sweetlips, butterfly-bream, enaliosaurians, estuary cat-fish, Greenland-shark, Greenland-whale, king barracouta, king parrot-fish, little nurnbfish, Macquarie perch, many-banded sole, marine annelida, one-finned shark, painted gurnard, purple sea-perch, red gurnet-perch, river blackfish, short-finned eel, shovel-nosed ray, Slender Long-Tom, smooth flathead, spotted whiting, striped catfish, striped gudgeon, striped sea-pike, white horse-fish

15 letter words


acanthopterygii, Australian perch, Australian smelt, beaked coral-fish, bottle-nose shark, common stingaree, crusted flounder, crusted weed-fish, edriophthalmata, frigate mackerel, hairback herring, little cling-fish, little conger eel, long-finned perch, marbled flathead, painted dragonet, short sucker-fish, small-headed sole, smooth stingaree, spangled grunter, Spanish mackerel, spermaceti whale, spotted cat-shark, spotted eagle-ray, spotted pipe-fish, white-spotted ray