Tall Stories I: That’s not a Golden Trevally!
Years ago when I lived in Townsville a mate and I would occasionally head up to the Hinchinbrook Channel mostly chasing Barra and Mangrove Jack to bring a feed home. On one particular trip we were targeting the gutters that would run from the Mangroves and where Barra would often hide on incoming and outgoing tides. On this particular trip the fishing had been quite slow as the water was crystal clear and although we had sight-casted many barra they just would not take an interest in our lures.
As we drifted along one particular bank I spied a disturbance in the water and could see a yellow fin dancing on the surface. I could not see below the surface so I assumed it was a Golden trevalley nosing around in the mud and searching for a feed. I sent a cast in front of where I though the fish might be feeding and sent the Rapale Husky Jerk into a twitching retrieve. As the lure reached where the fish was feeding there was a sudden jolt like I head just buried the trebles in some submerged timber. Then there was a massive boil and I lost connect with the “timber”. A huge bow wave made a beeline for the boat and in the crystal clear waters we could see a huge brown behemoth motor along side the boat and head straight for the deeper waters of the channel.
It was a huge Queensland Groper!!! We estimated it at about 1.5m in length and its girth was huge. Needless to say my mate Terry called me an Idiot because he knew how long it would take to get the monstrous fish to the surface. It took over an hour and half to finally get the fish to the surface as it literally dragged the boat up the middle of the deepest part of the channel. Finally we managed to coax the Groper to the surface but each time it would find the energy to drag the lure back to the bottom. We eventually knew we would have no way to get the fish on the boat and decided to use our gaff to remove the lure sitting on the Gropers nose. We managed a few photos of the Groper before we pulled the hooks with the gaff. The huge fish even had a few fish riding along side its nose as it swam beside the boat.
Another boat motored up to see what we had caught and took an awesome photo of the Groper just as it turned and headed to the bottom.