Weekend Family Trip to the Mercs

I’m just back from three awesome days spent exploring the Mercs with my kids Bella and Oscar on Provider. I can fondly remember many overnighters with my Dad at the Mercs and have been hanging out to do the same with my kids.

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The 770 Senator is perfectly set up for this, with closed in cabing, a central table which folds down to a third bunk, and lots of storage.

Over the weekend we caught and ate crays, scallops, Kina and some nice snapper.

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Most of the snapper we caught were before breakfast or late in the day, the best coming while the bacon was frying in the pan!

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We saw bronzies, eagle rays, seals and loads of fish and bird life. 

Bella has gone from just doing her dive ticket to spotting all the good nests for me, won’t be long until I get relegated to boat man!

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The highlight was spending a magic afternoon just chilling at Whalers Cove on the south side of the Mercs out of the wind and soaking up the Mercs magic having a feed of crayfish, it doesn’t get much better! Lots more summer adventures ahead.

Scallop Diving at the start of the Coromandel scallop season

If I had to choose my favourite seafood, scallops would have to be right up there. You can’t beat them raw, fresh out of the ocean ala naturale!

It is always exciting when the season opens on 1 September, and as has been tradition for a few years, a bunch of us head up to Opito Bay and have a mini scallop festival of our own.

This year we found them fat as and in good numbers

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It is a bit of a tradition to cook up a storm on opening night, this year it was scallops three ways - scallop and pineapple ceviche, scallop roe fritter topped with ala naturale scallop, plus in garlic butter in their shell. Nectar!

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My daughter Bella has recently done her PADI Open Water dive course with Dive Zone Whitianga, and she was keen to have her first crack diving for some scallops, so we looked a little closer to home, and while they were not as thick, we got a nice feed. It was awesome to see Bells enoying her diving and helping me gather a feed of scallops - it doesn’t get much better!

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Out Wide with Clarke Gayford and Fish of the Day

Good mate Mike Bhana and his sidekick and Clarke Gayford have been talking with me about getting out wide and filming a show for their TV series Fish of the Day for about a year.

Finally I saw a window that worked for everyone and we had a plan!

The plan was the run North and fish wide of Cuvier for Bluenose and hopefully we would get into some bass as well.

We picked a cracker of a day!

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This was Clarke’s last outing before he was in lock down mode, his partner Jacinda is running for prime minister this weekend! He made the most of it first drop!

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Next up, target species!

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One of the things I love about deep water fishing is that you never know what you are going to get, we caught about six different species of fish through the day.

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Final drop was called and Scott hooked into a real decent fish - and boom - a monster of a bass about 50kg.

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Back to land for a big old fillet session on the Trailor Made heavy duty fillet bench and of course we had to fire up the BBQ and scoff some fresh fish in wide bread - just nectar!

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