Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tony Wong-Kam. Fishing king lands more excitement

Fishing is far from peaceful for champion angler Tony Wong-Kam.

The newly crowned King of the Coromandel has often been in the headlines.

And he claims shots have been fired at him in the past by jealous rivals.

Even his latest success was marred by an incident which could have cost lives, he says.

"On the drive home from the Coromandel I had to stop six or seven times.

"The rig carrying my boat didn’t feel right, it weaved when I turned."

He says he found four bolts on his towbar were loose.

"On the motorway, that’s a life and death situation," he says.

Wong-Kam, 48, of Torbay says checks were carried out on his vehicle before the journey and he suspects that the fastenings were undone deliberately.

"A complaint has been made with the police," he says.

"I have a history with things like this, I’m a target."

With Mike Hiskens the pair dominated the annual King of the Coromandel competition bagging thousands of dollars in prizes in the process.

"Fish we caught on the first two days won first, second and third overall," says Wong-Kam.

"We didn’t go out on the third day to give someone else a chance."

Wong-Kam estimates a total prize haul, which included a new car, to be worth at least $30,000.

"We brought home two of the top three kingfish we caught. But the biggest one was stolen from the ice bins."

Excitement is never far from Wong-Kam. In December 2006 his face was slashed by a stingray while diving off Great Barrier Island and in March 2008 he claimed to be the first person to catch a manta ray in New Zealand waters.

Wong-Kam says he does not understand the negative attention and will remain undeterred from fishing

By SIMON PLUMB - North Shore Times
Last updated 05:00 05/05/2009

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