Just got back from Invercargill today. I fished most days from the 9th to the 16th at Bluff wharf. Went down to bluff for a short fish on Thursday evening and after an hour or so of not catching anything I started packing up, then I heard my Solaris/Axeon giving out line but after 3 long runs I couldn’t stop it and the hook pulled. I’m pretty sure it was a ray hooked in the wing, so that was my first hook up with the Solaris. The next day I went out again in the morning and fished most of the day. After not catching much, I hooked another ray, but by the time I got to the rod and wound up the slack line it had come back under the wharf and around one of the piles, and after about half an hour of the line rubbing it snapped off. I did get to see the underside of it, and it was definitely a big one, and according to another guy that was there it was an eagle ray because “it’s to big to be a stingray”, but I’m pretty much certain it was a short tail ray. Didn’t really catch much after that other than a big dogfish and a good sized blue cod. Next day I went out about the same time, and after the rain stopped I started fishing. First hook up was a skate, and throughout the day I got 6 skate in total. I also hooked a few small blue cod and small terakihi on my sabiki trace. It started getting dark so I thought I’d have my last cast, and casted out the tail end of one of the terakihi’s I’d caught, and not long after that it was picked up by a big ray. After about an hour of fighting it finally surfaced about 10 meters from the wharf, and then after another half an hour of trying to get my hands on the shockleader without loosing my rod I got the shockleader cut from the reel and tied to the wharf. After having a look I’m pretty certain it’s wingspan was over a meter wide, and it also looked like it had no tail, so had possibly been caught before. One of the worst parts of the fight and the thing I was worrying about the whole time was my other rod going off, and right near the end of the fight I looked over to see my other reel giving off line slowly and steadily, but with the ray still on I couldn’t do anything, and after a couple minutes, luckily the run stopped. Other than blue cod, spotties, barracouta, terakihi, skate, rays, carpet sharks and dogfish my only other catches were two octopus. I also went along floundering at Oreti beach one morning, and got some flounder and a lot of crabs to keep for bait.
The carpet shark I got was a lot smaller than all the ones I’ve had from Birdlings flat down to Timaru. Strangely all of the 10 or so Carpet sharks I have had before, have all been the same size. Same with every single skate I have had, and even seen caught, they have all been basically the same size. I know they grow bigger as I’ve seen the photo on this site of a massive one caught near Rakaia.
Couple of the skate. You can see the hook thing I used to get the skate up, all it is, is a 10/0 hook tied to the end of a rope. It definitely came in handy, although I’m planning on getting a proper gaff hook or treble gaff hook and adding a weight to make it easier to use.
Some cod. Only one was legal size.
One of the 5 or so small Terakihi I got. Interestingly they were all the exact same size as the ones I’ve had off the Timaru wharf.
The bigger of the two Octopus. This one was eating the dogfish and held on all the way until I tried to pull it up, but the other one I actually hooked.
The only barracouta for the trip. It was quite small and seemed to be in fairly bad condition.
Small carpet shark.
I’m not sure if the pictures are working properly so I might have to upload them again somewhere else.