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Wahoo: don’t they have tails?

Nothing
makes a fish bigger than almost being caught – unless of course something
bigger decides to take a bite out of it, then the bite, similar to the
perpetrator, grow at a phenomenal rate!

Five miles off St Lucia and two hours into
a morning’s session, the 36ft Bertram Xiphius
(pronounced zifus) Seeker went about her business. Cruising at 7 knots, the
untouched lures bobbed, splashed and darted under and over the rolling
Caribbean, much to the chagrin of her fare anxious anglers.

Sure, there’d been bait fish, we’d even had
a paying guest throwing up/in some groundbait but to no avail, the lures, like
the beer remained untouched.

“Time for a change of lure,” said boathand
Cleus Joseph. No one really took much notice— the constant throbbing of the
twin Perkins has quite a debilitating effect. The game of pointing out cloud
formations had reached its natural conclusion, that’s to say end, when Xiphius’ owner, Tony Windsor could make
out a nude Mexican dwarf riding a bicycle with a string of onions — no, there
was only one winner there. In short, we’re all bored.

With a splash that no one heard, the
rapalla went over the side and a wahoo’s fate was sealed.

“I can see Landan Bridge, and cor, look there’s
. . .”

The cloud game was back but London Tony was
cut short as the click, click, click, of a reel under pressure escalated into
the shrill scream of a fleeing fish—a big one. No-one sat in the fighting chair
but we all covetously eyed it — a kind of grown up musical chairs, ensued—when
the music (reel) stops it’s the first one to sit in the chair who gets to fight
the fish. You get the picture?

Tony’s no longer looking at the clouds.
With his hand shielding his eyes, he stares at a distant point beneath the
horizon where he’s expecting the furious fish to vent his spleen skyward. One
of the two paying customers is smoking (not literally). He’s got his hands full
and the other is still groundbating—the music stops. I’m in!

I’m holding on, and I mean this in the
strictest sense, to a tiger by the tail. The rod has a life of its own. Bent
almost in half (similar to the groundbaiter) the line flashes out at as the
fish puts as much distance as possible between him and his chips–to whit—me!

Pumping furiously for 30 minutes, the runs
had slowed, the retrieved line being a welcome indication of who was doing
what, and to whom.

“Cam on Milton,” said affable cockney Tony,
“blady arry up, it’s getin bleedin’
dark, the only fing gettin clowser is bladdy Martinique.”

Ahh, those cockneys.

And then . . . nothing!

No runs, just a dead weight. What a welcome
relief! The fish, knowing his fate was sealed, had decided to come quietly,
yep, that was surely it. Isn’t that blood in the water?

“Stone me! Samfink’s had a bleedin’go at
it!” said Tony.

The groundbaiter moved aside as the gaffed
wahoo came aboard, or rather some of it did. Almost cleaved in half and with a
huge gaping wound in the side, the subdued wahoo looked mortified.

“That would have been a bleedin’ record,
mate. ‘Ave you always been so lacky?”

What was left of the wahoo weighed in at
just over 60lbs. It’s estimated that its full weight would have been around
120, but to reiterate my opening paragraph ‘nothing makes a fish bigger than
almost being caught’ but by what is the question?

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