That sad sickening feeling

I decided to make one more cast…

I just dropped something that took off and bit through my hook snoot. By the way it took the bait I figured that it must have been a Spotty and although they don’t have “teeth” to make a clear cut through the hook line it was badly chafed where it parted.

I quickly tied on a new hook, baited it with two tail cutlets of pilchard and made a cast into the dark night towards the ocean. It was dark and about 21:00. I should have gone home an hour earlier already but the mad fisherman’s hope and eternal desire for “that pull” kept me going for a bit longer.

Busy cleaning a smaller Kob caught earlier I saw my sand spike being pulled forward. My drag wasn’t loosened (rookie mistake) but luckily I was close by and quickly ripped the rod out of the stand. There was no need to strike because the fish was ON and I was greeted by amazing head nods. Those that make you feel just a little uneasy but also super exited.

I knew immediately that it was a bigger fish but was confused when the fish went on a run and actually pulled line off my reel. The standard size fish we catch at this particular spot doesn’t do that? I thought it must be a Spotty. I actually had to loosen the drag a bit to release some pressure. But then those HEAD NODS vibrated a new believe of silver into my toes. The fish was mad and banging his head like some one listening to Whiplash from Metallica.

The next couple of minutes was just pull and reel pull and reel, every time I had a chance. The fish would every now and again surge forward taking back some line. Then it was my turn again to pump and reel, pump and reel. Gradually he came closer and closer until he was in the channel close to the shore break.

He felt heavy and just like a Spotty started swimming horizontal with the gutter in front of me. Then he went on another run, stopped and shook his head again a couple of times. He didn’t like being hooked. I switched on my headlight to see if I could spot what was giving me so much stick.

I followed my line to the water with my eyes but couldn’t see what it was. He was a bit shy and didn’t like coming into the light so much and went for another dive. This time I had to run forward because I tightened up on the drag to put more pressure on and pull the fish a bit harder.

I slowly pulled back on the rod and with that a small swell lifted the fish into the spotlight. Wow, the sight I saw, a brilliance of purple and silver! Not a huge fish but definitely over 10kgs, its difficult to say exactly, but it was big. At that moment the world came to a standstill and I have to admit that I probably panicked a little more than I should have.

He was still banging his head and I thought I should get him onto land ASAP. With the next wave rolling towards me I started walking backwards, slowly putting just enough pressure on him to make a gentle beach landing. Then the hook popped out. Just like that! I ran towards the sea to try and grab him but he was gone.

I was so disgusted I couldn’t even swear, I was lost for words. Have a look at the cover picture, the one where the mother duck stares into the drain. Do you see that sad sickening feeling on her face? That’s how I felt!

 

I’ve been thinking about this fish the whole day and its consuming me, I think I’m going mad. But tonight I’ll be back at the water to see if I can recover some of my marbles or… “ducklings”!

 

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

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