Saturday, May 31, 2008

60 lb COBIA!!!
by Robin

We left out at 6:30 this morning and cleared the port by 7:30. We were met by 4 ft waves with 5-7 sec intervals and then a pretty big wind wave to boot which made it feel slightly like being inside a washing machine. We could only chug about 18 mph to our first destination, the weather buoy.

At 100 ft of water depth, we put the trolling lines out, heading east to the buoy. Not long after that, in 115 ft of water, we had our first knock down on the naked ballyhoo. It was a phin (mahi mahi). Good size one! I cleared the lines, moved poles and children as fast as I could. Jack handed the pole to me when he was boatside and then he gaffed him. It turned out to be a 16 lb bull dolphin! Jack's first bull.

Lines go back out, heading to the buoy when we make a couple passes. Another naked ballyhoo gets hit and after a good battle, I bring a beafy barracuda boatside. Jack cuts the wire and releases him. I'm sure the barracuda was in the 15 lb range. Beautiful, teethy fish, but toxic to eat.

Lines go in again and we begin to troll down to our first bottom fishing location about 5 mi away. By this time, the waves are doing a number on my pbj sandwich and so up it comes. So much for ginger pills to settle the tummy. A little while later, my youngest starts vomiting too. Not fun. Our eldest, so is our known vomiter, is comatose in his beanbag chair.

Finally, we get a hit on one of the lines. I take the pole because Jack wants me to feel the fight of a big fish. I reel and reel. We can see the fish about10 or so feet below the boat. It looks to be about the size of Jack's mahi. It made a couple runs and finally, it pulled the hook out of its mouth. No fish. Awww.... Sometimes this happens even when no mistakes are made on the part of the angler.

We start bottom fishing on a couple of numbers that Jack's friend gave him. Nothing, nobody home. My nausea is growing again and so I have to hang my head over the side of the boat again. At this point, the only thing that helps me is to totally lay across the cooler and close my eyes. I have no strength. Seasickness is like kryptonite to Superman. It can take down the best of men (and women).

So, Jack is driving and fishing! On the 3rd or 4th bottom hole, his "Grouper" hole, he drops down a sardine. I'm thinking this is about 90 ft of water but I can't be certain due to seasickness. Whack! His pole gets bent to the gunnel. After a lot of grunting, he pulls up a huge Warsaw beast! He was as big as our net! Jack had to help me lift the net over the side of the boat. He weighed in at 25 lbs.

Our eldest is sleeping in his bean chair and calls out, "What's going on?" I said to him, "You might want to turn over and look at the fish laying next to you." Boy, was he shocked.

Now, my adrenalin is pumping and seasickness is slightly better. Jack goes back over the spot and I drop down some sardines. I keep getting short Snapper. Good fight but all had to be released to grow to 20". So, I drop again and get a good head shake like a snapper. It's coming up easy and I say to Jack, "I'm sure it's a 15" snapper." Well, I no sooner saw a flash 20' or so under the boat and the thing spooks for the bottom. The reel is singing. I'm holding on for dear life. Jack loosens the drag some and I give him the pole. The fish comes up and goes down a couple times. I had to give Jack 2 bottles of water during this fight.

Finally, a beast pops up 30 ft behind the boat, surfacing like a shark. The pressure is off, right? I grab the camera to snap the large shark picture. As I'm putting the camera back Jack CALMLY says, "It's a cobia." Being June Cleaver, I say, "Oh sure honey, good joke...."

I take a 2nd look and.......... oh my........... it's the largest cobia I've ever seen in my entire life!!!!!! He tries to make a couple more dives but the fish is as tired as Jack. I took the pole another time and he dives again. Jack has to bring him up. I get the pole again and Jack grabs the gaff.

He gets a clean shot, but now, to heave. I pull the head w/ the line and Jack gets the body (poor thing) We all practically lay on the boat floor in exhaustion. Nobody moves for the first few minutes. I'm looking at this things head in disbelief. What if he decides to come to life and fight putting him in the cooler? I decided to tail rope him. This is no easy feat. The first time, the tail came up and barely brushed across my face. The 2nd time, I got quite the good smack in the mouth but at least I got him.

Ok....... so now we got him "hogtied" & gaffed. He's not happy. Sixty pounds of not happy fish in the boat can be bad. When trying to help speed things along, our knife broke. Thankfully, nobody got hurt by the flying blade. (God is so good!) Another 5 min later, we are able to finally get him into the cooler. It's a tight fit but he's in.

We dropped a couple more times for a keeper snapper in various locations but gave up. We headed 18 miles in to home. We were stopped at the mouth of the port to allow a sub to pass through. Interesting.

I couldn't even lift the cobia up for the pictures. It is a personal best cobia for our boat and us. I'll probably add more pictures later. Here's what I got so far (downsized). My biggest cobia before this was only 22 lbs. I'm 5'1" and this cobia was nearly as tall as me.

1 comment:

Angela said...

Hi Robin!

Looks like quite a spectacular day of fishing! Congratulations on your catches!

Although, you are a much stronger woman than I am. The first time I tossed my cookies I would want OFF of that boat! LOL!

Hugs! A