I had plans to go hunting last weekend, but the weather in the mountains was predicted to be gale-force wind and we decided to “take a miss,” as the Kiwis say. A small consolation trip was out to Lake Ellesmere, just 45 minutes south of Christchurch, to work on our duck blind construction.
Our blind is a pallet-and-scrap-wood engineering marvel which we hope will snag us some mallards come duck season. You might wonder how we’ll ever retrieve said ducks from the middle of the lake (provided we actually make contact with our bullets). The “lake” might better be termed an overgrown “puddle,” 48,000 acres but not more than waist deep. It’s gradually filling in with river sediment and will some day make prime sheep pasture.
I was given a fish net from a mate at work that didn’t have a use for it anymore. I have tried using it before and caught a few sticks and seaweed, so Mark and I had very low expectations this time around. We happened to bring it along with us when we went out to work on our mai-mai (duck blind) which can be seen beyond, that incongruous “bush in the middle of the lake.”
As the net is dragged along, the weighted bottom edge scrapes along the bottom of the lake, waking up the sleeping flounder and catching them in the net.
shhh-bam! Fish in the net! After dragging the net in 3 times, we had more fish than we knew what to do with, or more accurately we knew that cleaning all of them was going to be a BIG chore.
Here we are, two bald guys with an appetite. We did cook them first. To be more accurate, three hours of hard work later we had honed our filleting skills to a T and had a bowl of paper-thin fillets (there’s not much flesh on a flounder this size) ready to pack in the freezer.