In the March issue, our reader’s story was contributed by Blenheim’s Jason Anderson, who paid tribute to his partner Laura Solomon’s ability to nail great PB fish, often leaving him in her angling wake. Jason has written a sequel to their story, and this time it’s his turn to shine. The following is the second ‘chapter’ of Jason’s angling tales…
Wow! 24 hours later and, writing this, I’m still pumped up about this catch. After I watched my partner catch her very first kingfish a month ago – which was 120cm long and estimated to be 26kg – I thought, “How on earth am I going to better this?” I had already planned a trip to the Far North to target big kingfish and marlin, so naturally that venture all of a sudden had some added pressure. That pressure has just been eased a little after getting a kingfish which was longer but lighter. My fishing buddy Ryan Hutson and I shot out to target kingfish and snapper in the ‘top of the south’ but had no luck with the kings at all. On the way home we checked all the apps again and the long-range forecast was looking good for the following week.
Ryan chipped in with his own PB from the same spot at 107cm respectively.
A couple of mates and I headed out for an afternoon/evening session chasing kingfish, snapper, and blue cod with no real expectations. We arrived at spot x where the sounder was loaded with good sign. Ryan was first up on the kingfish and got a hit straight away, but it didn’t stick. His second effort only produced a barracouta. Going straight back to the sign, both Ryan and Brayden worked their jigs without much luck, and I decided to drop a jig over as well. Reaching the bottom, I started working the jig and had a couple of encouraging hits. Dropping back down, I felt a couple of taps and gave the lure a couple of winds, hooking up five metres off the bottom in 70m of water.
It was all go on board as the other two frantically wound in while Ryan got the GoPro going. At first, the fish didn’t take much line until it realised it was hooked, making a halfhearted attempt to pull some string. With the current pushing us towards reef, Ryan went to the helm, doing a good job keeping us in the deep. After around five minutes, I got the fish within 15m, but he must have seen the boat and heck did he take off, peeling around 30m of line – it was starting to feel like a bigger fish!
The ‘truth mat’ shows Jason’s fish at just over 120cm, matching his partner Laura’s PB set just a month prior
The fight kept going for another three minutes before I saw a flash of colour. The kingie made another dash for freedom, confirming this was a decent fish. At this point, I was nine minutes in and in need of the gimbal belt. After another couple of minutes, I worked the fish back to the surface. It was massive. I was so pumped-up but tried to stay calm. Ryan did an epic job on the gaff to get him on board. To me the fish was huge – straight away I knew it would be my personal best, which previously stood at 114cm. There were high fives, fist pumps, and excited yelling as we looked at what lay on the deck.
On the measure mat it came in at just over 120cm and weighed 24kg. We then headed back over the spot and Ryan hooked up to a couple, matching his PB of 107cm while Brayden nailed his own PB with a 93cm effort. This is a trip we will never forget – three PB’s matched, or bettered, and all in our own backyard!
June 2022 - Jason Anderson
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
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