Sunday, April 13, 2008

by Robin

This is a true story of my day fishing yesterday on Mike and Helen's boat. Sometimes true life is stranger than fiction.
We were having a great day with many hits on all the trolling lures w/ ballyhoo. We were working through the rotation of people on the boat and I was in no hurry since we had 4 kids on board.
I'm snapping photos from the top deck, tower, of flying fish that are scattering in front of the boat. Next thing I hear is the pop of the starboard outrigger and screaming line. Mike yells, "Robin, you're up next. Get down here fast!" Well, ok.....
As I'm carefully coming down the ladder, Mike insists I hurry since the dolphin is charging the boat. I took over the reel and cranked it as fast as I could. There was no fighting this fish. He came right to the boat and I was merely taking in the line. It was only a couple minutes and Jack gaffed him.
He was green. Green from not being worn out but also lit up green. I'm thinking this is the true origination of the word "Green". Mahi skin changes color depending on what is going on. They are usually blue with yellow tails before they take the bait and they brighten up as they are in the fight. Sometimes, the fight wears them out to a light yellow. Of course, there are many variations, including a white & purple spotted mahi. I think that may be some type of albino variation though, lacking the yellow or green. I digress. Anyhow, as you can see, mine is quite green. He was the stereotypical green, green & yellow mahi. Notice my biceps? No? Um... ok. That's right, I don't work out.
He also has a gaff right in his head, but not his organs, and stayed quite still to pose for all these pictures. His dorsal (top) fin was raised up and made for such a beautiful picture. I'm guessing this fish to be in the 12-15 lb range, although I'm sure Jack will correct me. I'm pitiful at guessing weights.
So, here you can see
Jack putting it into the fish cooler and Mike is assisting with the lid. Look at those gorgeous blue pectoral fins!
They were practically purple from the front view when he came out of the water.
Notice, big hole still in head.
Ok, fish in box. From here, I'm not sure what happened. I think Mike said something about putting ice on him. I turn back to the fish box only to see my fish go wild, pop the lid wide open, become airborne and land in the ocean. He took off with such vigor. Meanwhile, we were all left with open mouths that were silenced. What could you do? Nothing. He was gone. In an instant, he was a memory. He wasn't even floating. He was laughing all the way back to his salty home with a hole in his head. (apparently not the brain)
Moral of the story: Next time, sit on the fish lid for several minutes after putting in a big fish that is still very green.
Alternative moral of the story: Buy latches for the fish box. Our cooler has latches and sometimes the box rocks but it will probably never go overboard.
In hindsight, Jack thinks he may have been able to attempt a 2nd mid-air gaffing but it was too risky with Mike also reaching for the escaping fish. As it was, the gaff cut Jack twice and Mike once. I like a sharp gaff but not one that sharp.
So that is my fish story. Embellishments not needed. It was painful enough being a true story.
More pics & stories to come tomorrow.


~Becky said...

That is a gorgeous fish!!!
I love the video at the top too, great!
You're very blessed.
(LaMere Academy)

Knatolee said...

I can't believe your beautiful fish got away!! Well, I can believe it, but gee...