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Featured Fishing Tales....

3D-TRI-RED.GIF (202 bytes) The Annual Fishing Trip -  by Jim Darrah

3D-TRI-RED.GIF (202 bytes) A Big Fish On, And The Reel Off The Rod - by Jay

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 Dubai Cobia  -  Dubai, UAE  - 16/02/2008 


It was a nice sunny day, the temperature was about 32 degrees and we have been trolling for more than an hour tryint to catch some 20 lbs Barracuda when suddenly we felt a nice pull only to realize ( after about 30 minutes of fighting ) that it was a nice 80 lbs COBIA. It was the first time that I ever catch this fish and I was so excited. When the fish came near to the boat I gave the rod to my friend and went directly to hook it up and throw it on my boat. The fish kept on moving in the boat for an extra half an hour before it laid to rest. The adrenalin rush was crazy and the fish was even nicer.


Nassau Kingfish Tournament Winner

 Greg Garrett of Jacksonville and Alison Perkins of Ponte Vedra, Florida teamed up to boat the winning fish in the Nassau Kingfish Tournament out of Fernandina.  The fish was caught aboard Greg's boat "Full Load" a 31' Fountain on the second day of the tournament (7/1).

About 3PM while changing out the baits one last time, the fish hit a double pogie rig while being reeled in.  After a 30 to 45 minute battle, the fish was gaffed.  They then hurriedly  made the run to Fernandina Inlet to weigh it in with only 30 minutes to spare.  They knew the fish was big but did not realize how big and the winner of the tournament.

Congratulations to Greg and Alison on winning the Nassau Kingfish Tournament!!

Editors Note: Jim is a good friend and fishing buddy who is well known for his story telling.  

  The Annual Fishing Trip                      By Jim Darrah

After a good night's sleep, the Captain and crew awoke once again at 5:30 sharp with the prospect of a zealous day of fishing.  Although the previous six days were nothing to brag about, they were not about to give up.   

Each man new exactly what to do without speaking a word other than the customary mumblings of good morning. With the infertile taste in their mouths of the previous nights cheer, each man clamed his duty without hesitation.  It's the same routine as the previous six days, and as long as they could remember.  Dano and Kent brewed the coffee, and prepared the days lunch. Dino drove the truck to Able's for bait and ice.  Always too much ice, but the captain insisted "You can't have too much Ice".  Captain Rich, and remainder of the crew loaded the boat with the rods, tackle, and the days libation, all the while grumbling over the morning gnats that were as predictable as the sunrise itself.  Though the gnats were annoying, they usually indicated balmy air that implied calm seas.  

The Captain, a salty veteran, would not tolerate anything less than a immaculate vessel.  Even in the pre dawn hours you could see the glimmer of an obviously well maintained vessel.  

Once everything was properly stowed, they cast off without incident for the final day of fishing.  The morning sky hinted of daybreak as Captain Rich idled through Snake Creek that linked them to the Atlantic.  As they made way through the creek they coated themselves down with sun block to avoid
being fried like the mornings bacon.

To the port, the canals were littered with houses.  To the starboard, the marina was abundant with the chattering and swooping of seagulls competing for an early morning pilchard.

As they idled beneath, then clear of the bridge, Captain Rich carefully applied pressure to the throttles causing the bow to rise and then gently fall once enough speed was attained.  The twin 225 Yamaha's grew louder as they cruised at a comfortable speed while zigzagging through the twenty or so markers in  route to the open seas. After clearing the last marker, Captain Rich aimed the intrepid over the reef on a relatively southerly heading.  As they had predicted, there was less then a two foot swell to affirm a comfortable day of fishing. 

Each man was silently wondering what the days catch would bring.  That is, except for Bob and Frank.  Bob had to leave early to run the business while little brother stayed and fished.  Frank was unable to make the trip this year.  Although Frank genuinely enjoyed the companionship of the days fishing, he was a night owl that would rather go out for a night of drinking and partying, than waking every morning at 5:30 a.m. and spending most of the day slowly trolling for little green fish.  As far as Frank was concerned, fishing all day every day was for dweebs. 

Though there was still a hint of springs morning chill, the sun was emerging from the grasp of the Atlantic and steadily warming the air.  As they made way toward open water, each man was scanning the skies for birds, and the water for weed lines and rip tides.  Telltale signs of tasty dolphin.  With the bad luck they had for the first several days they were praying today would be different.

Once they reached a suitable depth of around 500-feet they were for ready to begin to troll.  Without delay Captain Rich, idled down to trolling speed and aimed the boat at 180 degrees.  Dino, and Jimmy began to rig the various rainbow of baits with freshly iced down ballyhoo.  Dano and Kent, scuttled in and out of the baitsmen preparing the rods and lowering the outriggers for their deed of separating the baits to simulate a school of bait fish.  Once the baits were reeled off to the appropriate distance, the teaser was
dropped over the stern.  After all was in place, the remaining rigs and cooler of fresh ballyhoo were properly stowed. 

Except for the Captain, who was looking for flotsam, frigate birds, and rip lines, the balance of the crew remained aft all hoping for an early morning strike.  After minutes turned to hours with still no luck other than a few grasshoppers ( 1 to 3 pound dolphin ) the day was beginning to feel like the previous six days.  Damn El Nino!

Then without warning, the port outrigger snapped with the unmistakable sound they had been waiting for.  Captain Rich grabbed the rod and soon a 15 to 20 pound dolphin skyrocketed.  By most counts a dolphin of that size was nothing to write home about, but this year it was the biggest fish they had hooked all week.  Rich slowly brought the fish within fifty feet or so to see if any other dolphin followed it to the boat.  No such luck.  Kent, readied the gaff.  Once the fish was along the port side Kent tried to stick the fish.  After a few tries, and a lot of splashing, the fish once again peeled off some drag.  Rich fought it back to the starboard side so Kent could give it another shot.  After more splashing, and no gaffing the fish came loose and swam away.  In disgust Rich tossed the rod to Jimmy, and simply said, put um back out.

The moral of the story:

Don't count your fish before their gaffed!!!!!!


You've got a big fish on... and the reel breaks off the rod... don't give up yet!

By Jay, a Fish4Fun reader
Last year I was fishing with the family in Charlotte harbor out in front of Boca Grande pass for black tip sharks.  We had caught a few small ones in the few previous days in this same spot. There were 7 of us on the boat today, 2 small kids, 3 and 6 yrs. old.  We caught 2 small ones and the kids were getting hot and wanted to go home.   I told them just 30 more minutes and we would leave.  

Well that 30 minutes turned into 3 hours with the fish that I fought.  Started out like all the rest, a quick run and back toward the boat  and then we saw the fish.  The biggest shark I had ever had .  Well over 7 ft long.  Could have taken half my body in one bite. Well the fish saw the boat and he took off almost spooling the reel,  We had to start the boat and chase him to gain back some line. By this time we had a bunch of other boats around us watching the show.  The fish went to the bottom and sat there for what seemed like forever.  All the time I am applying all the pressure I could on the rod without breaking it.  

Finally the fish took off again and this time the reel tore off of the pole.  Bent the reel seats in half.  So now I have the reel in one hand and rod in the other and still have the fish on.  I scream for my mother to get me another rod so I can remount the reel on it. We get the reel on another pole,  So now I am holding two rods in my hand because the line was still in the eyes of the other pole and we are chasing the fish with the boat.  

Now the fish seemed to be getting tired I was gaining line on him and got him up next to the boat,  Everyone ran to the back of the boat,  They were all scared telling me to cut the line.  I wanted to somehow get a picture of this fish so I told my father to get the gaff.  I was gonna gaff the fish in the mouth and get my once in a lifetime picture.  We did gaff the fish and the fish flapped his tail and guess what, the darn handle on the gaff wasn't attached to the gaff.  The darn rope was only attached to the rubber cover that slid over the handle.  So off went the fish again.  

I fought him for about another 30 minutes and got him by the boat again.  This time we tried to lasso his tail with the anchor rope. It didn't like that and flapped his tail again and off he went,  This time one of the eyes popped off the pole and the line tangled and broke off.  Well off went my fish of a lifetime as I stood there in tears.  This is an honest to life true story. I'm going back in June to try again this year,  I will be better prepared for the fight this time.

A bad day fishin' is far superior than a great day at work.

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