The Ones That Got Away

It’s been a fishful day.

With a twenty-some mile beat today we were looking forward to doing some fishing; the freezer inventory was looking pretty bleak when we checked last night.  We threw out two lines just after getting out Dotham Cut.

About a half-hour later we pulled in a pretty little Mahi-Mahi.  She made a bloody mess everywhere but looked quite tasty.  Keith started filleting her up on the aft deck when the next fish bit.  We quickly removed the fillet knife from the equation, scooted the fish over and started reeling the fish in when the other pole went ttzzziiiiiiingggg!

Oh boy, oh boy.  The second pole had a bigger fish, but we worked the first pole. During the fight, the gears broke inside the reel and the handle flew back and whacked Keith’s hand, adding more blood to the aft deck. He kept working on it though and got it to the side of the boat.

He slipped stepping over the bloody rail and caught himself with the inside of his thigh (no blood just an ugly bruise). He still got it in. Another Mahi-Mahi.  Yay. In the net, on the boat.  Night-night with a shot of scotch in the gills (the fish, not us).  Good.

Now… time for the second pole. It fought hard, then, BAM- nothing. He reeled it in towards the boat and could see there was nothing left of our catch but some lips and a nose on our hook, even the eyes were gone.

Two more Mahi were still chasing it and a white tip shark chasing them.  It was very cool to watch, and I was very relieved Keith hadn’t fallen overboard a few minutes earlier!

We would have stopped at two fish, but the fish eaten by the shark wasn’t a Mahi, we think it was a wahoo, and the challenge for tuna was still standing so we threw out the lines again and Keith went back to filleting the fish.

^^a fish in the bowl, a fish on the cutting board, and a fish on the line.

Ttzziiiiiinnnngggg!  This time a BIG Mahi-Mahi.  It was so far behind the boat and it was so slow to pull in we thought for sure we’d lose it to a shark too.  But we got it along the side of the boat.  We gaffed it.  We got it onto the boat.  We were so proud of ourselves.

I wanted just one quick picture while it still had its beautiful colors.  Thirty seconds after that picture was taken the fish lost its ever-loving mind and forcefully flopped himself overboard! Noooooo!! We both dove after the line and pulled, but it snapped and we watched in disbelief as it swam away.  We will NEVER be posing for a photo with an un-dead fish again.  Ever!

In silence, Keith dropped the lines back in and finished filleting the fish we did manage to keep onboard.  The mood lightened when we pulled in one more Mahi, not nearly as big as the one that got away, but that’s ok it was still hefty.  And, no, there are no pics of it.  We learned our lesson.  We decided to pull in the lines; we had plenty of fish for dinner and enough to fill the freezer and more to share.  The one fishing pole is wrecked and we doubt Keith can fix it.  At least we have another one.

While we were eating lunch, we heard a “clunk” at the back of the boat.  “What was that?” We asked each other but didn’t see anything.  We still had several hours to go before we got to our anchorage and the nagging of having lost our biggest fish and the pending unmet tuna challenge wore on Keith and he decided to put a line back in the water.  That is when we discovered what the “clunk” was, where the rod holder and fishing pole used to be was nothing but a broken off clamp.  The rod holder and pole (the NOT broken pole, of course) were long gone.


End-of-day Talley:

3 Mahi-Mahi caught and filleted

1 Wahoo (?) eaten by a shark

1 Mahi-Mahi stopped by for a quick photo

1 fishing pole broken

1 fishing pole donated to the fishes

1 broken rod holder donated to the fishes


We no longer need to go to the grocery store, but we do need a tackle shop!



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