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Still Learning, St. Marks, 7/5/04, long, **UPDATED**

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Still Learning, St. Marks, 7/5/04, long, **UPDATED**

Postby dbplug » July 6th, 2004, 11:04 pm

After cleaning up from the 4th of July block party Monday morning, one of my neighbors and I twisted each others arms for about 5 seconds and headed to the LH for a short fishing trip. I should know better but I had a half a tank of gas leftover from St. Joe Bay, “cuz you know gas won’t keep”. Works for me.

Got in about 4’ of grass and caught some pins. Headed out to spotty bottom in 6-7’. Set a very slow drift with surecatches and a live pin on 60 yds of 25lb test off the back. Caught 2 shorts pretty quickly. 20 minutes later something big starts bothering the pin, float is jumping around, no pull on the line.

Let me stop here and tell you that my fishing buddy this day is more experienced than I am. He has caught many fish in many different parts of both North and Central America. He has caught just about every fish that is native to our parts. He is a local and goes fishing frequently. Trustworthy, smart, knowlegable, heart of gold, and good company. He lurks here from time to time so I will protect his identity.

Well, float goes under, still no pull on the line. Must be a shark or Cobia. I am tempted to set the hook, but I wait. Float comes back up. No movement. I figure it is gone, count to sixty, pull in the slack, give the rod a short twitch and zoom. Thing runs from 12:00 to 2:30 in a NY minute. If this is a cobia, he is playing with me. Keep telling myself not to set the hook, I have been here before. I get encouragement from my neighbor. Float pops up for about 20 seconds, goes under again. Oh man this thing is playing with me! Line goes completely slack, no float. Break off? Did I tie it right? Have I got the right hook? The right leader? Start reeling the slack line in, get about 30 yards in and the float pops up, ala Jaws.

Tell myself it is gone when the line goes tight then slack then tight and finally goes slack again. Float pops up from 3:00 and goes fast across the bow to 7:30 on the other side, screams out about 100 yds and stays tight. I am about in a cold sweat, I am 20 minutes into this. Look to my buddy, he is all smiles. Tell him its now or never. He says go for it, what have you got to lose? I give the tight rod a quick drop and tighten to set the hook. I am prepared to feel nothing on the other end. Yank the rod up, had to have set it, had to have. Sure enough, one angry fish. Hook appears to be set. Screaming drag, running left, right, close, far. Shoot, I should have peed before we left. .Question knot tying and leader material again. Question my bladder control. Arms already tired but adrenaline is rushing. Buddy says its set, hope he is right.

Another 15 minutes of the previously described antics and it finally gets close to the boat. It’s a Cobia. Not sure how big, but bigger than 33”. I think he kinda rolled sideways for a glance as if to say, “not today my friend”. Takes off about 50 yards and we play some more. I mention to my buddy about my leader and hook worries. Explain to him how I tied it. He says don’t worry. I get the fish back to the boat pretty quick this time. It takes off again. Get it back to the boat again. We agree that the fish is tiring, but do not agree to the extent of its tiredness. Takes off again during this discussion. Buddy grabs the gaff and says it is getting late. Says he thought he heard thunder. Asks how my bladder is holding up. I call him a smartass.

I get him to the boat again, buddy says he is ready to gaff him. I say he is green. Buddy says not that green. I say five minutes, buddy says ok, but he thinks he is ready. Five minutes pass, get the cobia alongside the boat, he is about 40”. Still thrashing some. I ask buddy if he is ready. Buddy says yes. I say ”I want to give him 5 more minutes”. Just as I say the word “more” he is gaffed and in the boat at my feet. Perfect. Lands right between the console and the gunwale. I did not have time to enjoy the moment. This thing was beyond green. The maddest fish I ever saw. And so begins “Dumb and Dumber III”.

I hope you get a good mental picture what follows. It all happens in a flash. It is really noisy, like girl scouts screaming in reaction to boys or cooties or cockroaches. I drop the rod behind me and throw myself on the fish. The line comes off the hook. I put my hand over its exposed gill plate to hold it down. I have my torso in parallel to the length of its body. I am on top of the fish. (Reminds me of my teenage years.) The fish is 40” easy, I am 66”. Well I could not get my feet or knees on this things tail. In between about number 100 and 120 of the hard tail smacks to the nuticles; I holler to my buddy to get the little Louisville slugger in the forward hold. My gut is killing me. Didn’t do my bladder much good either. I am wet. I am slimy, I am sweaty, smelly, gilly and somehow happy. Man are the boys killing me. This fish is still going nuts(literally).

My buddy says “I have it, watch out”. I have complete confidence in my partner. He is an experienced fisherman. He moves in for the stunning blow. WHAM! Perfect delivery. I now have two broken fingers on my right hand, never really felt it, my groin hurt worse, the moment and all. Buddy says, “oh man, sorry!”. I say “its allright, f it, hit him, quick!”. Buddy reels back again, not so hard this time. WHAM! Bingo this time he manages the perfect shot to the back of the head. My head. Felt that one. Thought it was lightning. Things go black then I see stars for a moment. Faintly hear my buddy say “oh, man! Sorry!”. I say “ Hit the Fish this time!” He does, three quick and successfully harder raps to the head of the cobia. Cobia is still. I roll off. Turn myself over and slowly get to my hands and knees. Despite the groin, the fingers, and back of the head I look to the left at the fish and smile, just beautiful. I crawl to the platform at the front of the boat. I can’t look at my buddy. I feel like puking. I sit down. My buddy is still apologizing. I giggle. Must be the blow to the head. He drops the bat, but not near me. I begin to look for the bimini cover and vests and heavy stuff to cover this fish with. Neighbor probably envisions tomorrows headlines “Man Deliberately Thrown Overboard by Neighbor”.

Believe EVERYTHING people tell you about Cobia. If you catch a cobia and are going to KEEP IT, take this advice first and foremost. When you get it in the boat – cover it with a blanket and beat the ever living snot out of it. When you think you have beat it enough – beat it again. This fish revived and started thrashing again, up, once midway up against the console and out of the boat. My buddy was in shock. I was too dazed to respond immediately. I leaned over to the edge of the boat along with my partner and looked down in the water. That Cobia was three feet from the side of the boat. Again, he rolled sideways a little as if to say ”Not today my friend…” and slowly swam away.

Doctor says I will be fine. He thinks I ain’t right, but thinks I will be fine. Had to stay up all last night, concussion and stuff. And I will be back with a blanket, an aluminum bat, a sap, some brass knuckles, a Sumo wrestler, etc. I have to get some sleep.

Casey Donovan
Last edited by dbplug on December 13th, 2013, 10:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
for petes sake
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Postby Aucilla » July 6th, 2004, 11:17 pm

ohhh my gawwd.....
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Postby BIG » July 7th, 2004, 7:07 am

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Postby dstockwell » July 7th, 2004, 7:19 am

Holy krap, what a time that waz. :o
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Postby Sea Fox » July 7th, 2004, 7:37 am

Great report, If you had a video of that you would be rich. Sorry about your injurys but that is a funny story.
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Postby GC » July 7th, 2004, 7:55 am

MAN!! I don't care who you are, that's funny right there!! :smt043 Until the end......I can't believe he still got away!!! :cry:
Great story...... :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Postby mjsigns » July 7th, 2004, 8:36 am

Something about the experience reminds me of "Steve Erwin", and the "twilight-zone".

Next time take a pistol. :smt068
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Postby Dale Hollow » July 7th, 2004, 10:09 am

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Postby Sir reel » July 7th, 2004, 10:55 am

Great job of reporting DP :thumbup: Everyone who fishes out from the Light House needs to be afraid...... be very afraid..... the killer cobia still swims..... :o
"Good Judgement" comes from experience, ... and a lot of that..... results from "Bad Judgement".
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Postby dbplug » July 7th, 2004, 11:06 am

Saw the neighbor this morning as we were both walking to the street to get our news papers. He waved to me, I waved back with my bandaged hand. He hollered, "I wish I hadn't broken THAT particular finger".
for petes sake
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Postby Sea Gurl » July 7th, 2004, 12:51 pm

UNBELIEVABLE And here I thought Fish Masterson was Champ of Fish Story Telling.

I laughted so hard reading this that I had tears running down my face :smt022 I can't remember when I've laughted sooooo hard :smt082

You also show what a good sport you are by not letting such trivial mishaps come between good neighbors.

dbplug - You be the Champ :smt029

Thanks for making my day and I hope your recovery is a swift one.

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Postby seatrout99 » July 7th, 2004, 2:59 pm

You weren't fishing with Reel Country were you????

You just described most of our fishing trips together................ :o :-D
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Postby Atticus » July 7th, 2004, 4:29 pm

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Postby rocket » July 7th, 2004, 5:02 pm

That was damn funny!!! :smt044 I hate to hear you guys lost the fish, the rest of the story was damn funny!!!
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Postby SneakyBooger » July 7th, 2004, 5:34 pm

Great tale db! Hilarious! Bet that cobia doesn't feel quite right either today...

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