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Kingy on bream stick


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I had heard there were big flatties in the entrance, next to the breakwall. My dad had seen and spoken to a guy who had caught an 80+ model only a day prior. Now I had two hours, the perfect run-out tide, a new Minn Kota, overcast skies and the boat to myself. The rest of the family were at the movies… or relaxing with a book… getting an icecream? I’d forgotten. Ahh, holidays at Nambucca…

I take my time motoring the short distance to the entrance while I rig up. My bream rod, two kilo line, five kilo leader. Five inch jerk shad. 1/6th jig head. Target: the drop off at the V, just out of the main current. I cut the engine, deploy the electric and drift out with the tide, which is now strong. Hitting spot lock (which has to be the best invention ever), I begin casting…

There are people swimming in the V, people walking along the breakwall. A few fishos are casting from the rocks. After a few casts I catch a nice flatty: one for the table, but not the size I’m after. A couple of changes of position. Not much is happening.

Then a welcome tick as the jerk shad descends, having been cast tight into a hole in the weed at the base of the rocks. I strike and there is weight; good weight. A couple of winds and then the fish takes five metres of line. Wow. If it’s a flathead, it’s a big one.

I’m too close to the rocks, so I swing the electric around and pull out into the entrance proper. The tide is really roaring. I hit spot lock again. Now I can settle down into the fight. The deck is clear and the net is handy. A couple of people pause on the wall to watch. I’m going to enjoy this.

I slowly work the fish close to the boat. Just when there ought to be colour, the fish, now out into the main current, powers off toward the ocean, using the tide to full advantage. It easily strips 50 metres from me. That’s not a flathead. I get a vague sinking feeling. Four pound line isn’t meant for ocean-bound speedsters with the current behind them. My heart is going, I’m sweating and the adrenal glands shift into overdrive. I want this fish.

Now the electric isn’t working properly. The current is too strong, even at full tilt. The pressure waves rolling in against the tide cause the front of the boat to bob madly, and the prop exits the water as the bow rises. I’m being sucked out to sea, unable to gain line. I’m not enjoying this so much now…

Starting the main engine, I motor slowly into the current, still holding the rod. What to do, what to do? I call Poddy Trapper, on another part of the river with his family. Sensing I need help, he ignores his phone. The rain starts pouring.

Variously, I gain line and lose it. The fish makes two runs towards the rocks, and only desperation keeps it away. I’m fighting the fish and driving the boat, trying to keep it away from the breakwall on one side of the entrance and the breaking waves on the other, while not getting sucked across the bar. I call Dad, who is on the river somewhere. Miraculously, he answers.

I’ve been going 20 minutes when he arrives in his boat. There’s now a sizable crowd on the breakwall, but I’m only vaguely aware. Stephen pulls the tinny alongside and Dad jumps in and takes the helm. I relax a little.

Getting colour is one thing: getting the fish boat side and into a short-handled net in raging current is something else. I must have had three net shots at him. Each time, I miss, and he swims off again. Even when he’s spent and on the surface, I struggle: the mainline is barely strong enough to pull his weight against the tide.

At last the net is brought on board, with kingfish inside. There is a cheer from the wall. I hold it up, elated. That’s the best fight I’ve had in a long time.

The king also goes beautifully in olive oil and lemon juice on the BBQ that night.


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That was an awesome read.

Just imagine if you tossed it back in the drink after you held it up, i could just imagine the people face's on the rock wall, would of been funny.

Anyway congrats on a very nice fish and great read.

Edited by General Zod
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Great catch mate! Can definitely understand how the fight would have been.. Hooked and landed a small king (66cm) on 3lb braid, 4lb leader and a 1-2kg bream stick! Landbased too. Yours looks like a much better fish though! I reckon the harder you go on them, the harder they go on you. So, providing there's not too much structure around, they are possible on light gear.

Well done, Cracker kingy!

Cheers, Tom

Edited by mulloway man
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