No mock rig fight

Daniel with a thumper of a rig

As soon as the clock hit 5.00pm, I raced out of the office and headed to the beach for a quick after-work fish. The tides lined up perfectly with the setting sun and the wind had dropped off completely—a perfect evening to chase big Tasman Bay rig.

Upon arrival, I was shocked to see almost 40 other fishermen had the same idea as me and were already set up with lines in the water. Seeing as I was behind the 8 ball, I wasted no time in gathering some paddle crabs with the trusty crab pot and some fresh venison bones.

Only moments after setting up my second rod, a reel started screaming. Unfortunately, it was the bloke’s beside me! He eventually hauled in a nice 15lb rig. Others continued to pull them in for the following hour, all fish around 10-12lb, while my perfectly presented paddle crabs didn’t even get sniffed by a rig.

I sat for a bit longer, changing to fresh bait every now and again but still no luck.

By now the tide was coming in and covering the beach at an alarming rate. This combined with the sun rapidly fading meant I didn’t have long before I went home with my tail between my legs. The ocean was like a sheet of glass reflecting the last of the sun’s light as I packed up my gear and mentally prepared for Dad’s mockery when I returned empty-handed. With one rod in and put away, I baited my final crab on the other rod and lobbed it out.

Before I could get the surf caster in the sand spike it bent over and nearly launched me into the drink. I struck and the fight was on. Straight away I knew what it was and I knew it was big. The rig went on run after run, peeling line so fast I thought my reel was going to catch on fire.

After a solid battle, the beast began to tire; I coaxed him in shallows then went in for the kill, grabbing its tail and dragging it up on the sand—game over.

I headed home with a big fish, a big grin, and no mocking from Dad. I can’t ask for much more.

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