Blue cod are a favourite fish here in the deep south. They are plentiful and easy to find if you know the local areas around the southern coast and very tasty. I love catching them from an inflatable boat
One of our favourite hunting grounds over the years has been Karitane just north of Dunedin as well as Moeraki about 70Km North of Dunedin. Moeraki in particular offers great fishing for the whole family.
MOERAKI FROM THE CAMPING GROUND JOCK STEWART ( or neighbour Fish )
Main species are blue cod, Jock stewart and Trumpeter however in recent years commercial fishermen numbers seems to have reduced and some fisherman are running charter operations out of Moeraki.
One of the charter boats at Moeraki
I have been going to Moeraki for 30 years and in that time the only thing that has changed is the need to go further out to find good sized Blue Cod in good numbers. 30 years ago it was only a few kilometres out in out 10ft aluminum P arkercraft to get a good feed off Moeraki but today we find ourselves 8 and 10 km out to sea before we find the good sized fish in good numbers.
Over the years the fishing in Dunedin for Blue Cod often means a journey up the harbour from Careys Bay to Tairoa heads and then a long journey North towards Karitane and Danger reef or South to Tairoa heads to Cape Saunders or out the the famous Saunders Canyon.The problem of course with this is the travel and gas cost. This also applies to Moeraki now with a 1 hour drive north from Dunedin.
So where are all the Blue Cod in Dunedin?
Dunedin is very limited when it comes to boat ramps with plentiful ramps in the harbour but nothing that gives you good access to the coast south of Tairoa heads down to Taieri Mouth. This however has somewhat protected the coastline from overfishing and if fact we have discovered that Good sized Blue Cod in good numbers can still be caught within 2 kilometres of the main beaches in Dunedin.
We use to own a 5 metre Stabicraft however lanching off the beach relied on an extra flat day which wasn’t common in Dunedin + we needed a tractor to launch so again its all all day adventure getting out to get the elusiveBlue Cod.
We now own a 3.6 Ocean inflatable boat power by a 15HP Merc. The boat itself packs into a bag that only weighs 50Kg so it easy for myself and my brother to carry onto the beach. Bolt on the 15 Hp motor and inflate the boat with a 12 volt air pump connected to our cigarette lighter. The boat once you know what you are doing takes us less than 10 minutes from bag to boat and before we know it we are in are wetsuits for the quick 5 minute ride through the surf and out 2km to catch a great feed of Blue cod in quick time.
St Clair Beach ( Dunedin)
The other thing we love doing is motoring into the rocks in hard to get places along the coast to dive for paua. The size and numbers still surprise me because of the closeness to busy Dunedin beaches. When you think about it however its because the access is poor and people find these places hard to get too. The advantage of our Inflatable boat means we can spend less than 2 hours to forfull our fishing needs without the all day motor of drive to Moeraki . The 15Hp motor uses very little fuel and our costs are greatly reduce doing something we love.
Diving in one of those hard to get places
My wife now also gives me a fishing pass more often than she use to because I can get it out of my system in a few hours instead of an all day adventure. The other thing shen loves is the 30000 dollars in our account and the extra room in the driveway. The whole rig including the motor cost me about $2500. The boat from memory was about $1300 and the motor $1200.00.
Happy days finding those cod …….