Saturday, May 28, 2011

Adrian's Favorite Fishy Tale

As I think about all the fish I've caught, one stands out in particular.  It's not about me versus a huge black marlin or something like that.  On the contrary, I was only 10 years old.  I remember because I was in 5th grade. 

It actually started pretty early in the fishing day.  I think I'd only been fishing for about 45 minutes.  It was actually kind of annoying because I was catching only very small pinfish.  Pinfish by nature are pretty small, but these could barely fit on the hook.  That was, if I could hook them at all.  That seemed to be the problem.  I could feel them trying to bite my lure, but they were so small I couldn't hook them. 

The rest of the tale I will tell from the point of view after it all happened.  An experienced fisherman that I told the tale to explained to me what most likely happened.

The old fisherman explained that I probably had a small pinfish on my line, but it felt strange.  I wasn't used to having such a small fish on the line.  That's when, as a 10 year old would do, I jerked the ever-loving crap out of my line.  In other words, I jerked it like I was setting the hook.  Of course, that would be the exact moment that a giant cobia came up to bite the pinfish on the line, and got hooked by my setting of the hook.

I jerked that line like I never had before.  And then, the cobia jerked back.  It launched me into the side of the boat.  My rod hit the side of the boat, and made a thundering clap like a baseball bat hitting a ball.  Really, if the old yellow boat hadn't of had such tall sides, I might have gone overboard.

That's when the cobia came to the surface, and shot across the water like a bullet.  I'd never seen a fish move so fast.  In fact, to this day I've only seen a shark move faster.  This thing had power, and was moving like I had never seen.  And of course, that's when Mom started yelling, "JOHN!  IT'S A SHARK!  IT'S A SHARK!"  In all fairness, it did look like a shark and move like a shark.  The black tip sharks were known to move through Tarpon Springs so it definitely could have been a shark.

I managed to get balanced, and lean back to give me more strength against the cobia.  That's when Mom kept up her screaming.  "JOHN!  JOHN!  JOHN!  GET THE NET!  GET THE NET!"  For the record, John is my Dad.  Also for the record, he really manages to keep his cool.  He got up beside me, and waited with the net.  I do want to point out that he never in my life took a rod from me.  He let me fight the fish the whole way.  I managed to get the cobia to the surface, and like a pro my Dad netted it perfectly. 

That's when I noticed it wasn't a shark.  Dad quickly said, "It's a cobia!"  Which of course lead to my brilliant statement, "What's a cobia?"  Dad quickly explained what a cool fish it was, and how 80's cool I was to have caught one. 

We took pictures, had a fun time, and then Dad said some words he.... well.... He said some words that kind of started a "disagreement" between him and my Mom.  "Ok, let's put him back." 

"WHAT???!!!!!!"  Yeah, my Mom did not like giving up fish.  My Mother was always 1960's prim and proper with a beautiful, easygoing attitude.  Her and my Dad never argued in front of us kids, so it was strange to see them arguing over this fish.

Dad said, "Carolan (my Mom), cobia have to be 33 inches to keep.  This one is a big 20 inches, but it's not big enough to keep."  Great words by my Dad.

That's when my Mom gave him the evil eye.  My Mom was always about being legal, and following the rules.  But again, my Mother did not like giving up fish.  Then there was silence.  A long, evil eye silence.  But after two minutes out of the water, Dad finally decided to put the cobia back into the water.  He had to move the cobia back and forth to get it started, but it finally swam away. 

I was just amazing tired after that.  I shot my whole day's energy on that one fish.  I had to take a break for an hour.  Then I took a nap.  Then I only fished for pinfish the rest of the day.  Like I said, I shot my whole day's energy on one fish.

Now, I know that fishermen like to tell tall tales, but like I said, there were pictures taken.  Just remember, this picture was taken when I was in my ugly duckling phase.  Also for the record, the cobia measured in at exactly 20 inches.

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