Emily reels in a record
By CRAIG MCTEAR
LITTLE Emily Lockwood can certainly hold her own when she's up against a monster of the deep.
The Coffs Harbour seven-year-old, who weighs only 29.3 kilos, hauled in a whopping 33.1kg Spanish mackerel on a family fishing trip on Sunday.
While official word is yet to come through, Emily is believed to have blitzed as many as 11 records, including two world records and up to three Australian titles. "It's mindblowing. It's a really big deal," her mum, Melissa, said.
"She's in awe of it all. She knows she's done something special, but she's not sure. It's hard for a seven-year-old to grasp."
The Lockwoods Emily, Melissa, dad Scott and brother Ben and fellow Coffs Harbour Game Fishing Club member Glen Bosworth left Coffs Harbour marina at 6.30am on Sunday for an outing on the family boat, Pelorus.
They had no luck off Bundagen, nor over a reef known as The Patch, south-east of the harbour, and headed home when Melissa became seasick in rough conditions.
"I perked up a bit as we came in and we decided to do a little lap of Pig Island (just south of the harbour). We were hoping for a little tuna or kingfish for Emily," Melissa said.
About 12.30pm, Emily hooked what they at first thought was a long tailed tuna on her 10kg line, but they soon realised it was something far bigger.
Emily struggled for at least 20 minutes to bring the Spanish mackerel, also called a narrow-barred mackerel, to the boat, and her delighted dad hauled it aboard.
"We ate him, he was beautiful. While we normally only tag and release, our whole intent was to catch a feed for the day," Melissa said.
Emily has been on boats all her life and hails from a proud fishing dynasty.
"We have three generations fishing in the club," Melissa said.
Emily's previous biggest catch, a four-kilogram yellowfin tuna, now pales in comparison to this remarkable feat.
The promising young angler is also taking part in a 12-month national tag and release tournament.