After struggling throughout much of the holiday, I went rock fishing with my mate Ashok the other night. I had the fist bite just on sunset and landed a nice little mangrove jack which put a bit of a bend in the rod as he was hooked in the cheek and came in sideways.
An hour and a half and two short rests latter, I got a tiny tap and struck into a good fish. I could feel weight but it came in sort of easy for about 30 seconds before all hell broke loose and the fish set off on one blazing run after another and even with my heavy St Croix spinning rod, there wasn't a lot I could do. It then circled around and started another run right along the edge of the rocks and I could feel both the fish and the line scrapping and pinging against the razor sharp oysters. Fortunately, I'd tied a 2m leader of heavy mono onto the braid and this took the brunt of it without parting. i was pumping for all I was worth trying to keep the fishes head up and away from the rocks but every time I gained line, it took it back. Eventually, with none of the usual jumping or other theatrics, the fish was circling just in front of me.
By this time, I'd made my way further down onto the barnacles where I was closer to the fish and had a bit of grip and Ashok came scrambling over the rocks to grab the leader. I shouted to him to wait for a wave and with perfect timing, he grabbed the leader and slid the fish onto the rocks as the next one came in.
Just over 11KG or 25lb of silver muscle lay on the rocks.
I grabbed it and took it up and although it was only a fraction longer than Ashoks fish of last week, it had the humped neck and wide shoulders of a real bruiser.
It pips my previous best barramundi and the only thing that would have improved it would have been a photo - buy I killed my camera a couple of weeks ago in a fall.
Although it is right at the upper limit of my self imposed slot limit and would probably have gone back if I'd caught it on the sand, there was quite a bit of damage from the oysters and it went into the fish bag.
That was the fish I came for......