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What's your best "the one that got away" story?

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What's your best "the one that got away" story?


Old 03-07-2018, 07:29 AM
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Default What's your best "the one that got away" story?

Mine's a little different. Years ago I was fishing in Destin during the October fishing rodeo. We had been using the same captain and crew for a few years and always had a pretty good catch although never won any daily, weekly or overall prizes. When we called to make our reservation, we were told by Hal (our captain) that he was not participating in the rodeo this year. He said the Chamber of Commerce had not contributed what he considered to be their fair share of the prize money so he was opting out. He said he understood if we decided to book with a captain who was participating. We told him not to worry, we weren't that concerned about being in the rodeo, we just wanted to get out there with him and his wife June (also his first mate) and wet some line. The first day out I landed a 47 lb black fin tuna! Would have for sure taken the daily prize and probably won the overall $10k prize (although I didn't have the heart to follow it to make sure, I didn't want to know!)

So, my "one that got away" wasn't the fish, it was the cash! Of course my consolation prize was the wonderful fight that fish gave me and the even more wonderful dinners I had since tuna is my favorite!

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Old 03-07-2018, 07:42 AM
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Mid 80’s. I’m 15 and mom and dad let me and my buddy go to keys for a week and camp. 15 ft stumpnocker skiff with 20 hp Johnson tiller. We had more guts than sense, and planned on catching them all. Glass calm day and we are 10 miles out trolling for mobey dick. I had a Lewis speed spool on my bass rod laying in the back of the boat with a spinner bait tied on. Did I say more guts than sense? Anyway, the spinner bait was trailing a foot or two behind the boat and I was on the tiller. I turn to look at it and there just below it is an eyeball, a damn big eyeball lol. Never hooked, just swam away, but every time I’m on the water I remember that fish.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:46 AM
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I refuse to discuss lol, let's just say it was 300 lbs worth 80 to 90k, and it's head hit transom 2 or 3 times
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:53 AM
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Have caught many larger fish (tuna) but will always remember a big Striper that got away (25 yrs ago?). Fishing early one morning on the Grady, tossing eels up in to some rocks, hooked up big time, started peeling line, could not stop it. I was fishing spinning gear at the time. Next thing you know the spool splits in half and pops off in to the water! I tried grabbing it, handlining, etc. Could not get the fish. It broke off. Never saw it.

I still have not caught my 50# striper...
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:02 AM
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Not my story, but about 10 years ago a friend fought a monster swordfish for 11 hours through the night only to have it pull the hook in the morning near the boat and swim away.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:05 AM
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Last year during Military Appreciation Day out of MHC we just switched from trolling to bottom fishing. We got each of the soldiers with us rigged up and on the bottom. I rigged up another rod and dropped to the bottom. Hooked a solid trigger fish and passed the rod to over of the soldiers. While he was working on bringing it up, the soldier on the other side of the boat had one about to the surface, so I went to land it. Got him taken care of and got back to the other side off the boat as my buddy is getting ready to swing the other trigger in to the boat. He grabs the 100# leader and pulls a huge trigger out of the water... and the hook breaks. I only caught a glimpse of it, but it was big. That evening I texted my buddy the pic below and asked him if the one we lost was this big. He said "Bigger... it was like a fat door mat."

The trigger pictured is allegedly bigger than the rod and reel all-tackle record.

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Old 03-07-2018, 08:22 AM
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When I was around 17, inexperienced, and just beginning my obsession with fishing, the mighty striped bass was the one species I never was able to hook up with. One day so determined I wen't to the tackle shop loaded up on eels and buck-tails and other tackle, hopped in the family boat, which was a cruiser not a fishing boat, and made my way to the plum island gut off Orient point. Dropped an eel down in the turbulent water of the gut and after a few minutes... tap tap tap. I set the hook. It was finally happening. Im standing on the big swim platform of the cruiser as I reeled her up. Line was peeling off my penn jigmaster at a rate I had never experienced before. I start to see the shape of the fish below and my heart was racing. Finally I bring it to the boat thinking the fight was over but she wasn't ready and took another run, line peeling off the reel. Im in awe of the fish's power. Brought her back to the boat again, trying to avoid another run and get her into the boat, I high stick my rod and swing the fish onto the swim platform. The fish starts thrashing around like crazy and at this point Im on my hands and knees trying to subdue the fish in true googan fashion. Somehow during all this thrashing the hook came out and being on the swim platform there was nothing stopping her from flapping away. Gone. Not even a picture. Probably a 20-25lber but the biggest fish I had ever caught at the time. I was devastated but it hardened my resolve so I fished more and life is better when you fish more.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:04 PM
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Father in law gets a bite. About 10 minutes into the fight an 85-90lb cobia calmly swims to the surface about 30' from the boat. The cobia sounded and we followed him with the boat for 55 minutes. He just slowly swam along. Finally started getting him into the upper water column before he would see the boat and sound again. We were getting close to get a gaff shot. Then the line broke. 3 years later it still hurts.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:18 PM
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Would've been a tournament winning bonefish.

3 adults all above 6' on a 16' hells bay. Get the fish to the boat for the 4th time. Guide keeps missing with his net. Misses the fish for the umpteenth time. Hands my dad the net. He couldn't net a butterfly, much less a good sized bonefish. My dad leans over too hard for the boat, guide goes in the water. Fish spooks and takes me around the poling stand. I am trying to clear the line from the poling stand when the guide comes up cursing, my dad starts cursing the guide, and I start cursing the fish that just broke off because in 7 or so attempts nobody could net the damn thing.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:04 PM
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On a charter in Cuba with the wife. Just landed a mahi when the rod goes off again. Wifeís in the chair and Iím holding the rod for her. I look back and thereís a 40-50 bull mahi on the line. So Iím pissed off since I canít even take a goddamn pics. The captain has the leader and is about to gaff it. One more little jump and off it goes.....o well next time
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:08 PM
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I posted the following here on Hulltruth in April 2007. Sometimes I still feel the soreness

Got in the chair on a blue at just before 8:00 am Sat. at a floater off the LA coast. Lee Leblanc, Captain of the Mrs. Regal, who has caught marlin all over the world called it a grander two hours into the fight. This before we ever saw her.

About 4 – 5 hours into the fight she showed herself for the first (and last) time when she came to the surface. We tried backing down at full throttle but couldn’t get close enough before she sounded again. At one point the bimini was about 20 yards behind the boat. Mike LaSalle, owner of the boat on which we were fishing, Bush Whacker, stated that it was the biggest fish he’d ever seen hooked up.

About 6 – 7 hours into the fight I had gloves on and was trying to stop the spool as she would make her runs. The Tiagra 80 (100 lb test) was on sunset for hours but when she wanted some line, she simply took it. There was no stopping her. My fingers were so numb from trying to hold the spool that when I would try to pump her my hands hardly worked. I cranked for the last three or so hours with both hands.

We tried backing down, getting in front of her, & dragging her to plane her out. Nothing worked very well, or when it did she just took the line right back.

About 8 hours into the fight Lee, who was working the throttles the entire time was trying to keep me encouraged by saying, “Get that fish in the boat and you will be the only person in the world whose first marlin was a grander.” Did I mention this was the first marlin I had ever fought?

Shortly before 6:00 pm she broke the line—almost exactly 10 hours after she hit. At the time she felt just as strong as she did 2 hours into the fight. It was the most incredible display of strength & stamina I had certainly ever seen. The line was so frayed from the fight it was easy to see why it finally gave.

Besides one loud curse word, I didn’t know what to say, except thanks to Capt Lee for a hell of a job on the throttles for 10 hours & to Captain Mike for giving me a chance at a once in a lifetime fish on his boat.

She won; there is no doubt about it. I guess she deserved it.

I wonder if she is as sore as I am.

Can read entire thread here:
10 Hours in the Chair !!!
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:13 PM
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Early 1970s lived on the Lee’s River, Massachusetts, top of Narraganset Bay. Big power plant that sat on Brayton Point about a 1/2 mile away, on the other side of the river. The power plant did all sorts of crazy shit back then which included occasional making some outrageously loud noises followed by an ash cloud that would coat our neighborhood a few times a year, ruining paint jobs on cars and vinyl siding on houses. We all swam in that river, the town even conducted swimming lessons there. A few times a Summer, a wall of foam like 3 foot thick would come from the power plant and coat the entire river. Water was too polluted to eat the shellfish from but all the kids in the neighborhood swam in it constantly. The power plant also discharging LOADS of hot water into the river making it VERY VERY warm. The entire situation was an EPA nightmare. Seemed like there was a lot of cancer in my town to include my Mother. I have no doubt there was a connection to the power plant.

There was so much hot water flowing into the river, even in the Winter in Massachusetts the water in the Lee’s River was WARM and a low cloud/fog layer almost always hung above it in the Winter. You could swim comfortably in the river in April and March was chilly but on a hot day you could swim without going numb. There was good fishing by boat on the other side of the river adjacent to power plant’s hot water discharge. Both big Stripe Bass and Blue Fish could be caught there. On our side of the river, you could catch all sorts of fish without a boat standing out on the rocks. As a kid I caught Fluke, Stripe Bass, Blue Fish a few Squeteague, Eels and lots of Sea Robins and Skates fishing from those rocks. I also would snorkel and pole spear. Visibility was horrific but at the right tide you could see maybe two feet and in the rocks, covered by seaweed there were lots and lots of very big eels, you could also bag the occasional small fluke in the sand. I am sure the water temperature had everything to do with all the eels, I mean it was bizarre how many there were. Things were out of whack down there as a result of the water temperature. In the Winter, water only a few miles away could be FROZEN and the river was probably 55 F, in Summer the river could get well into the 90s and a few miles away the water would have been 75. It was WEIRD.

Now for my story, I am by myself about age 10. There were the remains of an old pier that had long since been destroyed, some big rocks that had been it’s foundation still there. I am walking out on the rocks to fish and happen to look down in a crack between two of the big rocks. Water is flowing in and out of the crack and there is also some snake/eel looking thing in the crack. The whatever it was looked to be as big around as a soft ball and had very colorful circular stripes. I couldn’t see the head or the tail, just about a 2 foot section between the rocks but it was moving and the whatever was alive.

I was somewhat mesmerized by the thing and stared at it for a minute or two but I was also spooked, 10 years old and all alone. This thing, whatever it was had no business being where it was and it freaked me out. I was also scared shirtless thinking about what sort of head with what sort of giant mouth filled with poisonous fangs was on the other end.

YES, I was a pussy, but only 10 and solo. I split, ran home and told my Mother about the creature, she didn't believe me.

That happened about 45 years ago, in the years since, I have made 1000s of dives, all over Okinawa/ South Pacific and the East Coast of the USA to include some shipwrecks over 50 miles offshore and at depths approaching 300 feet, I have yet to see an animal in all those dives that has left me with so many questions.

I know I did not imagine it, that thing whatever it was was THERE. Over the years I’ve rationalized that it might have been some sort of tropical sea snake, that made it’s way up there in the Summer and hung around, lounging in the warm water heated by the power plant and feasting on all the eels. Just a guess, I don’t know.

When I fly West that final time and IF I am lucky enough to meet the big man above, and ask questions, one of them will be,

“ Sir with all due respect, what the fuck did I see that day??”

PS: I’ve run into a few crazy critters over the years but aside from that whatever, I could always identify them.

I’ve previously posted this link in another thread but If you’ve ever wondered what a pissed off North Atlantic ELECTRIC Torpedo Ray looks like check out my video.

For best effect volume up.

Last edited by Mpellet; 03-07-2018 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:41 AM
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From a post I did on another site back '07 about a cow striped bass:

Went out this morning @ dawn, planned on towing tube n worms, but came up on school of pogies splashing. Only had our schoolie sticks for casting so we start pitching trebles at them, planning to switch over to the heavy artillery when we getíem boated.

Didnít get a chance, the 1st one I snag, get him half way to the boat and the water explodes w/ at least a dozen 35"+ fish smacking the pogies, my drag starts screaming, she porpoises and she is BIG. I tighten it down as much as I dare w/ 8 lbs test, but that fish is just going anywhere she pleases. She circles the boat a couple of times over the next few minutes, I get some line back finally, I think I might have chance, but then she heads down stream and there ainít nothing I can do about it.

By the time Tommy gets the boat fired up I can see my spool, in a last ditch effort I put some hand pressure on the reel trying to save the last few yards, he turns towards her and TINK. Gone and $20 worth of line w/ her. What a battle though, been a while since Iíve locked horns w/ one like that. Better believe Iíll be back out there tomorrow.

I got "Walter" bft one too from '12 that should be committed to written word, maybe this thread will light a fire under that...
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:16 AM
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2 Short stories
1) Drifting over the flats looking for bait. I had some, but wanted to really stock up. (We later caught over 100 fish, mostly trout, in the following 3 hours.) Suddenly, and I have a witness, a spotted sea trout comes up below the boat. I look at it and I look at the shaft of the trolling motor next to me and get a pretty good eyeball on it. It was no less than 4'. I know there is some distortion when looking into the water, but it was only inches below the water. I didn't have my cast net loaded or I would have thrown. Beyond amazing.
2) Trolling a color change in the middle of summer. No bites. Look off to the side and a 50+lb bull dolphin is just slowly cruising by opposite direction as me. Went right by the baits, followed a few minutes later by a smaller cow. Fish just weren't biting that day.
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Old 03-08-2018, 03:46 PM
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]5 year quest, 20 minute fight, Now a lifetime obsession......TARPON ....... ICM
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Last edited by Ice Cream Man; 03-08-2018 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ice Cream Man View Post
]5 year quest, 20 minute fight, Now a lifetime obsession......TARPON ....... ICM
Yep. Took me 4 charters to get one, but my first release was a 120# class fish. Tarpon are an addiction. I'll be back in Boca Grande for a charity tournament in May. I can't wait. I have caught all sorts of fish. Tarpon fishing is an addiction.
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:50 AM
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I was 19 ...inexperienced .... she was 18 ....
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:09 AM
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Default The One That Got Away

5 year quest, 20 minute fight, Now a lifetime obsession......TARPON ....... ICM

QUOTE=TorFed;11211199]Yep. Took me 4 charters to get one, but my first release was a 120# class fish. Tarpon are an addiction. I'll be back in Boca Grande for a charity tournament in May. I can't wait. I have caught all sorts of fish. Tarpon fishing is an addiction.[/QUOTE]

Yep X 2...

Back in the 1970's, two college classmates and I towed my 14 foot Johnboat with 9.8hp Mercury behind a Pinto station wagon on my first trip to the Keys, tent-camping at Bahia Honda.

Hundreds of tarpon were rolling under the bridge, and to up our chances we spread out, dropping my buddies on separate platforms. We threw jigs at them from the bridge pilings.

Sure enough, Dave eventually hooked up with freshwater bass tackle: a 10# spinning outfit with a 1/2 ounce white bucktail on an 18" 45# steelon leader. (We had no idea what we were doing.)
I jumped into the boat, cranked up, drove over to the next platform, and Dave jumped in to follow the fish.
For the next hour and a half that tarpon towed us all over the bay, jumping at first then just doing the tug-of-war thing and gulping air. Dave, a fair-skinned blonde wearing just shorts and a t-shirt, was baking in the front seat, and I would pour water over and into him to keep him going.
For much of the fight we were just 10 feet behind the fish in shallow water, ending up on the flats just south of No Name Key.
Finally and predictably, the less-than fresh line parted, leaving Dave spent and speechless, and leaving me broken, amazed, and hopelessly hooked on tarpon and on fishing in the Keys.

Looking back, that fish was probably only 75 pounds and wouldn't have placed in any tournament. But 40 years of annual trips to the Keys later, I know that fish has cost me about 1/2 million dollars (and probably delayed my retirement until last December!)
But what we've gained... family memories, great fishing and great friends, has been worth it all!
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:30 AM
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Summer of 1985 a couple buddies of mine and I were fishing on The 4 T’s charter out of Rudee Inlet with Capt Fred Tyler. One of the guys had brought his young son along.

We were about 30 miles out of VB and a pretty slow day. One dolphin, one skippy, an atlantic bonito and a citation fat albert in the box.

Something really big hit a cedar plug off the starboard rigger. It was the son’s turn. Capt Tyler said somebody else is going to have to spell him after a bit. The boy’s father sat in for him after about 10 minutes. Neither of them had much experience fishing, so it was just getting Capt Fred more perturbed than he normally was.

After about a 30 minute fight, the mate finally sees the fish, and Capt Fred heads down to the lower station to start backing down on it. Really big tuna, in the 100+# range.
For a split second the father let a bit of slack in the line and that was it.

I thought Capt Fred was going to have a heart attack he was so PO’d.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Re-Bait View Post
I refuse to discuss lol, let's just say it was 300 lbs worth 80 to 90k, and it's head hit transom 2 or 3 times
Mako Mania?
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