by Darren Cartwright
A RECREATIONAL rodman has reeled in a fish so big he had to throw it back in the water - and that's no tale.
Brisbane resident Michael Wilson hooked a dusky flathead almost a metre long - about twice as long as a regular-size flathead - while out in his tinnie near the mouth of the Noosa River.
If not for the courage of his mate David Alvisio, Mr Wilson would not have had the chance to measure or hold his catch.
"Out of all nights I forgot to bring my landing net and because it was so big it would have snapped off straight away, so David's pretty much put his hand in and ripped it in the boat,” Mr Wilson said.
Mr Wilson landed the big one on April 8 although it was not flathead he was after.
The 32-year-old and his buddy were using 20-pound line in the hope of catching mangrove jack.
Immediately after posing for photographs and tagging his prized catch, he waved the flathead goodbye.
"I wish it was an extra two centimetres because I've been hunting for the magic metre for a while,” he said.
"It was a half-decent fight.
We were using 20-pound gear and we were actually chasing mangrove jack so it was a bycatch.
"Anything over 75cm has to be thrown back in because they're breeders.”
Mr Wilson also had some luck the week before when he reeled in a personal best 118cm threadfin salmon from the upper reaches of the Noosa River.
"I usually tag most of my fish and throw them back.”