Early in May I suffered a serious right hip injury, 5 games into the footy season I managed to do a good job of creating a large tear in my cartilage, pretty much ending my glittering first team football career (ok ok so maybe not glittering, I possibly peaked about 10 years ago) when you have been doing the same thing and taking it reasonably serious every winter weekend for the last 15 years it leaves a bit of a hole in your life and makes you more miserable than usual!
But when life gives you lemons what do you do?
The injury came one week before our Three Kings trip on Enchanter which we had been waiting for eagerly and without being diagnosed in the early stages (in fact misdiagnosed a couple of times) and a she’ll be right attitude + a few pain killers I went anyway (along with a rather swollen left knee). As with what looks like all Enchanter trips we had a great time all catching big fish, and enjoying the friendly chatter of Lance and Nate. Despite feeling sick and having to lie on top of the big box on deck for my hip to be comfortable for most of the five days I achieved what I had dreamed of with a 36kg kingfish and a 40+ kilo bass – the two fish and size I had really wanted to catch and both PBs:
The trip was also made special after just finishing cleaning up on the way back in we hooked a marlin and the Borichs (Boz and Grovo) old man got to be on the rod, a great family moment and an awesome way to end the trip:
With the weather and other commitments seemingly keeping me off the water for most of winter, I finally had a diagnosis and surgery booked for early December, this gave us one last chance for the season to get in a trip away to fish the far north. As you may have seen the result was another fish of a lifetime, this fish was probably the culmination of 10+ years of putting in the effort to get to as remoter spot as possible and of course another PB, I still can’t believe I actually caught a snapper of this size:
So with a quick gulf trip in-between filling the bin with good eaters before 10am , the surgery and weeks on crutches came and went, the shocking weather made it a little bit more bearable, but the itch had returned to get out on the water, and first time back happened to be game fishing out of Whangaroa on Waitangi weekend for a couple of days, an invite that was very difficult to turn down despite not really being “allowed” to fish yet. (the physio tried to tell me if I hooked a big fish I may need to pass it onto someone else, not likely!) A steady as she goes approach was needed but with the weather superb the first day was pretty uneventful and a little bit of confidence in the hip returned. We were out early on Sunday and got a very early bite just before 9am, as luck would have it this landed just in my strike time and I was up! After around 10mins I was pretty confident that if I kept my legs properly in position I would be ok, and with a few words of encouragement a nice stripey was tagged at the boat 45mins later, a long discussion took place and given the timing being so early it was decided to put the gaffs away and release the fish, awesome to see it swim off.
My only previous marlin had gone underweight so this was my first “legal” fish and around approx. 100-120kg so a nice one at that and definitely my PB, thanks to Mark Kelly for putting me
onto it, caught on a purple and black Bonze Hercules behind a teaser chain of similar lures.
So what a 12 months it has been, the fishing gods have definitely decided to smile on me during this time and to say I am very appreciative of it is well and truly understated. I don’t think I will ever have another 12 months fishing like it (I say 12 months now as with a little one due very soon that was possibly my first and last trip for this season).
Of course all of this couldn’t happen with out a solid crew with you, Boz and Grovo have been there every trip (and accommodated any inability I may have had because of my hip with only a small amount of stick given), I hope that it is their turn next and I can return the favour (the fishing I mean not getting injured!)
The only casualty has been my fishing sunglasses (a fair trade I would say) so any likes greatly appreciated haha
When life gives you lemons..... go fishing