Thursday, February 28, 2008


Just before heading off to Stewart Island I stopped off at a sports store to inquire about fishing. I heard it could be good if you could find a deep pool off the rocks that was kelp free. I ended up purchasing a hand line; fishing line wrapped around a plastic disk. We headed across on the ferry and I was so excited I tried fishing off the wharf in Golden Bay the night we got there; I didn’t catch anything. On the track I did have a bit of success, I caught two striped parrot fish and a spotty. Almost had a nice blue cod, but it got off near the rocks. I did my best to fillet the two parrot fish which proved to be difficult with our tiny knife but they were a nice addition to the dehydrated meals we were eating.

On our last day on Stewart Island we had a special treat, Jim, a Stewart Island local, took us out to his mussel farm to go cod fishing. We’d met Jim and his friend Phil while they were hunting at Rakeahua Hut a few days earlier. I was after local fishing knowledge so was grilling them about good spots near Oban. Turns out the fishing isn’t any good there without a boat. Jim said if the weather was nice he’d take us out. Despite the gloomy forecast, we had perfect sunny skies and no wind so off we went. It was really interesting checking out the farms, mussel farms are something neither of us have had any experience with so it was cool to see the whole process. Jim also knew the spots to find cod, they started biting straight away. Between us we caught 6 huge blue cod, the largest being about 50cm. Very impressive.

On the topic of fish, if you are after the best fish and chips ever you must go to the Kai Kart in Oban. Jim’s wife, Hilly, cooks up fresh blue cod and the crispiest chips. So delicious. Thanks to Jim and Hilly for your generosity, we really enjoyed meeting you both.


Dennis with his first parrot fish
Dennis filleting the fish
Kai Kart – best fish and chips you can get
Hilly and Vanessa running the Kai Kart
Alice with the biggest blue cod of the day