Successful emergency stop

With a couple of days in Golden Bay up my sleeve and, in particular, some time around the Collingwood/Farewell spit region, I was excited to have a crack at a sandflat’s kingfish on the light gear.

Sure enough, after a couple of particularly windy days, an opportunity presented itself. I am an obsessed fisherman, looking at every body of water I pass is a necessity regardless of the situation. As I was driving along the road, I couldn’t help but take a look at the beautiful golden beach. One emergency stop later and I was running to the water, with the help of my polarized dirty dogs I had spotted several large stingrays cruising the shallow sandflats, stingrays meant kingis and I was desperate to try my luck.

After carefully wading myself closer and closer to the large black mark in the water I let loose my first cast. I erratically worked my lure across the back of the ray, I spotted two torpedoes suddenly tearing off towards my lure. After a missed hookup, I desperately cast again. I could see my lure dancing just under the surface and then behind it, a bow wave, followed by an explosion of water and a sudden jerk as my rod was pulled against my grip. 

I have to admit up until this point, the thought of landing a kingfish hadn’t really crossed my mind, but as I stood there, waistdeep with a thrashing soft bait rod that was losing line at a drastic rate and the knowledge that my lure consisted of a trout lure and some extremely small trebles, I felt under gunned.

This feeling of being under gunned was only exacerbated when my reel very untheatrically committed harikiri; with absolutely no warning, several important pieces of my reel’s insides gave up on life. So, with no other option, I grabbed the extremely thin braid and worked my kingfish to the shore by hand.

Finally, after a 20-minute struggle and a lot of exciting stress, I had a yellowtail in hand.

I couldn’t have been more stoked; regardless of its size and stature, this little flats stalker had put up one hell of a scrap, and I was over the moon.

One thing is for sure: I will be back to chase these awesome fish!

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