When Someone's Due
Last night, after getting spanked by three LARGE the night before, and I saw each one at some point in the fight, revenge was the driving factor. Upon first arrival to the scene of the previous nights humbling, there were already 5 guys there, tightly entrenched right where I had planned to exact revenge....patience, I thought. We fished some beach about 300yds away, trying not to look anxious...which I was, but Charlie, not having witnessed the humiliation those fish put on me the previous night....and I left the previous night with a decent one in the cooler, let another keeper go, and a half dozen shorts...but still, the LARGE humiliated me in 3 out of the first 4 casts in that spot, I was there for revenge. So, a few hundred yards away, I got two shorts....still waiting. Darkness...and the guys were still there... We went back to the truck to get the bigger stuff, put on boots and cleats, then we drove back to the originally intended target, and set out....damn, still two guys there, Charlie suggests another town, I decline, telling him they should certainly be back, the conditions much the same as the previous night. He reluctantly follows me onto the sand...and we plug now 50 yds away from these two guys clamming, each getting a couple hits....then they leave. OK, now we can get started, onto the rocks. We could have gotten on the rocks sooner, but catching a few fish in front of two guys clamming would have given them an excuse to stay longer. Charlie hooks and lands a near keeper...then I do the same...then it starts raining....then harder rain, with some distant lightning....and the waters rolling about 3-5ft....spraying us with ice cold water every minute or so, and I note how absolutely perfect the conditions are....and Charlie looks at me like I popped a circuit breaker, as the ice cold sea water runs down his skull...and the rain keeps pouring... We each get a couple more fish, then I hook a decent one on a rigged eel and land it on the sand, 15-17 pounds...I let this one go, I had it's twin in the cooler already. I urge Charlie to occasionally toss one right upside the jetty in the white foam, that being where I lost a moose the night before. I release another about keeper sized. Then, the hit, and the hook set...a real strong steady run...due north...some arm wrenching head shakes, a stiff rod and 45# braid have little give, so your body, and the fish, take all the shocks from a good head shake...this goes on for about 10 minutes...a long time on the conventional rods. We head to the sand...another 5 minutes...like an eternity....I put the light on the fish very briefly as it hits the first wave...and it's long...I'm guessing 25# or so. Then, just as the next wave leaves the fish in the shallow backwash, I stick my hand under a gill plate and lift the fish...and it's a good one. It took the teaser, as did most of the fish last night...so now I'm holding a fish, 45" long, over 30# I figure...and I smile broadly, as I hand the fish to Charlie, and I am as pleased and proud as he...it was my best friends first 30, on a teaser, not 3" long, that I created. I look at Charlie holding that 45" fish, and the smile on his face makes me warm inside.....and he says, "OK, I'm glad we stayed here...you can pick the spots for the rest of the year!"....... It's nice to see a friend land a fish like that, nicer than to land it yourself. Suspicious that I may have tangled with the same one last night, we checked out it's mouth. Charlie's teaser was buried in it's tongue, an excellent spot to hook a big fish. I was only moderately surprised when we found a fresh tear in the soft tissue in the corner of the fishes mouth, still a little bloody, a very clear recent hook hole. I had met this same fish the night before, and it was most likely the one that got my teaser...as the teaser is more likely than a plug to have been able to stick the fish there, hang tough, break the leader, and fall out later, leaving that 1" long tear in the soft tissue...we laugh, having both stuck the same fish inside 24hrs...but this one was meant for Charlie, and it meant more to him than it would have to me, so like I've been telling him...you're due.
Now there's the issue of the other 2 that gave me the dose of humility the night before....I hope they come back for round three....