NZ Fishing News - - News -

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

Main image, left: With eight mar­lin to his credit, in­clud­ing a nice blue and a black, Hunter Scott (10) is no stranger to play­ing bill­fish. Above: Fish­ing is an in­ter­gen­er­a­tional thing: Scott’s grand­mother Chris­tine works on her fish af­ter grand­son Hunter

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