On a perfect summer’s day towards the end of December, Whangarei local, Wesley Hart, and his pal, Leith Main, decided it was about time their mate, Justin Mac, caught his first kingfish. However, Wesley was in the right place at the right time to spear a 43.3kg kingfish, with a whole mullet in its stomach. Wesley relays the story of how he speared his personal best.
The trio had just scored a healthy patch of paua so they decided to head further along the coastline in search of kingfish, and it wasn’t long before they came across a school of kahawai with a couple of kingfish lurking beneath.
“I was boatman while Justin and Leith were casting constantly. After 15 minutes or so and multiple sighting of kingies but no hook-ups, I told the guys I was going to jump in and try my luck with the speargun.
“By the time I got myself ready, the kahawai school had disappeared, so we moved to another school that was in the shallows. It turned out the school was blue maomao but I was still keen to get in and have a look.
“While I was swimming around trying to get a kingi, Justin and Leith were still casting.
After five minutes and no kingi-sign, I decided to swim back to the boat. Upon getting within five metres of the boat I heard Justin yelling, ‘Under the boat … under the boat!’ So I quickly popped my head back under and to my surprise was greeted with roughly 14 big kingies right in front of me. So, as one does in this situation, I did a quick dip-dive, lined up the closest and biggest, and pulled the trigger. The shot landed about 20cm away from the pectoral fin.
“As I surfaced I grabbed hold of my float-line that was already getting towed away, I looked back and the guys on the boat yelled, ‘Fish on!’
“After ten minutes of tug-of-war with the fish, I called out to the guys on the boat saying this should be at least 30kg. At the 15-minute mark, I finally got the fish close enough to get hold of my gun. I pulled myself down to the fish to try and put my hands in its gills, only to see that my shaft hadn’t gone the whole way through. So quickly hugging it, I swam straight to the boat. Justin grabbed it and attempted to pull it into the boat by its mouth, and it was at this point I realised this fish was a bit bigger than 30kg.”