Port Macquarie 16-year-old, Tara Rowe has caught bigger fish than most seasoned anglers will reel in during an entire lifetime.
The fishing dynamo holds NSW Game Fishing Association Records for two Pacific blue marlin (174.4kg and 148.4kg) caught in Port Macquarie and a tiger shark (81kg).
"Most people don't go after those species first but I wanted to try the challenge," she said.
"We were aiming to get blue marlin straight away to give myself a bit more confidence on the rod.
"The sharks are easier to reel in than marlin because sharks just go deep in the water, whereas the marlin charge, jump and go along the surface."
It came in pretty quick for my first marlin. It was a struggle and I was crying. I was saying 'I can't do it, just cut the line.Tara Rowe
The Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club junior member reeled in the two marlin on February 6, May 18 and the tiger shark on July 20. The shark battle lasted for around four hours while Rowe was able to land each marlin after 45 minutes.
The achievements landed her a nomination for Port Macquarie-Hastings Sportsperson of the Year.
"It came in pretty quick for my first marlin. It was a struggle and I was crying. I was saying 'I can't do it, just cut the line'," said Rowe.
"When I'm winding in I'm thinking about how we are going to get the fish in, if its going to give a little show and try to flip the boat."
Rowe is relatively new to the sport and began her game fishing journey after being invited out by boyfriend and skipper, Zac Danby, 17, in January this year.
"I've been fishing all my life but when she first started in about January we were out on a rough-as-guts day. We got soaked," he laughed.
"The first marlin she caught was a surprise. We didn't even know it was a record until someone saw us and told us to register it.
"It just goes to show you don't need a big boat to get big fish."
Mr Danby said the pair often spread their catches around for people to eat, minced up leftovers for bait and also tagged some catches for research groups.
During their adventures Rowe has reeled in other game fish such as Mahi Mahi or dolphin fish, Mako Sharks and Yellow-Fin Tuna.
She already has a fourth pending record in her sights with a 272kg tiger shark caught off Point Plomer in late October.
Rowe said the ultimate goal will be catching a 450kg tiger shark.
"A tiger shark that size is a big achievement in game fishing, not many people get them," said Rowe.
"The plan is to go travelling to all the fishing tournaments to see what we can get, from Wollongong to the Gold Coast."
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