Alright gentlemen, it’s time I let you all in on a little secret I have been holding on to for a while now. Before I go on I should warn you, this story is based on actual events and is not for the faint of hearts. It all started on a Sunday night, my buddy Rich calls me up and says “Dan, get your ass ready because were coming down to fish in the morning”. Now Rich is a very close friend of mine and we no longer get to fish with each other as much as we used to so I jumped at the opportunity to whore my kayaking abilities out and spend the day on the beach with friends soaking some bait.
When we got there all we saw were hundreds of boats and millions of tarpon rolling in the surf…we had no intention of letting a couple little boats stop us from fishing so we setup and put baits out right on the right tide. After a few minutes after I take out Rich’s Everol 20/0 out it starts clicking slowly, so slowly it sounds like a huge hammer playing with the 10lb southern I had dropped out there. Now this is where my tale gets crazy. Rich lets the slow ominous run go on for about 20 seconds and then he sticks the beast. He immediately throws the lever to around 70lbs of drag and the fight began! After about two seconds he made his first crank and bam!!! The fight was over….
Thank god he had the 20/0 loaded with 250LP or else this beast would have never gotten to the sand! Hahahahah I guess we can’t choose what eats our bait.
Check out that rod bend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, the tale gets even crazier than that…I PROMISE.
So we all admire all these beautiful tarpon rolling in the surf so my first instinct was to take my little 8’ Frenzy out in between hundreds of boats that probably cost more than my life and try to jump a few of them. Now when we were on the beach the tarpon seemed to be right off the beach but of course when I set on my voyage they seemed to migrate across the pass making me weave through the boats to find my prey. After about 20 or so boats yelling at me and calling me a F@#%ing idiot and about 500 dirty looks as I kayak with a tarpon setup in one hand and a tag in my teeth, a mote marine boat pulls up to me as I’m 400 yards from shore. They seriously look at me like I’m retarded and yell “hey kid, you know there are 9’ sharks around here”. I looked at them and started laughing…I then pulled my 100$ frenzy next to their 800,000$ yellow fin rigged up the wazoo and struck up a conversation about shark fishing and turns out they were trying to catch a hammerhead to put a satellite tag in. About 10 minutes later I make my way back, about 150 yds off the beach I notice tarpon start busting like crazy and out of nowhere comes this huge grey torpedo right into the center of the school. It was a hammer that I would say was just over 13’ and in about 5 seconds every tarpon in the pass disappeared. The fish swam feet from my kayak as the Mote boat was throwing rays at it but they were unsuccessful. I was so excited when I saw that fish I rushed to the beach to share my venture. Now as I’m about 10 yards off the beach I see my buddy Buddha messing with his rod and I was assuming he was on a fish so I started coming in and I noticed my rod bounce once and then went slack. I knew something was about to happen and before I went out on the yak I told rich that if I was still out there when I got a fish he would take the rod. Well I said F@#@ THAT and beached my kayak like a Viking ready for battle and ran full speed as my reel went off and as rich was about to grab it I came in yelling NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE and grabbed my rod.
THE FIGHT WAS ON! IMMEDIATELY WE KNEW THIS WASN’T ANOTHER PANZY ASS BULLSHARK. THIS WAS A FISH THAT WAS GOING TO PUT MY NEW SEEKER 3X5 TO THE TEST! AFTER I SET THAT HOOK THE FISH STARTED DUMPING AND BECAUSE THERE WERE BOATS AS CLOSE AS 80 YDS OFF THE BEACH AT SOME SPOTS WE HAD TO PUT THE HEAT ON IT. RICH GRABBED THE BACK OF MY BLACK MAGIC HARNESS AND I THREW THAT LEVER TO FULL ON MY EVEROL 14/0. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ HE DID NOT WANT TO STOP!!!
PUTTING NEARLY 70LBS OF DRAG ON THE FISH THE WHOLE FIGHT I COULD HEAR MY 250LB MONO MAKING THE NOISE IT MAKES WHEN YOU STRETCH IT TO THE MAX. FOR 30 MINUTES WE PLAYED A TUG OF WAR WHERE HE WOULD TAKE 100 YDS AND I WOULD GAIN 100YDS BUT HE NEVER ONCE GOT FURTHER THAN 200 YDS OUT. EVERY TIME I WOULD GET HIM TO THE DROP OFF HE WOULD JUST TAKE OFF AGAIN LIKE HE WASN’T EVEN TRYING.
THEN THINGS STARTED GETTING SCARY. THE FISH STARTED SWIMMING STRAIGHT LEFT TO THE OIL DRUM SO I HAD TO STICK MY HAND ON THE SPOOL TO GET MORE DRAG AND AT THIS POINT RICH AND I FELT THE POWER OF THIS FISH AS IT CONTINUED TO STRIP LINE. IT FINALLY SURFACED FOR THE FIRST TIME I KID YOU NOT, 10 FEET IN FRONT OF THE DRUM AND MY HEART DROPPED. I THOUGHT THAT’S WHERE SHE WOULD END THE FIGHT. I LEANED BACK WITH MY BACK INCHES OFF THE GROUND AND GAVE IT EVERYTHING I GOT AND SHE FINALLY TURNED AND STARTED HEADING RIGHT!
THIS ROD WAS THE TOOL FOR THE JOB. I REALLY CANT DESCRIBE HOW HAPPY I WAS ABOUT HOW IT HANDLED THAT FISH.
ANOTHER 20 MINUTES GOES BY AND THE MOTE MARINE BOAT SEES THAT IM HOOKED UP. THEY PULL THEIR BOAT UP AND ASK ME IF THEY COULD SATELLITE TAG MY FISH AND I TOLD HIM I WOULD FREAKING LOVE THAT. THEY THEN TOOK THE BOAT ABOUT 20 YARDS OFF THE BEACH AND STARTED RUNNING INTERFERENCE KEEPING ALL THE OTHER BOATS THAT WANTED TO WATCH AWAY FROM MY LINE.
NO…THIS IS NOT JUST ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR MOTHERS TOYS, THIS IS A 4,000$ SATELLITE TAG THAT PINGS WHEN THE FISH REACHES THE SURFACE.
THE 1 HOUR MARK COMES UP ON THE FIGHT AND IM FEELING IT EVERYWHERE, RICH IS ON MY SIDE THE WHOLE TIME KEEPING ME FOCUSED AND I JUST WANT THIS DAMN FISH ON THE BEACH. I FINALLY GET HER OVER THE DROP OFF AFTER GETTING HER TO IT ABOUT 5 DAMN TIMES AND MY AMAZING LEADER MEN RUN IN AND GRAB THE 30’ LONG LEADER. THEY PULL AND PULL AND GET HER INTO ABOUT 3’ OF WATER WHERE WE DECIDED TO KEEP HER WHILE WE GOT OUR MEASUREMENTS AND INSTALLED THE SATELLITE TAG.
THE DEED WAS DONE AND SO WAS I
SHE TAPED OUT AT A WHOPPING 13 FEET AND I COULDN’T ASK FOR A BETTER PIC WITH EVERYONE THAT WAS INVOLVED. YOU CAN EVEN SEE THE TAG HANGING OFF.
AFTER 2 MINUTES WE HAD HER ON HER WAY BACK OUT TO MASSACRE MORE TARPON.
OUR TALE DOES NOT END HERE, THIS IS JUST THE PREVIEW!