With the Newcastle competition approaching Mike and I were invited to fish about our friends Bertram 35 - Eagle VI based in Newcastle. Paul has 2 young sons who are both very keen fisherman. On Saturday Max got to fish the comp but Issac unfortunately had to play cricket. With the forecast not great we headed out at 5.30am to get on the Newcastle Canyons for the 8am start fishing. To say it was rough was an understatement but it was predicted to get a little better. We had an early bite but hooks didn't stick but there were quite a few fish being recorded and also a lot lost. Around 12 we had our second bite and it was a solid hit on the JB Dingo on the short rigger and the 24kg Tiagra outfit was screaming. The plan was to catch Max a blue bigger than his previous and he had no hesitation to grab the rod. Somehow he dragged the rod from the boards to the transom and he jumped into his gimble & harness. We cleared the deck & started the chase backing up but as we watched the fish head for the north directly behind the boat at an alarming rate of knots we were suddenly down to 100 meters of line and i called for Paul to turn and chase it otherwise we were gone. We got half a spool back and started backing up again when the fish took its second big run and again we had to turn and chase the fish. This time we got a lot of line back and the real battle began. Max was matching the fish and used the big swell to his advantage to get more line back than he was loosing as the fish sat deeper than we wanted. After 4-5 direction changes the fish decided to head straight back into the current. For her it was a big mistake as suddenly we were gaining line rapidly and little Max's was winding like his life depended on it. After and hour and a half got a look at the fish and we knew it would get us over the 150kg but still needed to get it to the boat. After some heartbreaking final winds i got the leader and put some pressure on to see how much energy was left and off she went at 90 degrees as i dumped the leader... my heart sank a little as i knew this was the fish of a lifetime especially for a 12 year old but was being very careful not to loose this fish. It didnt take long and i got my second chance... this time as i took some wraps she decided she liked the other side of the boat better and took me across the transom where she met Scotty at the corner and he popped the small flying gaff in as i grabbed the bill. We dragged her back around to the transom door and slid her on board with the help of the big swell. As i was pulling the fish trough the door I was sure it was over 200kg but after taking a short measurement it only went 2.7m which the charts call around 180kg. Either way we were stoked and i had witnessed an amazing fight by a young man and we had a great fish on board. We kept fishing and dropped another one after a short fight and it was time to head for home. We heard another boat near us call in a captured blue marlin 2.8m which was disappointing for us but i have never seen such a fat blue marlin as we were bringing in.
The other boat weighed their fish before us and it pulled the scales at 213kg at which point we knew it would be very unlikely that Max's fish would beat theirs. We backed in to the weigh station were the crowd waited with anticipation to see what this fish would pull the scales at. The weigh master hooked up the chain and started raising the fish. I was lifting by the bill and to my surprise i looked up as the fish hit 195kg and i was still lifting.... A quick call of how much you got Damo from Max's dad... with my reply... plenty. As i let go of the bill a big hush went around as we looked up to see 214.4kg. High fives all round and the relief for the young bloke was great but we still had tomorrow and anything could happen.
Day 2 turn on great conditions but the fishing slowed. We did have a stripe on as the 4th lure of the morning went in the water and 2 other bites through out the day but couldn't get them to stick... our little good luck charm Max unfortunately had to play footy on Sunday and couldn't fish with us. He did get on the handheld at first opportunity to see what had been caught and was very happy to hear he was still leading. We came in and there was one fish to weigh but we headed to the presentation not knowing if we had won or not.
Well Max did very well... we managed 3rd place in capture, Champion junior & heaviest marlin for Eagle VI. It was a great night and was fantastic to see his proud parents, brother & sister with huge smiles on their faces and Max with the fish of a lifetime. The competition was well run by Newcastle Game fishing club and there were plenty of marlin tagged and released and a few sharks as well with one tiger weighing over 400kg.
Cheers for a great weekend guys!