On a little island, surrounded by ocean, it is inevitable that fishing will play a large part in our lives, both as a source of sustenance and as a recreational activity .
The days when taking a bamboo rod down to the rocks or the pier was an absolute necessity if you wanted something to eat for dinner are gone, but the odd feed of trumpeter or trevally which you have caught yourself, or which has been given by a friend or family member is still much appreciated, adding variety to the diet and helping the food budget.
Nowadays, Norfolk's many boat owners like to take their vessels out for a few hours into the open sea, both for recreation and to catch fish from the island's rich waters. A bin or two of Kingfish or Red Emperor are handy to fill the freezer for future needs, or may be sold to restaurants and hotels, or handed round to family and friends.
Increasingly, especially as the island promotes active adventure and eco-type tourism, our visitors are going out on half-day charter fishing trips. Unfortunately, these are always subject to the vagaries of the weather, but those who do go always enjoy the experience!!"Ultimate Lady" comes unusually close to Cascade Pier, in order to re-fuel. I believe she is taking on 10 000 litres!
Now the fishing experience has reached a new level with the "Ultimate Lady", a New Zealand vessel designed for deep sea game fishing . "Ultimate Lady" will be basing herself here on the island for several months of the year. The idea is that customers will fly to Norfolk Island, and while here travel in the "Lady" for 5 or 6 days at a time out to the Wanganella Reefs, rich fishing grounds which are closer to the island than New Zealand, and which are largely untapped. Record numbers and weights of marlin and other large fish have been recorded in recent times.
I stress that the game fishing is strictly on a "Catch, Tag and Release" basis, and is therefore ecologically sustainable.
This is a luxury vessel, with a number of double rooms with ensuites! The daily cost is quite hefty - around $1 000 per day - but when you consider that it covers accommodation, food, transport, entertainment, equipment, tuition etc, that is not too bad.
Our local paper reported that couples would travel here to the island, and while the men went off on their fishing expedition, the women could stay on the island and shop. Now, that sounds rather sexist to me! Nevertheless, the venture will certainly add to and enhance our image as a desirable tourist destination, provide economic benefits to the island businesses, and hopefully attract some welcome interest and attention from big-game "fisherpersons" from overseas.
In a couple of weeks, a group of American journalists etc. are going on one of the ultimate fishing trips. Our son John and his mate Sput, who have been ferrying the crew to and from the pier, have been invited to join them.
We are really looking to hearing all about it first hand!