Santiago went 84 days without a marlin in 'the old man and the sea'. I've been 97 days without a good fish - until this week.
An early morning mid week departure from Apple Tree Bay ramp and nobody else in the car park or on the water. My initial plan was to catch some squid, tailor or mullet early on and fish the points and holes in Cowan for jewfish on route to the Hawkesbury, but I didn't catch any bait until lunchtime. Finally filled my tank with a dozen perfect bait sized mullet but by then it was too late to paddle to my fishing spots in the River.
Plan B was a leisurely paddle back through Cowan with the flood behind me, and drift fish the likely points.
One of the benefits of fishing from a kayak is you can work very close to the rocks and I got a big hit just a few metres from the shore on a 15cm live mullet. The first run was very strong into deep open water which had me thinking I'd hooked a shark but then it changed its mind and dragged the kayak back to the rocks. Not much stopping power in a light kayak and I ended up gouging the fibreglass on the oysters with the fish visible beneath me.
It's usually a 'one that got away' story when a kingfish gets in amongst the rocks but this one hadn't read the script and went out wide again. After 10 minutes or so I was able to use the gaff.
My leader was well cut up and another run would probably have finished it. Got the strike in the middle of the flood and although I was close to the rocks the water was around 6 metres deep. I was on a slow drift fishing directly below the kayak a metre off the bottom. A 60 gram running sinker and a long trace line to a mustard circle hook.