Gut Rumbles

March 08, 2009

The biggest fish I ever caught

Originally published February 13, 2004

We were trolling on a pretty rough day when something big hit my line. I hooked him and realized that I had a handful. The drag was spinniing like crazy and making a noise like locusts at night. I kept trying to anchor the bastard and he kept running. That was a big fish and the captain let him drag the boat for a while just to make him tired. I had all I could handle just hanging on to the bastard.

I finally got the pole stuck in the Captain's Chair, and I commenced to play that rascal. All other poles came out of the water and it was then a battle between me and that fish. I saw him break the water once, and he was huge. I thought I had Moby Dick on the end of the line.

He kept up that fight for 45 minutes until I finally wore him out and hauled him, inch by inch, back to the boat. He was a 55-pound Amberjack and one pissed of fish. He was big enough that we wouldn't fit into the cooler on the boat. We gigged him, whipped his angry ass with a baseball bat, then hung him on the bow of the boat to show him off.

I have a picture of me with that fish and the damn thing is almost as big as I am. He was at least 4' long. I won $50 for catching the biggest fish that day, then gave the amberjack to a black guy on the dock when we got back home. He knows how to cook them and I don't. Cooking an amberjack is a lot like cooking a barracuda. Not all of that meat is good to eat.

But I put $50 in my pocket, sent an old man home with a big-ass fish in his hands and drank a few beers to celebrate. I still had to go home and clean about 40 black sea bass, two trigger fish and a Red Snapper the size of a front-porch doormat. That snapper was an awesome thing. He had a head the size of a football. I cut fillets the size of pants legs off of him. The snapper weighed 33 pounds, one of the top ten ever caught in the state.

I had a fish fry the next weekend. Eveyrbody enjoyed the story about the Amerbjack catch, but more people liked the black sea bass and the snapper. A 55-pound amberjack is a fun fish to catch, but give me black sea bass a or red snapper to feed my friends.

We didn't have many leftovers.

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