Trophy Hunters: Kerry Flowers | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Skills
Kerry Flowers poses with a large fish on a beach. Photo: Kerry Flowers

The biggest fish and the toughest catches

Trophy: Striped marlin, yellowtail kingfish, snapper.

Hunting grounds: New Zealand.

Trophy room: First kayak striped marlin in New Zealand, New Zealand Kayak Fishing Series champion.

What is a trophy catch 

A trophy catch has to be something that not many others have achieved. For example, many anglers consider a 20-pound snapper a trophy. When I first started, that was definitely a prize. Now, I set my eyes on a 30-pounder.

Toughest accomplishment

I started fishing to feed my young family. When a buddy got a kayak, I scraped up every penny and bought a cheap, used kayak. On my first trip, I smashed my personal best snapper and I was hooked. After that, I started fishing every weekend.

Favorite fish story

That would have to be my striped marlin catch. The forecast was for 20-knot winds so I figured I’d stay inshore and fish for snapper. When I got to the fishing grounds, the wind wasn’t blowing so I worked my way offshore. I caught a couple skipjack and set them out as livebait. I was six miles offshore when I decided to turn and work my way back in. That’s when the line-out alarm on my reel gave a little chirp. I picked up the rod. The line was slack. I started reeling and I could feel weight. I tightened the drag and line started spewing off the reel. Then, a huge marlin jumped out of the water just off the bow. I fought it for 20 minutes and had it on the leader. Reached out and touched its sickle tail and the huge fish took off again. After another 45 minutes of give and take, the hook pulled out of the fish. The fish dragged me three miles farther offshore, and the wind kicked up, so I had to paddle 10 miles back in a headwind.

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What motivates you?

I’m a gambler at heart. The chance of hooking a big fish really gets me going.

Advice to Future trophy hunters?

Don’t let initial failure put you off and never give up. I lost more big fish than I’ve caught and there have been many times during competitions that I have caught prize winning fish when most have given up and headed for shore

How do you celebrate?

I like to write stories about my achievements. I post trip reports on our local kayak fishing forum (www.kayakfishingnz.com) and Facebook. I have a computer full of fishing photos. 

This article was originally published in Kayak Angler, Volume 10 • Issue 3. Read this issue.

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