by Peter Carruthers
JAPANESE fishing sensation Takuma Hata would surely have woken on Monday morning with sore arms after landing more than 45 big barra at Lake Proserpine at the weekend.
"It was crazy,” Mr Hata said.
On the invitation of Tourism Whitsunday, the Japanese fishing guru with a cult online following took to the water with champion barramundi angler Craig Griffiths and the bag numbers speak for themselves.
Mr Hata said the barra was a very exciting fish to catch and Mr Griffiths said the international angler "screamed with excitement every time he caught one”.
Mr Hata said he didn't give the trip to the dam a thumbs up but "two big thumbs up”.
Mr Griffiths said the fish were feeding on prawns on the bottom of the dam and an imported lure made by Mr Hata's sponsor, Jackall, called a Big Bucka worked a treat on the local fish.
Mr Hata took his hat off to his guide for the trip and said his local knowledge made the difference between landing the big fish and going home with no photos and video to share online.
Having more than 20,000 Facebook followers, Mr Hata is renown for his hi-energy Youtube videos.
On Monday, Mr Hata took to the water with Renegade Fishing Charters in search of prize reef fish.
On his capture list was giant trevally, cobia, coral trout and Spanish mackerel.
Tourism Whitsundays chief executive officer Craig Turner said taking advantage of Mr Hata's social media was key to raising the international profile of the Whitsundays as a top-notch fishing destination.
"It is all about building exposure and awareness of Lake Proserpine being one of the best empoundment barra fisheries in Australia,” he said.
"Our goal is to promote and market Lake Proserpine as one of the best barra fisheries in the country.
"We want to make sure we showcase the best of our region,” Mr Turner said.