Admiralty Bay

A Couple of Days Messing About Admiralty Bay

by Will Rickerby

D'Urville IsShirl and I were pondering the Urgent Job list when Barry rang. He asked if we would like to join him and a couple of friends, for a bit of fishing, and as we hadn’t been out sea fishing for a number of years we readily agreed.
“If we leave early, we should be able to catch some fish for tea,”  said Barry.
Funny how Sea Fishing suddenly appeared at the top of the Urgent Job list.

Barry’s place is in Admiralty Bay, in the Marlborough Sounds and later that afternoon found us out in the Bay heading to one of Barry’s fishing spots. The rods were baited up and ready to go and when the motor was cut, I let the sinker and 2 baited hooks on the fishing rod, stream of the reel down to the bottom. The sinker hit the bottom and immediately there was a tug, then another. Surely not, but it was. The fish were biting! One of our party pulled up a the first Blue Cod while I was just thinking about it. Then up they came, sometimes with two at a time. Quite a number were undersize and were put back but needless to say, it wasn’t long before we all had our limit and certainly there was enough for tea!

d'Urville Is seals copyThe next morning we were on the water again, this time heading for d’Urville Island to try our luck. On the way we paused to watch a number of seals lounging in the water. Actually, they seemed to be asleep in the water, perhaps sleeping it off after  a good feed.  We reached a good spot, according to Barry, however the wind was a little awkward so the action wasn’t as fast as the afternoon before but pretty good all the same. These d’Urville Blue Cod were very efficient in nibbling the bait of the hooks so there was much winding up, re-baiting, then dropping down again. We tried a number of different places and all the time adding to the take home tally. In between all the action and trying to take some photos, the time whizzed by. We were surprised when Barry announced that it was time for a feed so after winding in our lines, we pulled into a little sandy bay and landed on the beach to have lunch. With that mornings effort,  we had caught mostly Blue Cod, a Perch and a couple of Leatherjackets. It was sad though, to see a dead Little Blue Penguin lying just above the high water mark.

The Catch (3)After lunch we started to head back, stopping to try out a spot here and there. On one occasion I thought I had something big on the line when the “something” dragged the line away from the boat quite strongly. As I wound the line in, a long narrow shape came into view and then it disappeared into the deep blue water below the boat. Barracuda! I had a Blue Cod on the hook and the Barracuda had tried to steal it. The hooked Blue Cod had a number of teeth marks along its back. I didn’t want one of those long Barracuda things anyway, although I did enjoy the thrill at the start! A little later I pulled up two Blue Cod, of which one was foul hooked.  Then the wind sprang up and it got a little colder. What the heck! We had caught enough fish so it was  time to head for home.

After the boat was washed down, the fish filleted, and dinner over, we rested on the deck over looking the bay, sipping a glass of red wine and reflected on the day’s fishing. This was not a trip of catching huge fish but we won’t forget it just the same – “Remember that time in the Sounds when we kept pulling up two at a time?”