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Executive Details: 1 bite, 1 poon, but it was a good one. Details: With the son (aka. Wonderboy) heading off to Cape Canaveral for his summer internship next week I opted to take a day off and see if we could get on some Poon. It was a rough go of it early on - he's a slower riser and we found ourselves leaving the house at 6:15; hitting traffic along the way and filling up with gas we finally hit the water around 7:30. Bait was a major hassle and we really didn't find ourselves fishing until well after 9. Cruising the beach we found poon but we just weren't getting the bite that we had hoped for. With the tide slowing down I decided to see if there was any poon in the pass. With the pass becoming more like Boca Grande every year I'm not a big fan of the pass, but figured we might be able to increase our odds. We drifted through the outside part of the armada and eventually settled in on a spot where apparently we saw poon, but with the exception of one other boater most people had not. Using the only available chum I (some old frozen whitebait) I started getting the stink in the water. So did the other boater. 20 minutes later I watched a fish fly and the boater toss anchor. He was on - we watched him go by. Anchored up behind me was the only boat that could get in is his way and as luck would have it the fish tangled itself up in the anchor. The angler climbed aboard his now new-found friends' boat and after 5-6 minutes of passing th erod under/over the anchor somehow managed to get the line out. He jumped back on his boat and appeared to have landed the fish. I commented to my son that was unbelievable. I was convinced that the fish would have broken off. 5 minutes later I watch another boat go by with yet another fish. With the frustration and anticipation building I chopped the tail off my thread and free spooled it out. With a solid thwack we were on and boy were we. I set the hook hard 3 times and hoped for the best. Just as we were backing down the fish presented itself; I called over to Evan, "Holy cow this is not one of those 100 pounders. Big fish. Real big fish!!" I scrambled to the bow and started to cringe as I saw where we were headed. Right to the same boat. Getting closer I could feel the line tugging on the anchor line. Not exactly sure what to do I watched as the captain pulled the anchor up using his anchor windlass; as we passed by I felt the line come off the anchor, but now the motor was a headache. I shoved my rod as far down in the water as it would go and hollered over to the captain. "Guys, could you raise your motor." I flipped to free spool - line was still going out. "Guys now!!" This time they hollered back - "We're trying." I apologized and realized that I had switched to poon mode where things get let's just say a bit testy. As I saw the line go passed the boat, I apologized and thanked them at the same time. They clearly were not seasoned poon guys and were there more for the beer than the fish. That said, they were in good spirits and said "Good luck." I'm not quite sure how that worked out, but eventually I found myself in open water with one "Boat Tour " boat respectfully keeping his distance. Seems he brought the touri to see the fun in "The Pass". They got a speacial treat as the fish not only presented itself, but quite possibly executed the most magical tail walk I've every seen a poon do. With 6' of fish out of the water it tail walked not 10 feet, but 10 yards, turned around and tail walked back another 5 yards. It was spectacular to watch and I cold not contain myself as I hollered out. "Wooooohooooooo!!" That said as soon as the fish landed I was quite sure that the gig was up. Nothing but slack. I cranked for all I was worth and somehow managed to stay on the fish. "Evan get the camera. This ones a show boater." He grabbed my Canon T2i and we managed to get another series of jumps. The scale of the picture does not give the fish any justice. This was a big fish for sure... You can see in my technique that I do not "bow to the king." I save that for when they are about 5' from the boat. People argue it's the wrong thing to do, but I'm staying with the one that brought me to the dance. After those jumps and shenanigans we settled in for what I like to call "The grind." Slowly I added more pressure and with the timer hitting 25 minutes I could not believe the amount of energy this fish had. Most times at the 20 minute mark I'm gaining control of the situation; not so with this fish. With the heat and humidity wearing me out I tagged out to Wonderboy and he proceeded to get his butt whooped on for a bit. Hydrated up again we swapped out a couple times and finally at the 35 minute mark leadered the fish. At this point I really applied the heat. I moved to the stern sat in the seat and using the gunnels I grabbed the spool and pulled for all I was worth. I was pretty sure something was going to give, but it didn't. I looked around and saw that we were moving. I've no clue how this fish had so much energy, but we were being pulled stern first into the current. Wanting this fish to the boat I clamped down on the drag more and grabbed the spool again. Finally realizing the the gig was up, the fish relented, but was still somewhat green. I put on the gloves and went to grab it's mouth and got a face full of water. I did this two more times and had had enough. I grabbed the leader and said "Enough!!" Course the fish had other plans tail slapped the boat, snapped the leader, and swam off strong. I told Evan, "That may have been for the better." We discussed size, but I'm not very good on that. What I can say is that it was probably in the 135 range. +- 10%. Both of us were pretty worn out, and prior to going to get the anchor ball we hydrated up some more. On the way to the ball we stopped by our new friends who had assisted with pulling anchor. I apologized and again, but they were more curious about the status "You guys get him." "Yup." "They're still here." "I think were one and done for the day. Thanks again." They chuckled and we parted ways. We grabbed the buoy and decided to go go grab some lunch. A commemorative photo closed out the day. Some additional misc photos...
On a side note..I like the B&W shots better; wife liked color. Any comments?