Monday, October 29, 2007

Fish story

20°14.8267 S
159°01.8467 E
Uncharted 36 meter shoal

I was just off my three AM to six AM watch trying to get some sleep when the adrenaline inducing scream of the big offshore Penn reel jolted me out of bed. At first we had no idea what was on the line other than a big fish and line was literally screaming off the big reel. Kathy grabbed the rod and said I think we have a shark! I said no way then we had to wait for the fish to finish it's first big run which lasted several minutes. Good thing we have over a half mile of line on the reel as this fish was really taking the line. Since the wind was blowing pretty good I had to drop all sails to slow the boat down as we were moving at six plus knots and at that speed you'd never drag even a modestly sized fish aboard. With the sails now down we were still going about one knot and the boat was really rocking and rolling in the six to nine foot seas making keeping ones balance a chore. Kathy began to get some line back on the reel and then the fish made another desperate attempt at escape stripping line of the reel at an amazing pace. Kathy fought back inch by inch then foot by foot in a give and take battle and at spells I'd have to reel while she relived her fatigued arm. Once the fish was near the boat and we were feeling pretty victorious it took off again diving deeply below the boat. At this point I took my position on the side deck with the big gaff in hand ready to get the gaff hooked into the fish when the time came. Kathy catching her first under water glimpse cried out "it's not a Tuna or Mahi Mahi or Wahoo and I think its a SHARK!" Indeed it was a three foot plus white tip shark. Looking at my $10 fishing lure stuck between it's razor sharp teeth I decided it would be best to just cut the line in lieu of risking injury to ourselves and the shark. First, I hastened to grab the camera and get a few pictures to back up the story then we cut the line.

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