I was privileged to live and work in the Torres Strait. I fished mainly on Ngurapai (Horn Island) and Waibeni (Thursday Island), as well as visiting and fishing on the following Torres Strait Islands, Ugar (Stephen), Erub (Darnley), Mer (Murray), Masig (York), Poruma (Coconut) and Warraber (Sue).
I regularly caught, Coral and Bar Cheeked Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Jewfish, Trevalley and on one occasion, fishing on the Horn Island wharf, something big hit my hand line. As the line peeled off my 8 inch hand line with 40 pound mono, I realised I had something big. All of a sudden, some fifty metres away, it broke the surface in a racing flash. All on the deck shouted “Cobia”. Then as I tried to slow it, my line snapped going limp. It was gone. Maybe it was a poor knot or maybe I should have played it longer. I was still learning the art of big fish fishing on a hand line.
Five years later I was on a fishing charter out of Noosa. In between I had had two strokes. Being a stroke survivor, I had not lost my love of fishing. The charter had been reasonably successful with good reef fish. I was feeling a bit green and had ‘thrown up some berley’. We had ten minutes before we left for home so I decided to drop my line in. I baited up with some cut squid on a two hook paternoster rig. As it hit the bottom, ‘bang’. Twenty minutes later I had a 1.3 metre monster in the boat and everyone shouted “Cobia”.
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