Arrived back off the honeymoon on thursday. Just thought I would post up a pic of the only fish that I caught while I was away. Fishing in Sri Lanka was a no go due to very rough seas which was disappointing but I managed to arrange a trip in the maldives to go lure fishing on a boat. It was billed as a casting trip so I was expecting to catch loads of jacks and barracuda but I only got to make ten casts which was annoying. For the most part we were trolling lures behind the boat which was a traditional maldivian cruiser.
We sat for hours with not a peep until something smacked my lure like a freight train. I nearly had the rod wrenched from my hands. I struck up and held on for dear life as I saw a huge shape erupt out of the water in a truly acrobatic flip. Not once but three times it did this and it was a real spectacle to watch. That was all I could do for a while, Just watch the line getting stripped off the huge Penn Senator while the fighting belt went on and the rod was placed into the holder on it.
My arms grew tired very quickly and I held on very tight with both hands to the rod which bent and flexed with the powerful surges. At last my guide told me to begin winching the beast in. This was just as hard as holding on as I was holding on to the rod with one hand while furiously turning the reel with the other. The fish then had other ideas as it neared the boat and went on another surging run. By this time I had already been fighting the fish for 15 minutes and was exhausted. My back was killing me and my arms were on fire.
I was told to start reeling in again and prayed for it to be the last time I needed to do it as I was on my last legs. The heat was incredible and the sweat was pouring off me and loosening my grip on the rod and reel all the time.
At last I watched as the angle on the line grew nearer to the boat as the skipper brought us round to get the fish directly behind us. I continued to winch the fish in in a last gasp of energy and saw two guides bend over the end of the boat with gaffs in hand. I was about to see the beast which had left me feeling like I had just run a marathon.
I heard the cry of sailfish and the gaffs went in and it was hauled on board. I felt a pang of guilt as I saw the amazing creature in the flesh and also the gaffs dragging it on with blood coming from it. I have never been good when it comes to seeing fish in harms way but this is the way they do it over there and nothing goes to waste. I handed the rod over to a guide and sat down with a fag while I looked at the stunning creature I had caught and felt sorry for it as its eye twitched as its life ebbed away. It felt like a sad loss of a great creature. I was feeling a mix of utter elation and also guilt and sadness.
After a while we steamed for home and pulled into the jetties. One of the resorts managers came to meet me as they had heard that I had bagged a big one and wanted to see it for themselves. We stood on the end of the boat and took a few pictures and weighed it (102lbs!!!) as It was the biggest they had had caught in a long time in that area of the maldives and my picture went up in the reception area as a way to celebrate it. We were offered to have some prepared for our tea which we agreed to and it was the most fantastic thing I have ever eaten. It did not taste like fish at all but rather like a combination of chicken, turkey, tuna and butter. It felt like a way of honouring the fish to actually eat some and not let it be a death for deaths sake. It was also the freshest fish I have ever eaten having only been caught 3 hours before we ate some.
I assume the rest of it went to the restaurant or surrounding islands as it is a very expensive fish and it will not have been wasted.
Well here it is in all its glory. A really beautiful fish and the strongest fighter I have ever experienced. I know this is a sea fish in the coarse forum but I am always in this forum so thought I would put it here for you all to see:
On the boat:
On the plate (half eaten ):