Kobe first came fishing at the ripe old age of 12, accompanied by his big brother Jackson, 14; and family friend Dominic Imer (a story for another time); and we’d better not forget the finance department, Dad – Mick Taylor.
These young boys had been fishing many times on the charter boat that I had in Port Douglas, but Dad had been waiting for them to be old enough to come on one of the bush trips that I do in the Gulf of Carpentaria, or on the East Coast of Cape York.
Finally the boys got the go ahead from Mum (Abi). So Mick went down to his local Compleat Angler in Ringwood, Victoria, and bought the boys an outfit each; and told them that ‘when you can flick a lure into the bucket (strategically placed in the backyard) you can come for a bush trip’. Three casts later and Kobe was in; some kids have just got it wired. Jackson was soon in the bucket as well.
They have gone from the backyard bucket to big Barra. October last year, Kobe got his first metre plus barra. I’m glad that it took a few years to reach what many hold as the holy grail of barra fishing, because it’s not as easy as you might think.
He had to learn how to angle a big fish. As most will agree I’m sure, the small barra don’t get away, it only seems to be the horses that blow your hooks and pull your gear apart; and make it into or around that bloody snag. I think the first fish he caught was an 86cm. Not a bad way to open your barra account. After that he slowly crept up on the magic metre mark. 86, 92, 97 even a painfully close 99cm. In October last year he broke the metre mark with a 106cm. Yeah Baby!! Wow!!
In the last year the whole family has got over the line, Dom included. And do they love it? Aaaah, YES!!
It’s not always the biggest fish that brings out the best smile. Mick still says that the 86cm he got on a popper at night with me, in what we call “the top hole”, is the best barra for him. Some of the smaller fish I’ve caught, from what can only be described as a suicidal cast, live on in my memory like it was yesterday.