Cod are one of the easiest fish to spear. Often you will experience a blue cod actually biting the end of your spear, so how hard can this species really be to hunt? Like all fish the big ones grow to be big for a reason. Juveniles will zip around all over the place but if you are patient and wait, bigger cod will eventually come in.
Our southern waters (Wellington south) hold good stocks of fish with great numbers in the deep south.
To spear blue cod, a simple burley is best. Either attach a burley pot to a separate line and place at a safe depth, or just break a few kina up to entice them. It is good practice to put your burley at a depth that is comfortable for you and your dive buddies. Placing your burley so that it drifts out to the open sea at 5-10 metres is a safe start for most. As mentioned, they are inquisitive with a ferocious appetite so it shouldn’t take long before sighting a few after a good burley-up.
When hunting blue cod you can use either a reel gun or a simple speargun, float and float line.
If using kina as your burley, you will need to replenish it quickly once it is eaten so your fish remain interested and stay in the targeted area. Do this by lobbing the kina in the air to the burley spot; try not to swim onto the burley once it has been placed. You never know what might swim in…a big John Dory or terakihi often lurk in the same spots as blue cod.
Secure all speared fish to your float line. If you gill and gut your fish before putting them on your float line it keeps your fish fresh and removes the possibility of gut waste from tainting the flesh as well as removing all the blood. The added bonus here is that it gives you a bit more burley in the water!
If using a burley pot (loading it with a salmon burley is good) and you’re only targeting blue cod, you can use your float line to mark your burley spot. This will enable complete freedom in the water without towing any fish or line. But remember, if something bigger comes in to your line of fire, there is the possibility of losing your gun if you have no secondary float line.
Remember to approach any burley with caution. Sit back and watch what is approaching and also look for better ambushing places to spear those big fish lurking in the background.
Check your local regulations as some areas around New Zealand have very limited quotas.
Below we have selected helpful equipment that is suitable for hunting Blue Cod, if you are hunting from Wellington South a 100cm gun would be perfect.