Paddle skier lands sailfish

2011-04-27 00:00

PADDLESKI-fishing has to be one of the fastest-growing activities along the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

However, few of its exponents have enjoyed the amazing experience of catching and boating a sailfish estimated to be 2,4 metres long and weighing about 25 kg.

Especially considering the paddleski itself is barely four metres and weighs about the same as the sailfish.

Mathew van Achterbergh (22) of Laughing Forest resort in Elysium achieved exactly that and boasted about his catch in front of his home after a 20-minute fight with the fish.

What added lustre to his achievement is that he gaffed the fish, removed the hook gently and returned it to the sea, watching it swim away and letting it live to fight another day.

He caught the sailfish on six-week-old redeye sardine bait that he had been trying unsuccessfully for the last 10 outings.

His father Phil commented, “It just shows what perseverance can do.”

Van Achterbergh cousin James Parkes was on hand to record tthe prize catch with an underwater camera.

The paddle-skier is interested to find out whether his fish — had he kept it — would have won him a top prize in a local skiboat tournament.

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