It had been a very busy week. Not only did I have the shock of being back on the mainland and back to work but I had been running about in the evenings trying to assemble a load of stuff for Tom's kayak trip... all the things he wasn't able to source of organise from over there.
I arrived at Claris airport feeling shattered! Tom arrived to pick me up and asked, "Wanna go fishing?"
To be honest it was the last thing I really wanted to do right then, I was feeling tired and harrassed from my week back in the city... I just wanted to relax. We decided to go to the sports club for a cold beer. A couple of jugs later we went home and Tom cooked up the steak I'd taken over with me... after a week of sandwiches on the run for dinner it was lovely to put my feet up and enjoy the meal. Once I'd eaten I could barely keep my eyes open... Tom said I was snoring before my head hit the pillow.
I was deep asleep.... Tom was stirring.... I peeked through one eyelid to see it was still dark but I knew it was getting closer to morning. I knew what was coming... Tom gave me a nudge, "oi... you awake?".
I played dead... it wasn't hard to do. Then there was a bigger nudge... "Mmmmmmmphrrrm? Whaaaat?"
"Wanna go fishing? The wind has dropped, it'll be pretty flat out there. If we go now we can be on the water by 6."
"Well? You in?"
"No babe... can't move... tooooo tired.... you go on ahead...."
"Mmmmmmhm... have fun"
With that he was off.... I lay there in my doped state listening to him get his gear together and thinking. Why? Why do we have to be fishing every spare moment? It was too much... sucking the joy out of it for me... aarrggh..... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzzzz
I woke up a couple of hours later in a better frame of mind and pulled out my book. After an hour or so of reading I was starting to feel more human... I had needed that extra sleep and after a couple of cups of coffe I was feeling human again. It was okay, we could go out together for a fish again in the evening.
I pottered about the place until Tom arrived home at about 10:30.
"You didn't miss much babe... it was pretty hard going and not much happening"
I went out to the van to get my camera out. That's when I saw it... a large tail poking out of the fish bin... I laughed... "Sure it was a slow morning!"
"It was! I didn't get that until I was about to head home... and it was on my last scrungy bait!"
Still... it'd be fair to say he was pretty pleased with himself....
This one weighed in at a bit over 12 pound... a bit big for just the two of us so the decision was made to smoke him and share it around with our neighbours.
Too much fishing indeed!! What was I thinking?.... Sheeesh!
We set out again in the late afternoon for an evening fish. Tom had decided to drop the collapsable cray-pot he'd been given by a friend but once we got to the wharf we realised we'd left the fish frames we would use to bait it at home. He decided to drive back up to the house and get it so I started paddling out ... he would catch up later.
I'd made for "my spot" where I've had the most luck this summer and set myself up. Just as I saw Tom paddling out of the bay towards me I hooked up. By the time Tom had reached me I'd landed a reasonable snapper... that would do us for dinner with a bit of bread and butter.
Tom carried on past me to set the cray-pot and then headed out into deeper water to try his luck out there.
It was a lovely evening so I opened a beer to celebrate it and kicked back. I hooked up another 3 fish... all well over the legal minimum but only kept one... no need to get too carried away! It was pretty slow going though all in all. The fish seemed to be in mid water which meant they weren't on the bite... just cruising. It looked like Tom was paddling back towards me... then I took a hard strike as I was winding my line in. For a while I thought maybe I'd hooked a kahawai but it didn't seem quite right... not running anywhere as much as a kahawai would although I had spooled my rod with a heavier braid that afternoon so maybe that was making the difference? We played tug of war for a while before I could see colour... I reach around for the net... I was going to play this one safe. Tom arrived just as I was landing it. I think he was secretly pleased to see it was not in contention with his fish from the morning.
We pottered about a little more enjoying the sunset before we decided to call it a day. It's always pretty special to be out on the water at this time of night... some of the sunsets are so stunning! This wasn't a particularly spectactular one ... no clouds for the colurs to bounce about with. It was more like a dye leak, the colour slowly moving across the sky getting deeper as time went on.
Then ... the natural wonders never cease... as we got closer into the wharf the water started lighting up. The were some good strong spots of phospherence and the kayaks glowed blue along the water looking for all the world like we had the naff blue lights all the boy-racers install under their cars... except much cooler! We were like a couple of 6 years olds with cap guns... only a lot damper! Splashing about to make the water glow. This bit of video gives you some idea... the white light is my headlight and it's reflection but the flashes of blue are from me splashing with my paddle... awesome!!
Eventually we decided to give up playing and head home for a fish dinner... some for us and some for the neighbours... it doesn't get much fresher than that.
Is there such a thing as too much fishing? Myth and fairytales... don't let anyone tell you otherwise!