Guido Richard: Memories come alive again in the distance (2)

Guido Richard: In der Ferne werden Erinnerungen wieder lebendig (2)

January 2024, New Zealand:

I landed in Christchurch just under a week ago. Driss was already waiting for me there with my little four-wheel drive campervan, which will be my home for the next two months. Less than 24 hours later, after a short night with Driss and a long drive on endless gravel roads, I hiked with a heavy rucksack over a small pass into the dreamy valley where my New Zealand fishing adventure was to begin. It felt like I had never been away and the first week of fishing was better than I could ever have dreamed. Driss, Nico and I each caught several very large fish up to 4.5kg, which is the trophy fish mark in New Zealand. To be honest, it was also very tiring for me due to the twelve-hour time difference, the strong sun and the almost 100 kilometres on foot through mountain, forest and river with the heavy rucksack. 30 kilometres on foot can be a normal day's fishing in New Zealand if you don't use a helicopter. Last night I parked my home with four wheels at a lake, this morning I went for a swim and will use the day to rest and prepare my gear for the next fishing trip.

October 2021, at my home:

Since mid-September, I've been feeding an area on the same water where I caught the big mirror in the summer. As before, I threw three kilos of baits into the channel at the foot of the ledge every other day. I spread the baits over an area the size of a tennis court using a feeding shovel. I went fishing about every ten days and had already fished two nights with success.

That evening, Raph accompanied me for the night. We fished run after run together with three rods; in my opinion, more rods were counterproductive in this situation.

The first bite came just after sunset and Raph managed to catch a small fish. Shortly afterwards, it was my turn, which brought me a small, hard-fighting mirror.

 On the third bite, just under an hour later, it was Raph's turn again - and the fish really tightened up the rod. It slowly made its way around and swam several times in patches of weed before we could make out its massive size in the light of the head torch on the stone pack. After successfully netting the fish and taking a closer look in the landing net, I was amazed... this fish looked familiar.

Once on the mat, I was certain that it was the same spiegler that I had caught a few kilometres away in August, but this time it looked full and much beefier. The scales confirmed our suspicions and I was delighted with Raph's new PB of 29.9kg. Meeting this special fish in top condition in autumn was simply fantastic! Once again, it had bitten just after the new moon and from this point on I realised that it must be a fish that lives in this area of water all year round. That same evening, I made plans to catch it again - later in the autumn, when it would certainly break the 30 kilo mark. The idea may sound crazy given the considerable expanse of water it calls home, but I had already managed to catch top-weight fish here several times in late autumn and this one was obviously one of the ‘locals’. 

Look forward to part 3 soon,
Your Guido Richard

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Guido Richard: In der Ferne werden Erinnerungen wieder lebendig (1)
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