It has been a remarkable gamefishing season for a number of reasons, not the least being some great catches made by young anglers. Records have tumbled and Junior and Small Fry anglers have toughed it out on some neat fish to earn recognition at club and national level.
Late in April it was the Scott family’s turn: at the end of an exciting day aboard Odyssey, Lola and Hunter both had national records to their credit. It was also a great example of how angling can be enjoyed by all ages, with three generations of Scotts involved in the action.
The following is 10-year-old Hunter’s version of how the day unfolded…
During the school holidays my dad Adam decided to have a day off work and take my younger sister Lola and I fishing out on the family’s launch Odyssey, along with my grandparents Keith and Christine Scott.
The weather was perfect and we knew the fish were there, as I’d tagged a marlin during the previous weekend.
With all the hands on board, Dad said it was the perfect chance to try for a marlin on 10kg gear – a goal of mine for some time.
We set two 10kg rigs, one on each outrigger, along with one 24kg and one 37kg rig in close.
By lunchtime we had seen nothing other that a few gannets. My grandad said to me, “With gamefishing expect the unexpected.”
Next minute the outrigger clip pinged open and I heard my favourite noise: the screeching of the reel as the line starts to vanish.
Then a second dorsal appeared behind the closest lure and that got eaten, too. We were hooked up on a double! I was on one on 10kg, while my grandma was on the other.
My fish hadn’t pulled much line out, while my grandma’s continued to race away. Even so, she had to make her way up to the boat’s bow as we tried to get mine.
Then my fish must have realized it was hooked, as it took to the air, jumping with its tail at least two metres clear of the water, while line screamed off the little reel like I’d never quite heard before.
By this time Dad was at the bow of the boat with my grandma and I was all by myself in the cockpit. Panic set in, as I couldn’t do anything but watch the line disappearing fast. Worried the line would break, I eased the drag back as my granddad backed down hard on it.
Things became a lot simpler when my grandma’s fish escaped, enabling us to concentrate on just mine.
I increased the drag as we started to get line back, and for the first time since we hooked up I felt in control.
Finally, an hour after hooking up, we had the fish up close and jumping just metres away from the boat. But somehow Dad managed to grab the trace with one hand and gaff it with the other – and the fish was ours!
We reset the gear, with only two lures out, and it didn’t take long before a marlin dorsal appeared behind one – and then a second quivered up behind the other.
Upon hooking up again, it was my grandma’s turn, the fish turning around and charging at the boat, leaping about and then digging down deep.
As this fish was hooked on 37kg gear, we were soon able to lift its head, my dad grabbing the trace as I tagged it. A short tow saw it light up and swim away. A great day had just become even better – but back in went the two lures as we headed in to weigh my fish, just in case.
Grandad spotted some gannets with a few splashes under them, and as we headed over one of the lures got eaten. “It’s a yellowfin, Lola – it’s yours,” yelled Dad. The tuna headed off on a strong first run, but Lola was equal to the task, getting it back to the boat for gaffing.
WHAT AN AMAZING day! Lola’s yellowfin weighed 28.4kg on 24kg line, which is a National Record claim for Small Fry (girls), while my marlin weighed 133.4kg on 10kg line, and is also a National Record claim, this time for Small Fry (boys).
This was my eighth marlin, having previously caught a 250.8kg black and 179.3kg blue, however I rate this fish and day as the best. I will never forget it.
- Hunter Scott, Riverview Primary School, Kerikeri