The Greatest Fish I Never Caught
(Originally written in February 2017)
Let me tell you the story about The Greatest Fish I Never Caught.
It happened this morning. Hanging out on Maui is pretty awesome, especially with family. And when you have your two kids, 19 and 22, the wifey and then a bunch of other nieces and nephews, well time gets used up pretty quick.
With all the water around me all I want to do is fish. Because it is in my DNA. But, when your daughter wants to go exploring, go on a drive or your wife wants to have sunset dinners or morning walks and runs, well, you have to do it because how often does that get to happen in Hawaii?
But, those morning walks and sunset dinners are right at the perfect time to fish. So getting my line wet has been a thing to do just when time allows. Usually, during the middle of the day. The worst time to fish.
Now I've been catching lots of fish, many types, but none the size my Hawaiian dreams are made of. So I made a plan and told the family that I am getting up early tomorrow. No walk. No run. No breakfast by the sea. I'm going to fish without disturbances in the morning.
I head out with two rods, squid for bait and a coffee before sunrise right in front of the Maui Marriott on Kaanapali Beach. It is there where a football fields worth of clean sand is between two coral reefs.
For two hours I had only one nibbly bite. Plenty of beach walkers came by and chatted me up when all I wanted to do was watch the tip of my rod. I cast my 10 foot rod with squid on the hook out again right beyond where the waves begin to form while a new conversationalist from Chicago decided to distract me with every question under the sun. And then with the rod in the beach rod holder sticking up high, wham! And then an even harder wham, more like a bam. My rod rolled over and stayed over while line peeled out. And then the rod, still in the rod holder began to fall in the sand. I grabbed the rod and yelled, "did you see that?"
I started fighting the fish and it just took off so hard. I kept saying, "wow, look at that, holy crap," excitedly. My new Chicago friend started taking pics and saying, "wow" and "oh my".
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It was awesome. The power of the fish was awesome as it went outward and up the beach. So fast and never slowing down. Then back towards me, but angling out and then right back, away from the shore at a slight angle. I slightly loosened the drag on my reel because I wanted there to be no shot at losing the fish.
I hear my wife. She is trying to run from the Marriott to where I am on the beach because she wants to video with a good fight going. She also knew how bad I wanted a good fish. This felt like my Maui dream fish from the beach.
Never bring a camera out during a fight. Just as my wife approached me at my side, with her phone camera about to video the fish pulled hard right. I could not stop it. I'll bet half the 20# braid on my reel was gone. Maybe more, but I never looked. Then with a muted snap, my line, the mainline broke. And I didn't even really care. I turned sideways to new Chicago friends and said, "wow, did you see that? That was awesome, wow."
I couldn't stop saying, "wow, man, holy crap, awesome."
I turned around to my wife, bent over and said, "man, that was awesome, totally awesome."
Jennifer, my wife was so bummed and disappointed for me.
I was not.
It was so awesome. I was so excited.