Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fishers of all ...

      We snuck off for a couple of nights at Hihi Beach on Sunday afternoon. Our mini satellite dish couldn't pick up any TV for the trees so there was quite a lot of reading and walking.
     We watched our camp neighbours pull in a flapping stingray and get it safely back into the water - no skate steaks for them. I wasn't much interested in fishing; but at one point I did become aware that there was a tumult of seabirds over the beach.
     I stepped out from behind the hedge and saw the biggest and noisiest flock of white-fronted terns I'd ever observed. The water was steaming white with spray as the birds dived and splashed to the surface with sprats. But big fish were also throwing themselves all over the place competing for the same prey. Yellow-eyed mullet were the targets of both groups and they were so close inshore that the big kahawai were running aground and stirring the water into a muddy cloudy mess.
      At times the whole eruption was only two or three metres from the shore, totally undisturbed by our wonder and curiosity. A couple of much more experienced fishers than I said they had never seen anything like it so close to the beach. 
      From the shore, a young lad cast a lure through all this turmoil of feathers and scales and splashes and pulled in two or three very nice fish. By the time three or four boats were hastily launched and a few more surfcasters set up around the beach the big camp smoker would be filled to capacity.
      Home tonight, we dined on an excellent smoked kahawai and potato pie. The experience seemed a serenditpitous follow-up to Sunday's account of the calling of the fisher-disciples.

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