When we went to the Hathaway Bridge fishing a couple days back Tin called me over to the rail. He had found two halves of a pin fish trap rolling freely in the water. All in good shape and unsecured by any means. Got to love those tourists tossing things in the water. With a couple tosses of the jig heads Tin now has his own pin fish trap. It is one of the small ones kind of like two wire trashcans locked top to top. For two days he baited and hoped to fill it. This trap worked well except the little trap catches little pin fish but not to worry. We gathered up the 750's and the light weights and went to the shark zone. Once there we tossed out a couple of pin fish on the lines and took the light weights around the dock trying to catch a Sea Bass or two.
It wasn't long before Tin's "Got Something!" rang in the air. He pulled up a Sea Bass and while trying to stretch it to 10 inches I hooked something also. Mine turned out to be another Lizard fish, what good are they. I left the lizard fish on the dock while trying to measure the just too short Sea Bass (it would be nice to catch some more legal ones). Once the Sea Bass was back in the water and trying to figure out what just happened to it, I decided the lizard fish was bait. This was not just any lizard fish but a large one, over a foot long.
I thought about cutting it up into chunks but did't want to catch a catfish so in through the tail went the circle hook and out into the bay went the lizard fish. After about 15 minutes I reeled it in to "check" the bait. He wasn't moving so a few incisions with a knife and back out he went. Just a couple minutes later the drag began to sing! zzzzzzzzzzzzz
The first run was toward the bridge about 100 yards plus! I had walked the plank all the way to the end trying to keep the line off the dock. When the fish started to turn it was time to ask if he was ready to take over. He gave it a little thought and passed. I think he was starting to hear, "Da Dumm, Da Dumm, Da Dumm". His 750 combo is a bit oversize for him still and he struggles with the 2 foot sharks. What ever was on this line was well over 4 feet as the 41" Cobia from May didn't test the light weight tackle this much. It was now time for the second run and it was straight at us! Winding in as fast as I could trying to keep the tension on and then he passed by. It was not time to run to the opposite end of the dock while holding the pole out as far as possible to prevent the line from hitting the dock. The whole time the reel was screaming as line kept coming off again. There is a light pole near this end set back 4 feet and a barrier to block passage and make you go around. You actually have to do the bear hug thing and pass the rod around the pole to continue. After passing the pole with line still pulling off the reel is when the bad news came. The fish had threaded the needle and went under the sea wall and around the last pylon. The line continued to sing.
Then the reel quietened down. I broke the bad news to Tin that we may never see this fish. We stood there patiently for 15 minutes talking with a couple that was "dock walking" and watched the whole thing. Every couple minutes another 5-10 yards would pull off the reel. Too even complicate matters worse (or maybe better) I handed Tin the reel while I tossed the second line back out. After a few minutes the drag on reel number two started to make noise and I tried to set the hook on it. MISSED! So back to line number one. I took the gaff and tried to find out if it was definitely under the dock or just hung on the side. definitely under!. So we continued to play tug-o-war with a creature from the depths of the bay. The friction from the dock kept us from man handling him in but worked in his favor as he had nothing to loose at this point. The outcome was looking bleak. He continued to take line every couple minutes but we could not reel any in. Then it happened, the 80 pound braided line gave. It had been sawing on the dock too many times.
Tin tried to cast out in hopes of hooking the line on the other side of the pylon with out luck. That was only dreaming, pulling a line in snagged on a pylon, tying it to the broken line and starting all over. If you catch a fish in St Andrews Bay area with about 100 yards of green 80 pound braid trailing behind please let us know what it was.
W & T