Thursday, July 5, 2007

Big fish...Nice suprise

Today I will tell you what happened to me on 4 September 2001.

The previous night I did some pub crawling and met up with, Mike a fishing buddy of mine. We decided to go fishing the next day on the beach here at Southern cross the next day. It was agreed that I must bring the bait and meet him on the beach.

That morning early I went down to the river to pump out some mud prawns. I thought pumping prawns in that cold water with a mean hangover would be the closes I get to any extreme fishing for the day.

I got my little bucket of prawns and headed towards the beach only to find out that everyone is catching NOTHING. Next to the hole where everyone is casting I noticed a nice shallow sandbank with the waves working it nicely. I decided to try there for a white steenbra or grunter.

So I got my traces and bait on and made a cast towards the bank. Earlier that morning I put new line on my reel. A whole 600 meter roll of 11.3 kilogram line fitted onto my Penn 49A reel. Seeing that I did not tension it enough while putting it on my first cast resulted in a huge overwind.

I sat down and undid the crow’s-nest I just created. With my bait lying in about knee deep water I felt something small tug on the end of my line. I did not give it much though as I would probably just be some blaasoppie or baber.

I got the overwind sorted out and stood up to to retrieve my line and try to cast again. By this time the hangover felt like its getting babies and multiplying. As I moved my sinker something decided to go the other direction. Fish on. It felt big and after about a 100m run I got it to slow down.

I thought it might be a big stingray or sand shark. I start to get back some line and it started to go left. As it hit the next deep channel it headed out to sea again.
Mike had to put my fishing buckle on while I was fighting it because it started to look like this might be a long day.

I win line over the shallows and as soon as it hits deeper water it takes line again. About 90 minutes later (and about 3 kilometres to the left from where I hooked it) I could feel that whatever I have hooked into is getting tired. But so am I…

By this time you have a whole crowd of onlookers surrounding you and speculating what might be on the other end of my line. Stingray…shark…seal…dolphin….boat.

By now it could feel that I’m not fighting anything anymore but just dragging a dead weight through the water. And the floppy 11 foot rod I used is not the best rod for that. And it’s still out far. Suddenly a small boy next to me shouted that he sees something in the water.

Now we all waiting for the next swell to see if we can see it too and suddenly there it was. A big long silver body in the swells behind the surf zone. Mike who is always the decent guy made some remarks that I won’t repeat here and he apologised to everyone around us.
All I wanted on that moment is to get it out cause every single muscle in my upper body and back was screaming for a break. Getting that dead weight through the waves was a mission on its own. Suddenly the waves will start to roll it out towards the beach and your line goes slack. Then just as fast the backwash takes it back towards the sea and threatens to break your line.

By this time Mike and I are almost swimming to get a hold of the fish. Mike got near enough and grabbed it by the gills and dragged it out onto the sand. A 61.5 kg cob!

Everyone looked at it in awe. What a beautiful fish. At first I was unable to think but when the excitement and adrenaline started slowing down I started feeling sad. The only thing I would like more than catching a fish like this is releasing it. But that size fish normally drowns during the battle.

Mike just took my rod and said “bring it back, its yours”

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