Countdown to Christmas and summer break (for most of us) is SO very close now. It’s time for delicious feasts with family and friends and enjoying the outdoors. Most kiwis will naturally head to some form of water, be it lakes, rivers or the sea and food gathering at this time of year is fairly normal for us all, be it fishing, paua, crayfish, trout/ salmon.
This weekend past, I got a group of friends from all over the world now living in various parts of NZ and we congregated in Kaikoura to celebrate, catch up and to use the voucher from Rodfather Fishing Charters Kaikoura, . These guys are fantastic sponsors of the LWFC here in North Canterbury and there will be more up for grabs in February. Amy Farnsworth and Nao Kumimi won ‘best from the sea’ in the first North Canterbury Local Wild Food Challenge with their delicious Wild Pipi dish and sourdough yeast bread to mop up the juices.
So we decided it was a great opportunity to hire the Rodfather and go on a fishing charter! Six of us headed down to the wharf at 5am on Sunday morning to meet Anton and Steve. Steve was our skipper for the day and he was fantastic (very patient!) First we hauled up the cray pots and counted how many and checked the size of what was legal to keep (we got 16 crays all up – lucky us!) After dropping one of the team back to shore we headed out in search of Groper/ Hapuka. It wasn’t too rough, but a good swell and current running opposite to the northerly made it difficult for a couple of the girls to find their sea legs so we ended up with only three of us fishing. We did however haul up three delicious hapuka/groper to take home. Outi got the biggest fish of the day, an enormous hapuka event the skipper Steve was impressed.
After we got our hapuka we headed to a couple more spots to get a few tasty perch (an underrated delight from sea!) and we managed to land a couple of decent blue cod to top it of.
After we divided up our catch and had a quick last stop at the Kaikoura cheese shop to top up our Christmas supplies.. By the way these guys are coming to the 2016 LWFC at Pegasus Bay on February 19th! Amazing cheeses and we enjoyed rather large cheese plates for several meals over the course of the weekend. The shop is open 7 days so totally stop in when your next in Kaikoura! The Canterbury Cheesemongers also have these available in the Christchurch.
The time came to go our own ways and we had to depart Kaikoura. However, I lingered in one of the southern bays as the water was irresistibly calm and clear despite the recent southerly system. I was contemplating getting in when I met Graham and his partner Claire from Northland travelling the South Island. Graham suggested we buddy up and since my family and friends dislike me diving solo this was a perfect opportunity to get in the water! It was such a good dive (fairly warm for Kaikoura!) and we both walked away with half a dozen beautifully sized paua for our dinner tables!
A perfect weekend in my books! Have a safe and happy festive summer break out there. A good time to practise a few dishes for the upcoming Local Wild Food Challenge at Pegasus Bay Winery, Friday 19th February from 2pm (: Any enquires ask away! email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org