The one that didn?t get away
By JANE GARDNER
THE next time Kyogle fisherman Rodney Graham tells the blokes at the pub a fishing story with arms extended, he won't be lying.
Braving rough conditions 14 km off Evans Head, Rodney yesterday landed a 45kg marlin in a mammoth two-and-a-half hour struggle.
"It was pretty tiring and my arm still hurts," he said.
"I've caught big fish before, but nothing this size."
He landed the monster on a 35-pound (16kg) line.
Rodney, 24, filleted the marlin shortly after this photograph was taken and shared it around with other holiday-makers at the Silver Sands Caravan Park.
"It's not a record size because there are big ones up north, but it might be a record for around here."
With his father and brother-in-law to help him, they took turns reeling in the fish that 'didn't want to be caught'.
"We knew what he looked like because he jumped out of the water about 50 times. I'm glad I had a bit of help."
The few other parrot fish and jewfish the men had caught were overshadowed by the mighty marlin.
The catch was not beginner's luck, as Rodney has fished since early childhood.
He and his fishing partners frequently cruise around Evans Head and other local fishing spots looking to land the big one.
Paul Woolford, owner of Lennox Head Bait and Tackle, said most anglers would give their eye teeth to land a marlin that size.
"They give a terrific fight and are great fun," he said.
"There have been a few around in the past few weeks and we expect them to stick around until mid-February."
And the good news for fishers?
According to Paul, holidaymakers can expect fantastic fishing in the next few weeks with plenty of bream, flathead, whiting and dart around the shore and beaches, and magnificent dolphin fish and marlin lurking outside.