Angler, 91, too strong for feisty marlin

By Peter de Graaf

William "Wally" Carmichael, 91, with his 91kg striped marlin. Photo/Supplied
William "Wally" Carmichael, 91, with his 91kg striped marlin. Photo/Supplied

Wally Carmichael won't be getting any prizes for the size of the marlin he hooked off the Far North's east coast.

But if there was a prize for oldest angler, or for matching your age in years to the weight of your catch, Mr Carmichael would be a shoe-in for the trophy.

The Dargaville man, now living at Waihi Beach, was fishing with his son off Doubtless Bay last week when he hooked a striped marlin, battling the fish for 35 minutes before hauling it aboard. When weighed in at Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club his catch turned out to be a respectable 91.6kg.

That might not seem such a big deal, until you realise Mr Carmichael is 91 years and 6 months old.

Skipper Rob Obren, of Opua, said Mr Carmichael was easily the oldest angler he'd taken out in his 20-odd years as a charter boat operator. It was also his best age-for-weight match.

He hooked the marlin in "a nice little hotspot" in 135m of water off Berghan Pt and did well to bring it in.

"It was a feisty fish, It did a lot of jumping around at the back of the boat. He's a good angler."

Mr Carmichael's son Adrian, now based in Western Australia, had shouted a trip aboard the boat Monterey for a bit of fishing, male bonding and reminiscing about the catches of his youth.

The 91-year-old said it was his second marlin. He landed his first, a 127kg blue, off Perth when he was a mere 70 years old. "That was when I was a young chap," he said.

Mr Carmichael said he was keen for another go next summer, possibly out of Tauranga. He was born in Auckland, but lived in Dargaville from 1944-83, where he worked as a welder, builder and milkman. He is perhaps best remembered as the owner of Lynn's Dairy on Victoria St.

Father and son ended the five-day holiday by returning to the favourite fishing spots of Mr Carmichael's youth.

Still etched in his memory is the day many years ago he caught a 22-pound (10kg) snapper just outside Motukokako Island's Cathedral Cave, next to the Hole in the Rock.

- Northern Advocate

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 24 May 2017 22:38:47 Processing Time: 871ms