The one that got away . . .
THE dogtooth is a top predator and one of the prize catches if you can manage it. Big mouth full of big teeth – “it’s a rather vicious fish,” says Matt Graham. “The big ones blow people away — they can’t land them.” Start fishing on the outside of the reef in 50160m, running big metal jigs. Your boat needs to drift over structure, working these jigs. It’s full on when they bite, and it’s an unpredictable run. May as well hook a big shark! Can get to 150 lbs around Cairns. THE best fish I ever caught? Do I have to say we got it in? That was in 1981. We were at Shark Bay in WA and it was a cobia.
We had him on for about 45 minutes until he was that tired he was just dead in the water.
We were on the rocks and I didn’t have a gaff so I said to my wife can you go down and get that fish?
And I gave her a knife and I said just stick it up under its gills and drag it up out of the water. But there was another guy and he said “oh it’s right, I’ll do it for you”.
He went down, got real close to the water and went [cutting motion] and cut the line off just at its mouth!
The fish floated around on top of the water for the next 20 minutes! We got a real good look at it.
It was huge and it was very tired. It was a really nice big fish. We’d gone there because there was heaps of smeg in the water and it brought the tuna in. And the sharks would chase the tuna in. They’d come in and beach on the ledges, so there’d be a shark stuck on the ledge too, completely out of the water, until a big enough wave came along and they’d flick their tail and wash back into the water. They might sit there, clean out of the water, for 30 seconds to a minute.
They did that a couple of times.
That’s how hard they were chasing the tuna.