DerekD

Best Catch Ever (till Now Anyway)

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Best catch ever (well at least till now).

I have been stoked to land and release a solid 75cm flathead on 4lb leader. I was grinning from ear to ear after cracking the one metre mark with a 104cm jewfish. I have been thrilled to still land a 75cm kingfish after it went around a mooring. I have had to fight an 80cm kingfish with most of my rod in the water after it headed straight underneath a barnacle encrusted boat.

Each of those fishes has stood out in my mind but I don’t consider them to be my best ever catch. That happened December of last year when heading out on Middle harbor with two very good friends, Chris and Tom. The plan was to chase squid first and then Kingfish. I like to use a Shimano Bream Finesse with a Symetre 1500 and crystal 4lb fireline (which I believe over-tests) and 6lb leader and I had put a snap-lock and squid jig on the end of the line. While motoring along we watched a school of fish bust up and start feeding. We weren’t sure what they were but we planned to find out. I quickly changed out to a 5 gramme Halco Twisty and took a cast at the school. Started winding in and then felt the rod load up and at that point the fish on the other end of the line decided it didn’t want to play. My line started screaming out and I slowly tightened the drag hoping to slow the fish down. I top shot with 125 yards of fireline of which I had lost about 30 over time and the cast I made was about 40 yards which left me another 55 to play with before hitting backing. Watching the backing get closer and closer I mentioned to the guys that we might have to chase this one. They wound in their lines, fired up the boat and I got some line back. At this point the fish went deep and I was left wondering if my knots and gear would hold up. It was an interesting feeling whenever the line seemed to settle briefly before the fish went off on another run. One of the guys had a good mobile camera phone and recorded a short clip of which I still love to listen to the scream of the drag. The fish had at least five really good runs in it with a fair bit of headshakes and it took a while to land it once it was close to the boat. The combination of good weather, great mates, an opportunity taken and achieving a personal best (70cm Kingfish) with the bonus that it was on my lightest gear made it a memorable day for me.

I have since had a number of Kingfish on the bream gear and am still impressed at how it performs but if I could re-live just one of my fishing experiences then it would be the one described above. I would like to know from other people what they consider their best ever catch and what circumstances made it so. Was it the location, the company, the fish, the difficulty of the catch or a combination of the above?

Edited by DerekD
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70cm kingy i believe it says there.......

very true - mind you, it also says the post was edited - so I'm hoping it was added post-my comment. Mind you - it is possible I missed it.

Mike

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Same as yours expect mine was 71cm, on a SP, LB in a place you'd never expect and on a 1000 stradic.

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I caught a 25lb jew on 10lb line in may this year and the memory is still burned into my brain.

It was bottom of the tide right on the turn, the boat was facing sideways because there was no current so i cast the line out toward the middle of the river and about 1min later I had a touch, similar to a good bream the rod slowly bent down and I lowered the tip to give it line then struck hard expecting a good bream, you can imagine my surprise when I hooked up!

Because there was no current for the fish to run with, it didnt take any real long runs ( maybe 50 metres or so is all) but it did swim around the boat 4 times and turn the boat around in a circle twice. For a long time 15min or so it would take about 50metres then I would gain 50metres then it would take 20 and I would gain 20 and so on .It took about 1/2 hour to finally land it. By the time I landed it the tide was just starting to move in slowly. That fish was my pb and 3 days earlier at the same spot I caught a 22lb jew which at that stage was also my pb. the 22lb jew was caught on 15lb line and took a similar time to land but that one had the advantage of using the current as well.

Pete.

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Same as yours expect mine was 71cm, on a SP, LB in a place you'd never expect and on a 1000 stradic.

I'd had the topic running around in my head for a while then read your story the other week and thought damn you outdid me by one cm and I had an open water advantage over you. It inspired me to put the question out there to see what other people had managed.

Planning on going to port Douglas at the end of the year and intend on taking the bream finesse up there to see what I can do. Expecting to get spooled so am also bringing up a 10lb/15lb and a 50lb outfit. Hoping to get some good stories and even better photos out of that trip.

Edited by DerekD

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I'd had the topic running around in my head for a while then read your story the other week and thought damn you outdid me by one cm and I had an open water advantage over you. It inspired me to put the question out there to see what other people had managed.

Planning on going to port Douglas at the end of the year and intend on taking the bream finesse up there to see what I can do. Expecting to get spooled so am also bringing up a 10lb/15lb and a 50lb outfit. Hoping to get some good stories and even better photos out of that trip.

1cm is nothing never the less they are both great fish that take great skill, or great luck, i mean how hard is it to land a king of that size around structure?

You brave taking that combo up, i have used mine around Airlie and struggled to get some smaller fish round there...

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Posted (edited)

This is a topic almost 10 years old which I thought I would revive as there has been a lot of fishing since then. Rather than best catch ever I should probably change that to "favourite catch ever". I'm hoping to hear some more amazing fishing stories from other people.

I have a story which I promise you is the absolute truth (there were 4 other witnesses) and it still makes me laugh. Headed out with a contractor I did a lot of business with (we are still friends) and his sons. The whole day was one of those ones that if I could re-live I would. We were fishing the Manly area and decided to head in to the beach near the ferry wharf for lunch. One of his sons was sharp eyed enough to spot a landing net in the water in reachable distance. Out comes the boat hook and up comes the landing net. In that net was a whiting of about 28cm and still alive. To top it off inside the same net was also an unopened bottle of beer (I don't remember the brand). If you need a better sign from the universe that you should be having beer battered whiting for lunch then I don't know what it would be. True story.

 

Edited by DerekD
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22 hours ago, DerekD said:

This is a topic almost 10 years old which I thought I would revive as there has been a lot of fishing since then. Rather than best catch ever I should probably change that to "favourite catch ever". I'm hoping to hear some more amazing fishing stories from other people.

I have a story which I promise you is the absolute truth (there were 4 other witnesses) and it still makes me laugh. Headed out with a contractor I did a lot of business with (we are still friends) and his sons. The whole day was one of those ones that if I could re-live I would. We were fishing the Manly area and decided to head in to the beach near the ferry wharf for lunch. One of his sons was sharp eyed enough to spot a landing net in the water in reachable distance. Out comes the boat hook and up comes the landing net. In that net was a whiting of about 28cm and still alive. To top it off inside the same net was also an unopened bottle of beer (I don't remember the brand). If you need a better sign from the universe that you should be having beer battered whiting for lunch then I don't know what it would be. True story.

 

The poor bloke who dropped that!!! 

I was in Zimbabwe fishing on Lake Kariba a number of years ago and had the bucket list opportunity to fish for tiger fish. The fight those things put up is other worldly. Thick wire trace is obviously essential but we were fishing pretty heavy gear and I managed a 65cm Tiger which was hands down my most favourite catch. 

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On 02/05/2018 at 8:16 PM, DerekD said:

This is a topic almost 10 years old which I thought I would revive as there has been a lot of fishing since then. Rather than best catch ever I should probably change that to "favourite catch ever". I'm hoping to hear some more amazing fishing stories from other people.

I have a story which I promise you is the absolute truth (there were 4 other witnesses) and it still makes me laugh. Headed out with a contractor I did a lot of business with (we are still friends) and his sons. The whole day was one of those ones that if I could re-live I would. We were fishing the Manly area and decided to head in to the beach near the ferry wharf for lunch. One of his sons was sharp eyed enough to spot a landing net in the water in reachable distance. Out comes the boat hook and up comes the landing net. In that net was a whiting of about 28cm and still alive. To top it off inside the same net was also an unopened bottle of beer (I don't remember the brand). If you need a better sign from the universe that you should be having beer battered whiting for lunch then I don't know what it would be. True story.

 

Tossed up between a couple of large Pigs on light tackle but decided on a Surgeon well over 4lb on 5 and a half pound Luderick outfit, hooked in a 3 metre long crack. Took about 6 or 7 runs in and out of crack and over 5 mins to defeat. Rarely seen a centrepin reel spin at "blur" speed before this. 

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On 5/3/2018 at 7:03 PM, Jords boi said:

The poor bloke who dropped that!!! 

I was in Zimbabwe fishing on Lake Kariba a number of years ago and had the bucket list opportunity to fish for tiger fish. The fight those things put up is other worldly. Thick wire trace is obviously essential but we were fishing pretty heavy gear and I managed a 65cm Tiger which was hands down my most favourite catch. 

Hi Jords Boi.

After watching Jeremy Wade and his Goliath Tigerfish and the locations you would have seen I am definitely envious of your catch. Is what you caught one of the Goliath Tigerfish that Jeremy was talking about? Did you by any chance take any photos you can share with us?

Regards,

Derek

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11 hours ago, wazatherfisherman said:

Tossed up between a couple of large Pigs on light tackle but decided on a Surgeon well over 4lb on 5 and a half pound Luderick outfit, hooked in a 3 metre long crack. Took about 6 or 7 runs in and out of crack and over 5 mins to defeat. Rarely seen a centrepin reel spin at "blur" speed before this. 

Hi Waza,

I think I first heard about surgeon fish from one or two of Sydney's fishing identies. The comment was made that to target these species upgraded luderick gear was required. I was a little sceptical (or overconfident in my fishing abilities). My first (and only so far) was a bit over 55cm on a piece of squid from a boat. My first thought was kingfish as it was pulling bloody hard but changed my mind as it didn't have the screaming runs I would have expected. Very pleasant surprise to see the Surgeon fish come out of the depths and I had a lot more respect for their fighting qualities after that. I vaguely remembered something about the excellent table qualities of this fish but wasn't sure so I let it go. My fishing mate caught one the next week after we'd both confirmed they had delicious meat so this one didn't go back in. Turns out his wife usually has one portion of the fish he brings home but in this case she loved the taste so much she went back for seconds.

I would have loved to have seen your fight - any swearing involved at the time?

Regards,

Derek

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On 12/2/2008 at 12:22 PM, DerekD said:

Planning on going to port Douglas at the end of the year and intend on taking the bream finesse up there to see what I can do. Expecting to get spooled so am also bringing up a 10lb/15lb and a 50lb outfit. Hoping to get some good stories and even better photos out of that trip.

As a follow up to comment above I did take the bream gear up to Port Douglas and managed to pick up a few small Queenfish on the gear. So on that rod I have caught a Kingfish, a Queenfish and if I can get a Mangrove Jack I am three fifths of the way to a Royal flush. Not sure what fish would count as an Ace (thinking ArChEr fish) or a Ten

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59 minutes ago, DerekD said:

Hi Jords Boi.

After watching Jeremy Wade and his Goliath Tigerfish and the locations you would have seen I am definitely envious of your catch. Is what you caught one of the Goliath Tigerfish that Jeremy was talking about? Did you by any chance take any photos you can share with us?

Regards,

Derek

Hi Derek, 

I believe it was just the basic sub species rather than the goliath, but our boat driver caught one 1m+ that was potentially a goliath, not quite as big as Jeremy Wade's one. The normal ones grow up to 33lb's and i believe the biggest goliath ever caught was 150lbs+ which is absurd. Ill have to look around for some photos and get back to you! 

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3 hours ago, DerekD said:

Hi Waza,

I think I first heard about surgeon fish from one or two of Sydney's fishing identies. The comment was made that to target these species upgraded luderick gear was required. I was a little sceptical (or overconfident in my fishing abilities). My first (and only so far) was a bit over 55cm on a piece of squid from a boat. My first thought was kingfish as it was pulling bloody hard but changed my mind as it didn't have the screaming runs I would have expected. Very pleasant surprise to see the Surgeon fish come out of the depths and I had a lot more respect for their fighting qualities after that. I vaguely remembered something about the excellent table qualities of this fish but wasn't sure so I let it go. My fishing mate caught one the next week after we'd both confirmed they had delicious meat so this one didn't go back in. Turns out his wife usually has one portion of the fish he brings home but in this case she loved the taste so much she went back for seconds.

I would have loved to have seen your fight - any swearing involved at the time?

Regards,

Derek

Hi Derek to be honest, when fighting Surgeons on Luderick gear, it's total concentration and plenty of luck! I don't think I even answered my fishing buddy standing right next to me the whole time! I've caught plenty of them over the years and purposely fished for them quite a few times, which has usually ended with lost floats and heaps of frayed line. To me, Surgeons are the ultimate light-line capture, fighting far dirtier than both Pigs and Kingfish, albeit in shorter bursts than a king. I've learned a little about their fighting habits, including that they like to return to the main school via the same "pathway" after the initial "tear-off" run/s and by going easy on them(and keeping up with the tension) they can often tire themselves out running rather than reefing you. The 'L' shaped gutter at White Rock has kelp bordering both sides which has aided by being a 'buffer' between fishing line and rock, without it being there, I doubt I would have caught too many from that location. I know a guy who used to fish for them at a marina in Port Hacking who used 50lb braid and fluorocarbon leader, using unweighted live nippers he caught them up to about 3kg- any bigger would bust him off on that gear! As for eating quality when you peel the skin off and fillet them, they have a similar fillet configuration to a John Dory and like Dory, have a quite distinct flavour(although not as good as the delicious Dory) The 55cm version you landed is truly "trophy-size" and no doubt a most memorable capture. I caught an all blue one at White Rock, which was probably the most awesome coloured fish I've ever landed, looking more like a tropical aquarium species than a Sydney Harbour fish

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