Reeling in a king-sized fish

NICHOLAS BOYACK
Last updated 15:24 11/02/2013
King Fish
HUTT NEWS

King-sized: Darrin Leadbitter landed a 14 kg kingfish off the Waione St Pipebridge.

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Darrin Leadbitter has reeled in some serious bragging rights.

Last week he hooked and successfully landed a 14kg kingfish off the Waione St Pipebridge.

Kingfish are highly sought after among anglers and although they are in the harbour they are seldom caught.

Mr Leadbitter has been fishing off the wharf for 13 years and in that time he has never seen a kingfish landed.

"It is extremely rare. Over the last couple of years I have seen them in the river near the bridge but I have never seen anyone catch one."

Kingfish come up the river chasing schools of kawhai but are extremely difficult to hook and even harder to land.

Mr Leadbitter used live bait and says as soon as it struck, he knew what it was.

Luckily for him, it headed south rather than try and use the bridge to snag the line.

It took 30 minutes to land and he had to get a fellow fisher to help get it out of the water.

As well as smoking it, he also ate some raw.

"There was quite a lot so I shared it around the family. Everyone got a piece of it. It tastes a little bit like tuna, so it makes good eating."

Local fishing identity Graham Wolf has fished from the bridge regularly for 15 years and says it was a first.

"The odd one does get hooked up there but I have never seen one landed."

Kingfish are prized amongst anglers because of the fight they put up.

"They are a very, very, smart fish. They head down like a torpedo and break the rod."

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