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Funny Stories - The Biggest Fish I Ever Caught

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The biggest fish I ever caught was out of Key West, FL. We had chartered a fishing boat and had been out all day and had not caught anything. The captain was not going to give up and decided to troll the Key West harbor where the tarpon were. The fishing lines were quickly becoming fouled with weeds, so the decision was made to use a downrigger. For those of you that are not familiar with a downrigger, it is simply a device that allows you to drop your lure/bait below the surface to a desired depth. The mate, who had been smoking some weed, attempted to connect the downrigger to the boat. He was a little too high and failed to connect it properly. It went overboard and quickly sank out of sight. The captain threw a fit and used an abundance of colorful language. He had one more downrigger and told the mate that if he dropped this one, he would be going in after it.

 

Now, the lines were set and I settled into the fighting chair. We had been fishing all day and I was tired. I started dozing off in the chair. When all of a sudden, the mate, who had been standing behind me, yells “fish on”. I was awakened abruptly and watched the mate set the hook and slam the fishing rod between my legs. Let me explain that the rod is connected to a belt that goes around you and the only thing holding you in that chair and the boat, is the strength of your legs.

 

The fishing rod that I had was bent extremely over and these were heavy rods made for catching sailfish and marlin. Now, I am envisioning that I had just hooked “Moby Dick”. This fish was so heavy that I couldn’t even reel it in. The captain then said prepare to reel as fast as you can because he was going to back the boat up. He started backing the boat and I am reeling as fast as I can. I have never caught anything like this before. I can’t imagine what this monster could be. The theme of “Jaws” is now playing in my head.

 

We are now right over the fish. I can barely reel it in at this time. Everyone is gathered at the back of the boat anxiously awaiting the monster to reveal itself. When all of a sudden it comes to the surface. The mate yells “you have caught a bottom fish”. All of the tension immediately melted away and laughter broke out.  It turns out that I had hooked a submerged tree. In my defense, it was a really big tree. This was before cell phones and I did not have a camera to capture the event. In true fishing tradition, we released the tree back to the deep to fight another day. I have caught many fish in my day and this still remains the biggest one I ever caught.

 

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