Business Trip, Part 2

This is the second part of “Business Trip” and it covers the fishing excursion. The action was hot and heavy and some good pictures were taken!

The Captain gave us instructions about how to apply the hook to the whitebait. He said to hook them just above the pelvic fin and that hook placement makes them spin around on the bottom and, in turn, excites the predators into striking. We baited up and looped casts into the area behind the boat.

My first strike was solid, the fish made a nice run, then headed towards the boat. Another shorter run and, keeping the line tight, I reached over and grabbed the nice bonita by the tail and lifted it into the boat. Before tossing the fish back into the water, our host posed with me as I held it up.

We only caught one more bonita, but the kingfish moved in and supplied us top flight, action. With our medium/light tackle, their initial runs were spectacular and they battled us all the way in, until subdued with a coup de grace, a billy to the knoggin.

We fished for over three hours and the action was constant. On one cast of mine, as the bait floated toward the bottom, my rod was jarred with a heavy strike. My first thought was another king, and I braced myself for its characteristic long first run. But to my surprise the fish came straight up, out of the water in a beautiful arc.

The fish was identified as a barracuda and I started getting ample instructions about landing it. The instructions were interspersed by how good it was going to taste! After several more jumps, the mate gaffed it, careful to apply the gaff in the barracuda’s head area. It was bonked on the head with a billy and into the cooler with it. For me, I will have no part in eating that fish!

We took this picture of the barracuda as we were unloading our catch. The two smaller ‘cudas, pictured, are under twenty-eight inches and supposedly free from ciguatera. The one I caught was over thirty-six inches and, I imagined, full of the disease.

Cruising back into the dock area, we counted up the fish we kept, ten kings and three ‘cudas, a good mornings outing! As the ‘cudas were being cleaned, I commented to our host that I still would have no part in eating one!