Stand-up paddleboarder hooks 18kg Mackeral off Double Island

WHEN it comes to offshore fishing there is no bigger adrenaline rush than doing it on a stand up paddle board.

That rush is amplified tenfold when you find yourself off Double Island Point, in sharky waters, hooked to an 18kg spanish mackerel and being dragged out to sea.

That's exactly what happened to Rainbow Beach SUP fisherman Andrew Prowd (pictured) this week and he has the fish to prove it.

What makes Mr Prowd's feat more impressive is he caught the monster fish on a five kilo rod with no trace on a 20lb line.

That's the sort of gear used to catch whiting and flathead.

The 33-year-old goes SUP fishing with mates at a secret spot off the headland when the surf at the point is flat.

He uses it as a way to keep fit and grab a feed.

"Everything was perfect that day," Mr Prowd said.

"The ocean was dead flat, the winds were variable and the moon and timing were right."

Mr Prowd said from the moment the monster struck his lure to when it was pulled on to his board, 25 minutes had elapsed.

Without a motor or an anchor you just go where the fish wants you to go.

"I was another 300m out to sea by the time he stopped," Mr Prowd said.

"I knew I had something big when after 15 minutes it still hadn't given up."

At one stage Mr Prowd was crouched on his board with his arm and rod underwater trying to hold the giant fish.

"The line was swishing off the reel under water."

Mr Prowd said catching the fish was a huge rush but his biggest fear, apart from being late home to his wife, were the sharks.

"We had blood and slime in the water; it's the perfect combination for something to start to have a sniff," he said.

On one other SUP fishing trip he had a fish bitten in half by a shark just under his board.

"At the end of the day you have to be half crazy and love the ocean," he laughed.

Amazingly it's not the biggest fish Mr Prowd and his mates have caught off Double Island.

One friend caught a fish at least half as big again.

Mr Prowd says you haven't fished in the ocean until you have done it at water level on a SUP.

"It makes it fair," Mr Prowd said.

"It's just you against the fish.

"There is no motor; no electronic fish finders or GPS.

"It's all physical."

With the whale migration season starting at Rainbow Beach Mr Prowd says he will have to rethink SUP fishing.

"With whales come the great whites and a man on a SUP can look a lot like a baby whale," he said.

Gympie Times


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