St George Sea Dragons


Going Solo - By Michael Takach

After seeing a Kingfish estimated at over 25kgs on the weekend it was understandable that sleep, during the next few days, was hard to come by, nights spent tossing and turning and going over the what ifs? What if I stared at him to long, what if I just changed course, what if! To find out I had the day off the following Tuesday only led to one thing, the hunt for my Moby Dick. Monday night was by far the hardest to get through, running through the checklist of dive gear and what I was going to do if I was presented with a shot on my dream fish. After a painful evening I was, for once happy to hear the Kookaburra�s screaming. Going through my pre packed dive gear for the 3rd time I set off with my 1.4 Rob Allen, 50cm Picasso pop gun and a sink full of frozen burley. I decided to leave the underwater camera at home as I was going to be towing a heavy load.

Arriving at my destination I was pleased to see relatively clear water and manageable sea conditions. As I unpacked the gear I realized I�d left a vital piece of equipment at home, wetsuit lube. What then followed was unpleasant to say the least. Finally donning the dry and sticky open cell suit and loosing what little leg hairs I already had I was ready to enter the water.

I began my long swim to where I had seen Moby Dick on the weekend. The deeper I got the worse the vis became, nearing my destination I saw a huge dark shape with a massive grey dorsal fin, by this time I was wishing I�d made more of an effort to find a dive buddy! All those shark shield jokes somehow didn�t seem so funny� As I looked up and prepared to fight off the beast I was shocked to see the most amazing creature, it was a sunfish. Words can�t give it�s size justice. It was easily bigger than me, the huge grey dorsal fin towered over it like a mast on a sailboat, the equally as long anal fin like the rudder and a stumpy tail that only a mother could love. I swam with it for a while, starring into it big googley eyes and wondering what it was thinking, it had definitely made my day. Of course I was cursing that I�d traded my camera for a sink full of burley! As the sunfish disappeared into the gloom I continued on my way with a smile that kept letting water into my snorkel�

Soon after I came across a school of bait and was straight away greeted my quarry, two Kingfish just milling amongst the school, one about 6kg the other around 3. Being 19kgs under my target weight I let them live another day. So far it had been a good start to my day and I had great was time to start the long and often boring process of burleying. Fish after frozen fish was fed the yellowtail with no sign of Moby Dick. After about one hour I�d lowered my standards and was ready to take a Kingy of considerably smaller size! Then they started showing up�

A few rat kings circled the flasher, I dived to the bottom and started to strum the rubbers of my 1.4. The anticipation and the image of Moby Dick in my mind chewed through my O2 in an instant. Just as I was about to surface I saw a King of about 10kg swim right in front of me, of course my gun was in the totally opposite direction and I could not line him up in time. A few more chopped up fish got the bait into a frenzy, Wobbys, Stingrays, Wirrah cod, Sargos, Port Jackson�s and my favorite Red rocky�s were all getting in on the free feed. All of a sudden the bait scattered like a bomb had gone off, I knew this meant that something that eats yellowtail was around, as I dived to the bottom I saw them, 6-8 Kingy�s ranging from 15-18kg were slowly cruising on the end of my visibility. Angling away and making sure not to look directly at them I patiently waited. They were cautious but their curious nature was getting the better of them, inch by inch they were coming into range but it was not to be as my pounding heart caused me to surface for some much needed O2.

The fish activity seemed to die down after that, I guess there�s only so much food a school of yellowtail can eat! Three hours of patient burley had raised several good fish but getting close to them was another story. With my burley bag empty and arms weak from cutting up fish it was time to call it a day. I started to make my long journey back to shore over the shallow kelp beds in hope of picking up a drummer for tea. All of a sudden I was swarmed by a school of rat Kingy�s, most were borderline legal and I just couldn�t bring myself to take one after seeing so many great fish. I dived down anyway and scanned the school for anything of decent size. Behind the hordes of rats I saw a fish I would be happy to take home for dinner, I extended my arm at hit the king behind the pectoral fin but a little low, it felt great to finally shoot my gun after four hours on inactivity! As the fish took off I was shocked as my gun was snatched out of my hands, maybe this fish was a bit bigger than I thought! I tried my hardest to keep it off the bottom without tearing the ever-growing gut wound! It got to the stage where I had to grab this fish before it tore off. I quickly dived down and grabbed its tail, it then proceeded to shake my arm almost out of its socket! The power to weight ratio of these fish is truly awesome and I drool at the thought of nailing a big one. I eventually got my hands in the gills and was able to dispatch my prize. I was happy as I knew it was my biggest king to date.  I kept looking back at the fish hanging off my floatline and admiring it hanging there. I proudly walked the fish back to the car and answered all the onlooker�s questions with a smile from ear to ear. It had been one of those days that I wasn�t going to forget for a long time�

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