I sprang outa bed at 5am. On went the billy for a quick cuppa, and I was ready to go. Hell I had survived Day One, throw it at me “God of the Weather”, I can take anything after that thick rain day. Well that was the wrong thing to say, It Started to rain. Shoulda kept my trap shut, I guess. But hey had dry clothes on, and was togged up again for the best he had to offer. Couldn’t wait to get to the beach, I was fizzing at the bung. Eager with anticipation of ” The Big One”
And so the convoy headed out again, to accept the challenge. This time we drove right out onto the beach, only a stones throw away from ” The Hardy Gang HQ’ gear was unloaded. And we awaited the approaching dawn, eager with positivity, Team Spirit( no not yours Frosty) and renewed energy.
Our HQ was actually an old piece of log driftwood, the only bit around. But handy for me to cut my prime bait on. And if I kinda set out my gear the right way, it had all these nooks and crannys. Natures Tackle Box I called it. The Beach Marshall/ Measurer turned up in the gloom of pre dawn light. We had the same fella again. Neat, me and him were ole friends from yesterday. And I sure hoped our meetings that day would be plenty, as I once again took the ” Walk of Triumph” Well I had better set you guys straight, for this dude on Sunday, there was no “Walk of Triumph”, well not on the beach anyway.
The previous night at the Real Fishing HQ, there had been talk of one Team having five fish, weighed. And on looking in the fish bins next to the Weigh In Caravan, there were some pretty large looking specemins. Guru reckoned, yep but those five could all be babys. So today we need fish. And that was the plan.
Damm I thought, can I repeat my early morning opening of yesterday. At five to seven I was standing in the surf line, rod ready to go. “Not yet Hardy Gary yelled” wait for the Flag. Frig I yelled, can’t see it. I was “itchin to get fishin”. And yep it was raining, but strange, it wasn’t bothering me. In fact I had kinda got used to it. Me and the rain had made friends. I’m pretty friendly with West Coast Sth Island rain, and now me and East Coast rain were the best of buddies. Life couldnt be better.
The 1.4 metre swell with a 2 metre wave face had not materialised, in fact conditions kinda looked a bit better than the day before. Up went the Flag, and out went the lines. Sinkers and baits arcing in the appraoching dawn as they were sent to do their work. It was like a barrage of mini Cruise Missles flying from the Coast.
Gary and James, were back at our friendly log post haste, very busy preparing Pillie Baits. And I saw the odd green needle skirt being dressed. Neil was doing the Pillie thing to. What a Pillie Wrapping Contest was going on. It was almost like a contest in a contest. Bait elastic was flying everywhere. As each bait was prepared I glanced across to take in its beauty and elegance. A passing Papamoa Beach Beauty complete with bikini, would not have distracted from me from this Pillie wrapping frenzy. It was almost like a work up. Such was the hive of activity.
Now I am not much taught in this Pillie wrapping art. The scungy specimins in the Freezers of my now distant West Coast, are about as appealing as a dead jellyfish fritter, with a similar consistency. How can I compete, I thought. Oh well time for my secret weapon. And reaching in my pack I located and produced, my Salted Bonito, whats thats stuff asked the Guru. Prime Warehouse Salted Bonito Sir, I replied. Aged and well soaked in an appetising sauce. ” Better Fresh “, he said. “I prefer aged Mr Guru”, I replied. Besides trying to buy fresh Tuna off the boats on the Coast is like trying to buy illicit drugs. Every fish box has a MAF Policeman hiding behind it. And they all seem to jump out at once to pounce on you, once the coin and the tuna has changed hands. You try to grab the tuna and do a runner, but they are as slippery as, “Your Deal”. The boat immediatley casts off with full throttle applied, and the Fishing number and name, go into stealth mode. The MAF Police fight each other to secure the evidence, but with no boat and no eager Surfcaster, anywhere to be seen. Its a bit of a no winner for them. What really pis— me of is the fast disappearing fishing boat has my coin on board, and my chance of a refund is about as slim as the MAF Police catching me. So that Guru Gary is why I have had to lower myself, to this rather unappetising piece of prime Bonito Tuna I had placed before you. Now having digressed.
It is time for us to go catch some fish. ” Let the Game Begin” and so started Day Two of the Mighty ATM World Cup Kahawai Fishing Competition. This was gunna a day to be remembered and told to Grandchildren for eons to come. And yes, there was even ” Sex on The Beach” another old goodie song.
At this rate, its gunna be at least another two chapters, frig, these Fishing Competitions not only tax your Fishing skills, they also tax your story telling skills.
Cheers Hardy aka Trev