BEHEMOTH: Angler reels in 50kg 'fish of a lifetime'
WHILE on a fishing charter to celebrate his friend's 50th birthday, Clint Bryen reeled in a "fish of a lifetime".
"We were on a seven day charter trip (on) the Capricorn Star to Swains Reef," Mr Bryen said.
Last Thursday, the team was fishing over the reef edge using small sinkers and full pilchards as bait.
"We had just caught coral trout and red throat emperor," he said.
Soon after, Mr Bryan's reel caught on to something big.
After battling with the behemoth for ten minutes, a 50kg 1.5-metre maori wrasse emerged to the surface.
"This was my first wrasse and a fish of a lifetime, so I was pretty excited," Mr Bryen said.
According to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the maori wrasse is nicknamed "the labrador of the reef".
The endangered species is considered to be one of the friendliest creatures living in the reef zone.
One fish, named Wally, is popular with scuba divers and is one of the most famous faces of the reef.
The male wrasse can grow up to two metres with females growing up to a metre.
Females have a life expectancy of 30 years with males living up to 25 years of age.
Maori wrasses are typically found on reef slopes and lagoon reefs from one to 100 metres in depth.
As they are a protected species, Mr Bryen released his catch back into the reef.
"I caught the wrasse on my new Shimano Stella 14000 reel and grappler rod I had bought especially for this trip from the boys at Barra Jacks in Rockhampton," he said.
Mr Bryen said he has been fishing for as long as he can remember.
"I have been fishing since I was young at our family home in Turkey Beach, and generally fish in and around the creeks at Turkey, Boyne and Colosseum."
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