A Fisherman’s Tale – Blood Moon Mulloway

Benn Hopkins, holding the massive mulloway, with his mother Di.

ON Tuesday, coinciding with the blood moon, I decided to go for a quick after work fish off the rocks in Nambucca.

On the second cast the line started to run and I knew by the way it was moving it was a decent fish.

It was time to set the hook.

As soon as the fish knew it was hooked it took off out to sea and I had no way of turning it around initially – I was using 9kg mono line with an Alvey reel, no trace and a 3/0 bait holder hook and this fish was well beyond 9kg just by the feel of it on the line.

After running three or more times and getting the fish within about 50m of the rock I was fishing off, it then decided to run straight north for about 100m through the rocks.

At this stage I wasn’t sure what it was but at that moment it went through the face of an unbroken wave, revealing itself to be a big mulloway.

With adrenaline going and the strength of the fish, my hands were shaking.

At this point I had two choices: either try and bring the fish back across the wave faces towards the rock I was on, or jump off the rock and walk up the beach.

Not worrying that much about anything else but the fish I jumped off the side of the rock into the ocean with the rod high in the air.

Upon landing the water came up to my chest and I worked back towards the beach being careful not to fall over the rocks that scattered the area.

As I made it to the beach I started to win the battle, with people gathered around to work out what this lunatic who had just jumped off the side of rock had on the end of his line.

The fish was now closer to shore but with a small gutter separating the fish from the beach and no waves to help bring the fish towards me, this was where it could all be for nothing, with a strong chance of losing the fish in the last instance.

I asked one of the bystanders to go and grab the fish as I leant into it (he wasn’t overly confident about the task given), with that I gave it everything and the fish came up on the beach.

As this happens the line finally snaps and I fall backwards onto the sand, the fish is only just out of the water.

I quickly get back up and run towards the fish and drag it further up the beach.

Success – after fighting the fish for over half an hour it weighed in at around 19kg and measured 1.3m and was shared amongst family and friends.

By Benn HOPKINS, Local Fisherman

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