Taylor's Mistake Sevengiller
It is a sunny afternoon during the holidays. The kids are getting board and like their father are itching to go fishing. Where shall we go? Why not to one of my old spots over the hill at Black Rock, Taylors Mistake.
When packing consideration needed to be given to what we should take with us, and equally importantly, because we would have to walk over part of the Port Hills, what to leave behind. It is amazing how a four-wheel-drive vehicle makes fishermen lazy. You get so used to driving right up to where you are going to fish and just getting out of the vehicle and casting.
This time we would have to carry all our gear by hand or in packs on our backs. I knew there would be plenty of yellow-eyed mullet at Taylors Mistake. From experience the best way to catch them from the rocks is to splash a bit of berley on the water and then fish for them with light spinning rods and flasher rigs.
I had already made some flashers up with size 6 trout hooks ideal for mullet. This meant we would have to carry a 20 litre bucket half full of old bread from the freezer kept for the purpose, some old frozen fish offal, and a bottle of Kilwell Orange Roughy Oil. I had used the later before and knew it would bring in the mullet from miles around.
There were three of us including the youngster so we
needed five rods! Two would be
used to cast out baited hooks for
red cod, or anything else; perhaps
a kahawai or something bigger
and then placed in a crack in the
rocks. The three smaller rods
would be used to catch the mullet.
Sure enough after parking the car and strapping the rods together to make them easier to carry, we pulled on our packs and climbed up the hill and walked along the track and then down to the fishing platform at Black Rock. I had caught plenty of red cod here in the past.On arrival we mixed the berley in the bucket with water and began casting a few cupfuls on the surface. In no time at all the wash below us was teeming with big yellow-eyed mullet.
They would rush in together grabbing tasty morsels from the berley before darting away again. While the kids started catch them i put out the two long rods for the cod. After an hour or so, and several changes of bait, I noticed my long Kilwell Custom surf rod was bent right over and the Alvey was giving line. Headed over to pick up the rod my first though was that it was probably a sting ray. Some huge rays had been caught here in the past. With rod in hand the fight began in earnest..
A long rod works against you
when fighting a big fish, and one
thing was certain this was a big
fish! I had to maintain constant
pressure but at the same time take
it easy so as not to snap the line. I
had caught big sevengillers from
the beach at Birdlings Flat in the
past and knew that it was just a
matter of keeping the pressure on
and waiting for the shark to tire.
The problem was we were on rocks a couple of metres from the water. I had a gaff on a four foot wooded handle. It seemed inadequate for the task. Fortunately two young blokes fishing near us lent a hand with the gaff and helped to lift the fish from the water. It would have been at least an hour after it was hooked that we had it clear of the tide.
Darkness was approaching so we hurried to gut the shark and carry it back over the hill to the car. It was incredibly heavy even after being gutted. It just goes to show that the more you go fishing the sooner you'll catch a really big fish!