NEVER mind the fish that got away – this generous giant trevally made sure he returned a lost lure to its original owner.
Recreational fishermen Rob Watkins, Matt Haddrick and Phil McCory certainly had a fishing tale to tell when they arrived back on dry land after a day out on the water.
The fishermen were out at Swains West, 120km south of Sarina, on Mr Watkins' 26-foot fishing boat recently, seeking out coral trout and mackerel.
“It was the first time we'd gone that far out,” Mr Watkins said.
After several hours on the boat, Mr Haddrick hooked a large giant trevally (GT) and spent 15 minutes getting it up to the boat, only to lose his catch as he was pulling it in.
With a $25 lure on his line, Mr Haddrick was disappointed.
“We lost him right at the boat and saw him swim away with the lure in his mouth,” Mr Watkins said.
However, just an hour later, Mr Watkins hooked a catch on his own line.
After another 20-minute struggle he bought the fish to the boat, only to find it was the same giant trevally.
It seems the sea isn't such a big pool after all, according to Mr Watkins.
“We were quite surprised to see the same fish arrive for the second time with the lure hanging out of his mouth,” he said.
“He must have been a hungry fish.
“We were very surprised that it came back for a second time.”
But the fight was not over, Mr Watkins said.
“We didn't want to lose him at that stage – it could have become a $50 fish if we lost another lure,” he said.
But the giant trevally was accommodating and the three anglers retrieved both the lures and said goodbye to the fish.
“He was a pretty big GT. We weighed him and our scales go up to 20kg and it hit that, so he must have been just over,” Mr Watkins said.
“We had quite light gear so the first time was a bit of an effort and took around 15 minutes; the second time maybe 20 minutes.”
While they didn't keep the GT, Mr Watkins said he hoped someone else might be lucky to meet the slippery fish one day.
“We are just glad he has survived to see another day,” he said.
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