Monday, January 21, 2013

Fishing expedition to Cook Strait

A colleague (Gavin) has been trying to catch some plankton for some experiments and wanted to test if their is the right kind of plankton (foraminifera) in Cook Strait. Another colleague (Peppe) has a new boat and is a mad keen fisherman. So we decided to combine the two. The weather was very calm when we set off. We got out into the strait and did a couple of plankton tows with our newly made nets - which worked very nicely. At the end of the 2nd tow we were suddenly surrounded by brown water. We thought it might be kelp, but it turned out to be a large school of krill, or some kind of bright red crustacean. Then a pod of dolphins visited us and fed and played around us for 30 minutes or more, and came back several times later. After the plankton tows, Peppe and Gavin broke out the fishing rods and dropped a line. Within minutes of the line hitting the bottom Peppe was pulling up 2 fish - a perch and a blue cod. Then Gavin caught a spiny dogfish (shark), which was pulled on board and was held down while the hook was removed and we could throw it back. Unfortunately the wind was picking up and the waves were getting a little uncomfortable in the 5 m boat. So time to head back. Pretty good morning. Thanks Peppe for giving me the only edible fish for our dinner. I just had to learn how to gut a fish. 

Peppe in his happy place - fishing. 

Gavin waiting a little more patiently for a bite.

A quite spectacular looking perch. 

Onda (means waves in italian) Peppe's shiny boat
Video of the dolphins is on my facebook. It isn't very pretty - but you get the picture.....

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