Kingie caught with bare hands

The fish weighed in at 24.5kg.

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 09:29 08/05/2012
BIG CATCH: The fish herders, from left, Richard Hart, Steve Darby, David Darby and Dan Mills are drenched yet stoked with their catch.

BIG CATCH: The fish herders, from left, Richard Hart, Steve Darby, David Darby and Dan Mills are drenched yet stoked with their catch.

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Steve Darby was halfway through changing his child's nappy when news of a man and his dog chasing a big fish in the shallows reached his eardrums.

The latent fisherman inside couldn't resist.

Mr Darby, his dad David and brother-in-law Dan Mills bolted from their family gathering in Cliff St, on to the Raglan waterfront, across the footbridge and into a knee-deep pool half the size of a rugby field enclosed by sand.

Stranded inside was a massive and elusive kingfish.

The trio, from Hamilton, Whangamata and Raglan respectively, joined local Richard Hart and his dog. The Sunday evening hunt was on.

"We were kind of going in a line and the kingfish would have to swim through the line and we were diving at it," Mr Darby said.

"You'd get a hand to it but we couldn't stop it. Because the water was about knee-deep we couldn't keep up, so we were running along the sand to catch up then diving in off the side of the lagoon."

The grown men kept this up, fully clothed, for about 40 attempts.

Mr Darby's exercise these days consists of walking to the letterbox to get the morning paper so he was "blowing" as the final assault started.

"We were heading it into the shallows and instead of turning, it kept going so we rushed it. One person got it and a couple more piled on. When we got the tail it was all over."

The men, now triumphant with their catch in hand, strode through the skateboard bowl and across the footbridge, showing off their catch to fishermen passing by in a boat.

The fish weighed in at 24.5kg.

"I was thrilled," Mr Darby said. "Last night I felt like a little kid again. We were running around whoop-whooping and fist pumping – it was awesome."

Mr Hart said he would smoke the kingfish then share the spoils.

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- Waikato Times

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