Thursday 19 April 2012

Monday Fish #12, Whites Bay

Looking toward Whites Bay from Rarangi Beach (northern Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand) on a calm sunny day.

Monday morning was very calm – there was almost no discernable wind, and the small waves lazily dumped onto Rarangi Beach. A seal swam north, close to shore.

It was seldom as calm as this, so I decided I should launch the dinghy for a row to Whites Bay and see what I might catch on the rod.

Before setting off, I attached the small unused anchor to the line, and stowed them in the newly-designated anchor bag. Chapman’s book, Piloting – Seaman & Small Boat Handling provided me with the diagram for the Fisherman’s Bend (or Anchor Bend). My version of the book is the 55th edition from 1981, the latest appears to be the 66th edition from 2009.

Fisherman's Bend also known as an Anchor Bend.

I also had my fishing bag and my two piece rod setup that I had been catching kahawai with lately. The rod was in two pieces to be safe in case the boat overturned while launching, but set up ready to fish once unfolded.

Launching went ok, although one of the waves splashed in before I was able to get out past them – there is quite an undertow and I don’t think I’ll bother trying to launch on any day where there is anything more than a slight swell coming in. In fact, I plan on launching from Whites Bay next time.

One of my oars came out of the rowlock while frantically trying to get the boat moving, and I had to do a bit of side-to-side rowing with that one oar until I got myself under control, so launching didn’t really go that ‘ok’, I guess. Quite lucky really…

I rowed around the rocks near Monkey Bay and continued up the coast towards Whites Bay, stopping for a fish before too long, catching a medium-small kahawai on my second cast, and feeling optimistic about the day’s fishing.

Looking toward the nothern end of Rarangi Beach from Whites Bay (in nothern Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand).

I fished some spots on my way towards the Whites Bay beach, with no luck, and started rowing to the eastern side of the bay for a fish near the point.

A seal was sunning himself on the rocks near the point. Fishing with bait yielded nothing after changing from the softbait. I towed a lure back across the bay towards Rarangi Beach with no luck.

The kahawai brought into the boat on my second cast was the only fish I hooked that day. Landing back on the beach was slightly nerve-wracking, but went well in the end.

I saw a seal again a couple of days later, further down the beach, near Blue Gum Corner. He was dozing on the sand and let me get close to him without showing concern – yawning was as active as he got while I took photos near him.

A seal lazes on Rarangi Beach, Marlborough, New Zealand.