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First (Dropped) Kingy For The Season


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Hi all

I've been having a fish off cliff areas around Cape Banks lately as it's close to home. Also, there's less people fishing the area these days. It's awesome to take the time to get to know a new spot and then to have success. But, while some spots in this area look great in that you can see where the outer reefs come in close to shore, it's been a bit of a challenge because of the cliff location. I managed my first blackfish off one location recently.

Anyway, on Boxing Day I fished a spot while I watched the yachts sail past. This time I had my land-based game gear (minus the BeastMaster 30/50), just an eight foot strong rod and an ol' Mitchell 624 overhead. I was hoping to catch a bonny or salmon and put it out as a livebait and see if whatever took it could drag me off the rock.

Anyway, after several hours and just as I was about to leave (I was badly sunburnt by then), I managed to catch a pike, which is one of my favourite live baits. So, I put it out and after exploring the inner reef, the pike finally managed to head for NZ. I like pike because if you handle them carefully they last for ages as live baits. Anyway, I continued watching the yachts for about 40 minutes before pike remained deep for a good minute or two. So I gave it a strike and then the thing took off! The run was very long and I put the reel in free-spool (the drags not particularly good and that's why I miss my BeastMaster) and I thumbed the reel so it wouldn't tangle. After this fist run I braced myself against a small boulder and then engaged the reel. Fortunately, I was then able to fight the fish pretty much like a tuna as it ran East away from the rocks. At one point I even thought the fish was going to jump out of the water because of the angle the line was taking, but it didn't.

After some time I had it near to the outer reef (as I call it). Luckily I managed to use the cliff height to my advantage and was able to negotiate the fish around it and into shallow water. I was surprised that I was able to do this and this made me think that maybe it wasn't a king. Anyway, in closer now and by this time the fish was pretty much stuffed. I brought it in closer and that's when I was able to see a nice healthy, beautifully-coloured kingfish. By the time I clambered down (shaking a bit) to the lowest cliff, at above 12 feet from the water, the fish was had it. I actually had it dangling halfway out of the water. I'd estimate it to be about 10kg at least. This is no bs, I've caught enough around this size to know. Aside from the length, it was the weight of it that spanner in the works.

I was now kneeling trying to lift the fish. I was using 15kg line, with a 10m double, and an eight foot leader of about 100 lb, Jinkai of about 15 years old. Anyway, I had to take my shirt off and use my hat as well to be able to wrap the line around my hands in the hope of lifting the fish. I managed to raise the fish a couple of feet and almost had my hands on the leader when the line touched the rocks and went pop! The double was grazed through and I lost the fish.

Still, to me I conquered that spot. I will return with my 16 foot rangoon cane gaff and have another go for a kingy. I doubt though that I'm going to have a second chance at negotiating a decent kingy around the outer reef, but who knows? Maybe this spot, as opposed to say Julianne, because of it's bottom structure induces fish to run seeward?



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very unlucky about that kingy, but really well done on doing that well with such a beast. Something just like that happened to me at Currarong, I was spinning for bonnies when my reel started screaming with 10lb line peeling off, but after 20 - 25 minutes of fighting it I got it to the rocks and saw it was a kingy - though not as big as the one your talking about - but anyway got a wave wash the fish onto the rock, i went up and grabbed it, but then it flapped and shook and i lost grip and the trebles came flying out and it swam off. I was absolutely gutted.

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