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Squid technician
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Definitely my 8.1 pound speck that won 1st place in the Orange Beach Saltwater Series.

Sorry I don't have any pics. on the computer. It was 30 inches long. I caught it on a Zoom super fluke in about 4 feet of water.
 

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Don't have a pic on this computer.... it would have to be the 41" Jack I caught a yr and a half ago out of the yak. THAT is the largest fish I've ever caught from the yak. Some guy weighed it and not sure how acurate their scale was at 28lbs. It sure was a blast catching it... taking me on my FIRST GULFCOAST SLEIGH RIDE!!! Woohoooooo
 

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tunapopper (8/20/2008)Definitely my 8.1 pound speck that won 1st place in the Orange Beach Saltwater Series.

Sorry I don't have any pics. on the computer. It was 30 inches long. I caught it on a Zoom super fluke in about 4 feet of water.
That is one heck of a trout and well deserving of the $10K payout (from what I recall) and a strong testimate to you and kayak fishing! Great job and congrats!:bowdown:bowdown
 

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20 pound king...the only king I've caught out of the yak. I need to do it more often.

He got munched on my a shark.

 

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That would be my 61lb shark. (Itwas the largest fish in the Bill Hargreaves tournament this year by about 30lbs.) One of my 1st kayak trips, I caught a 5ft 40lb king, but spent 5 min trying to hoist it into my yak. After that, I decided a gaff and a camera would be good to have to capture the moment and the fish, so no pics of that one!:takephoto)



 

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">TUESDAY Afternoon, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:date Day="7" Month="11" Year="2006">Nov. 7, 2006</st1:date>. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">This is one really strange fish tale. Hopefully you realize that the really strange ones are usually gospel truth as this one is. Right now, I am totally pooped but I have to get this written before I forget some of the details. Yeah, and I gotta go vote too although my heart is not in voting this time.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I woke up this morning around 4 with a serious fishing itch. Maybe the approaching front started the itch just as a front often triggers a feeding frenzy with the fishes. I checked tide and weather before cooking breakfast. This is unusual for me because, when I get through shaving and dressing, eating is job 1.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I packed camera, cell phone and GPS into my dry box. Next, I slid my yak into my truck and went in to get a couple of rods. I generally don?t use my best tackle when yakin? but this time, my Tarpon rod went in first (Ambassadeur Record 40 on a 5-1/2 Fenwick bait caster) followed by an inexpensive Mitchell Avocet spinning rig.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Before I left the house, I checked the leaders on both rods, something that may have made a great difference an hour or so later. I rigged new leaders on both rods, 20# Stren Dura Tuff on the spinner and 30# Stren Dura Tuff on the bait caster.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I headed for the C-40 ramp in YT but, after looking at the sky, decided to launch at the FMP Station on the CFBC instead. I seldom fish the canal in my yak but with the fast moving clouds and approaching front, figured it might be a good idea.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I rigged a Pop-R on the spinning rod and a Gulp Jerk Shad about 18? under a long line rattle float on the bait caster. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I decided to head out to an area of the canal with lots of springs, to see if there were any Redfish around them as there will be in a couple of months. The Jerk Shad was trolled about 50? back and I was paddling hard to cover ground as fast as possible.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">About a hundred yards past the Hwy 19 Bridge I caught a 5-6# Jack Crevalle. Several hundred yards further on, the rod bowed up again and then straightened. (I was using one of my front mount rod holders rather than one in the rear.) I kept paddling for 50 or more yards when I noticed the line on the rod moving ahead of the boat. It looked kinda strange to me so I picked up the rod and reeled fast to take up slack. The little Mustad circle hook was locked in. I didn?t have to do anything.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">The fish began to tow the boat. ?Redfish,? I thought. I amended it to ?Good Redfish? a few seconds later followed by an upgrade to ?Damn big Redfish? soon afterward. After about a hundred yards with precious little drag slippage, I angled the rod to the side to sort of turn the yak a little sideways to increase the drag on the fish. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">This is kinda hard on the wrist so I laid the rod against my knee and kicked back to relax. I passed the old Casino Boat Dock and then the Hollinswood barge loading facility. I was putting a pretty darn good strain on the fish but he didn?t seem to notice. Somewhere about this time, a couple of guys came up in a bass boat and asked what I had on. I was asking myself the same thing right then too. The only logical thing was a big Shark, most likely a Bull Shark. The guys stayed with me as I headed for the Gulf and maybe to <st1:country-region><st1:place>Mexico</st1:place></st1:country-region>. They even shot a few pics.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">The fish was moving fairly fast but definitely not in a state of panic. At this time, I may have had 50 yards of line out. I decided to tighten the drag a little and aim the yak straight at the fish, crank like hell and see if I could get right on top of him. When I got within about 20 feet, he took off on a smoking run that stripped 50 or more yards of line off the reel and got the yak to moving faster than it has ever gone before.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">When we passed the next to last pavilion, less than a mile from the Gulf, about 4 miles from where I launched, a big boat went flying by at warp speed. This upset the fish badly and, all of a sudden, there was 7 feet plus of Tarpon headed straight up. He turned and headed back east for a hundred yards or so then jumped again. This time, I was looking right at him and the guys who had been following me were within about 10? of him.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">The jumps took everything the fish had left and I had him along side my yak within about 10 minutes. He was totally whipped. In the last 10 minutes I tried to break him off several times but couldn?t do it. Twenty pound test Spider Wire cannot be broken from a yak. The tiny Mustad circle hook was pinned in the corner of the fish?s mouth. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I slipped my little flying gaff around his jaw bone and found out I couldn?t resuscitate the fish from the yak. Instead of moving the fish back and forth, I moved the yak.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">The guys in the bass boat took a bunch of pics of me holding the fish along side. I asked them to tow the Tarpon around to see if they could get him going again. They didn?t have a clue what I was talking about and it took a couple of precious minutes to explain. They held him on my little flying gaff and towed him in a circle for a while then on down the canal.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">All of a sudden, they yanked the fish aboard and headed toward the Gulf at 50mph. They killed MY fish and took my gaff too. Now I am 5 miles down current and wind from my launch site.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I hope they have the common decency to return my gaff or the stupidity to have a photo in the paper. I don?t recall ever seeing either of them before and the boat had a GA decal if I remember correctly. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">If you see a pic of a really humongous Tarpon in your local paper, how about cutting it out for me.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Several hours Later Tuesday afternoon: I just heard the turkeys showed my fish off at the Inglis Shell Station. No names yet, though<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><st1:City><st1:place><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">Sharon</st1:place></st1:City><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"> just asked me how big the Tarpon was. If you've seen the big Tarpon under the cleaning table at Pete's Pier--the one with the white fin, add a foot in length and considerable girth. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Honestly, I don't think I have ever seen a bigger Tarpon, much less hooked one. I've had the Tarpon at Pete's Pier eat fish scraps out of my hand so I have seen big ones up close and personal. Several of the Tarpon at Pete's are in the 140-170# class. I had my hand in this fish's mouth, bare handed. (Not a good thing normally but this fish was almost dead.) Its jawbone was almost too big to reach around. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">When Rhett was about 9 he caught a Tarpon that a Boca Grande guide estimated to be 160#. It was a mighty big fish. My clients have caught many in the 100-140# class and I've caught a few myself but nothing even close to today's fish. This fish may have hit 200#. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I am not a serious Tarpon fisherman. I hate to see a fish like that one die. If I had known it was a Tarpon a little earlier, I could have steered by a crab trap and grabbed the float and maybe broken the line. I've never seen a Tarpon fight like that before. I usually know I have a Tarpon on much earlier in the show. This fish was almost exhausted before I knew what I was hooked onto. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I'll probably think about this fish every day from now on.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">WEDNESDAY morning. I have blisters on my right thumb and forefinger, bruises on my gut and chest and my left hand and wrist ache this morning. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I am definitely too old for this stuff.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN class=posttext><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Do folks in <st1:country-region><st1:place><SPAN class=posttext><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Georgia</st1:place></st1:country-region><SPAN class=posttext><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> eat Tarpon?<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN class=posttext><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">WEDNESDAY Night <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">Ok, we are gonna find these suckers. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Their bass boat was red and black. I don't remember the brand. The engine was an older Merc 200hp. The boat had a new 105# thrust Motorguide on the bow mounted dead in the center. (This mounting looked strange to me. I don't think I have ever seen one mounted this way.) The trolling motor was a hand control model. I know the trolling motor was new because it hadn't even started to rust. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I don't care what they did with the Tarpon now but I darn well want a couple of scales and some of the photos they took of me with the fish. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">If I publicize this enough, these guys are gonna have to hide under a rock. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I talked to the DEP on Friday morning. They said they?d burn somebody?s butt if they didn?t have a Tarpon kill permit. I talked to Doug Olander at Sportfishing magazine and he said he?d keep his ear to the ground. I called several area newspapers. One of the sportswriters for the <st1:City><st1:place><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Ocala</st1:place></st1:City><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> Star Banner said he?d talk to friends at other newspapers so I have done all I can do.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">A couple of weeks later, my flying gaff was hanging on my mail box but no scale or photo.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Today is Aug 22<st1:date Day="10" Month="6" Year="2008"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">, 2008</st1:date><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> and I haven?t heard any more about the Tarpon but he was one of a very few fish I?ll never forget. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p>
 

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Wow, thats an awesome story. I cant believe they took off with your fish, thats pretty sorry. 200# tarpon in a yak, thats amazing. :clap:clap
 

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Squid technician
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Congrats on the fish, but man does that suck!

Its amazing some of the weird and stupid things people do.
 

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true-king (8/23/2008)
gottafish (8/22/2008)a gaff and a camera would be good to have to capture the moment and the fish
So, did he get away? Or were you able to wrestle him in?
Long story short, yes. Long story long, (but veryinteresting) see post from old forum I found: http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=44659&posts=25

I went conservative on the weight since 40lbs was the biggest that I had heard of being caught up to that time off of a pier, but he was 5ft (+ - 1 inch.)
 

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captken (8/23/2008)<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">TUESDAY Afternoon, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:date Year="2006" Month="11" Day="7">Nov. 7, 2006</st1:date>. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">This is one really strange fish tale. Hopefully you realize that the really strange ones are usually gospel truth as this one is. Right now, I am totally pooped but I have to get this written before I forget some of the details. Yeah, and I gotta go vote too although my heart is not in voting this time.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I woke up this morning around 4 with a serious fishing itch. Maybe the approaching front started the itch just as a front often triggers a feeding frenzy with the fishes. I checked tide and weather before cooking breakfast. This is unusual for me because, when I get through shaving and dressing, eating is job 1.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I packed camera, cell phone and GPS into my dry box. Next, I slid my yak into my truck and went in to get a couple of rods. I generally don?t use my best tackle when yakin? but this time, my Tarpon rod went in first (Ambassadeur Record 40 on a 5-1/2 Fenwick bait caster) followed by an inexpensive Mitchell Avocet spinning rig.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Before I left the house, I checked the leaders on both rods, something that may have made a great difference an hour or so later. I rigged new leaders on both rods, 20# Stren Dura Tuff on the spinner and 30# Stren Dura Tuff on the bait caster.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I headed for the C-40 ramp in YT but, after looking at the sky, decided to launch at the FMP Station on the CFBC instead. I seldom fish the canal in my yak but with the fast moving clouds and approaching front, figured it might be a good idea.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I rigged a Pop-R on the spinning rod and a Gulp Jerk Shad about 18? under a long line rattle float on the bait caster. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I decided to head out to an area of the canal with lots of springs, to see if there were any Redfish around them as there will be in a couple of months. The Jerk Shad was trolled about 50? back and I was paddling hard to cover ground as fast as possible.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">About a hundred yards past the Hwy 19 Bridge I caught a 5-6# Jack Crevalle. Several hundred yards further on, the rod bowed up again and then straightened. (I was using one of my front mount rod holders rather than one in the rear.) I kept paddling for 50 or more yards when I noticed the line on the rod moving ahead of the boat. It looked kinda strange to me so I picked up the rod and reeled fast to take up slack. The little Mustad circle hook was locked in. I didn?t have to do anything.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">The fish began to tow the boat. ?Redfish,? I thought. I amended it to ?Good Redfish? a few seconds later followed by an upgrade to ?Damn big Redfish? soon afterward. After about a hundred yards with precious little drag slippage, I angled the rod to the side to sort of turn the yak a little sideways to increase the drag on the fish. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">This is kinda hard on the wrist so I laid the rod against my knee and kicked back to relax. I passed the old Casino Boat Dock and then the Hollinswood barge loading facility. I was putting a pretty darn good strain on the fish but he didn?t seem to notice. Somewhere about this time, a couple of guys came up in a bass boat and asked what I had on. I was asking myself the same thing right then too. The only logical thing was a big Shark, most likely a Bull Shark. The guys stayed with me as I headed for the Gulf and maybe to <st1:country-region><st1:place>Mexico</st1:place></st1:country-region>. They even shot a few pics.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">The fish was moving fairly fast but definitely not in a state of panic. At this time, I may have had 50 yards of line out. I decided to tighten the drag a little and aim the yak straight at the fish, crank like hell and see if I could get right on top of him. When I got within about 20 feet, he took off on a smoking run that stripped 50 or more yards of line off the reel and got the yak to moving faster than it has ever gone before.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">When we passed the next to last pavilion, less than a mile from the Gulf, about 4 miles from where I launched, a big boat went flying by at warp speed. This upset the fish badly and, all of a sudden, there was 7 feet plus of Tarpon headed straight up. He turned and headed back east for a hundred yards or so then jumped again. This time, I was looking right at him and the guys who had been following me were within about 10? of him.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">The jumps took everything the fish had left and I had him along side my yak within about 10 minutes. He was totally whipped. In the last 10 minutes I tried to break him off several times but couldn?t do it. Twenty pound test Spider Wire cannot be broken from a yak. The tiny Mustad circle hook was pinned in the corner of the fish?s mouth. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I slipped my little flying gaff around his jaw bone and found out I couldn?t resuscitate the fish from the yak. Instead of moving the fish back and forth, I moved the yak.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">The guys in the bass boat took a bunch of pics of me holding the fish along side. I asked them to tow the Tarpon around to see if they could get him going again. They didn?t have a clue what I was talking about and it took a couple of precious minutes to explain. They held him on my little flying gaff and towed him in a circle for a while then on down the canal.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">All of a sudden, they yanked the fish aboard and headed toward the Gulf at 50mph. They killed MY fish and took my gaff too. Now I am 5 miles down current and wind from my launch site.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I hope they have the common decency to return my gaff or the stupidity to have a photo in the paper. I don?t recall ever seeing either of them before and the boat had a GA decal if I remember correctly. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">If you see a pic of a really humongous Tarpon in your local paper, how about cutting it out for me.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Several hours Later Tuesday afternoon: I just heard the turkeys showed my fish off at the Inglis Shell Station. No names yet, though<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><st1:City><st1:place><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">Sharon</st1:place></st1:City><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt"> just asked me how big the Tarpon was. If you've seen the big Tarpon under the cleaning table at Pete's Pier--the one with the white fin, add a foot in length and considerable girth. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Honestly, I don't think I have ever seen a bigger Tarpon, much less hooked one. I've had the Tarpon at Pete's Pier eat fish scraps out of my hand so I have seen big ones up close and personal. Several of the Tarpon at Pete's are in the 140-170# class. I had my hand in this fish's mouth, bare handed. (Not a good thing normally but this fish was almost dead.) Its jawbone was almost too big to reach around. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">When Rhett was about 9 he caught a Tarpon that a Boca Grande guide estimated to be 160#. It was a mighty big fish. My clients have caught many in the 100-140# class and I've caught a few myself but nothing even close to today's fish. This fish may have hit 200#. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I am not a serious Tarpon fisherman. I hate to see a fish like that one die. If I had known it was a Tarpon a little earlier, I could have steered by a crab trap and grabbed the float and maybe broken the line. I've never seen a Tarpon fight like that before. I usually know I have a Tarpon on much earlier in the show. This fish was almost exhausted before I knew what I was hooked onto. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I'll probably think about this fish every day from now on.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">WEDNESDAY morning. I have blisters on my right thumb and forefinger, bruises on my gut and chest and my left hand and wrist ache this morning. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I am definitely too old for this stuff.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN class=posttext><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Do folks in <st1:country-region><st1:place><SPAN class=posttext><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Georgia</st1:place></st1:country-region><SPAN class=posttext><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> eat Tarpon?<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN class=posttext><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">WEDNESDAY Night <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">Ok, we are gonna find these suckers. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Their bass boat was red and black. I don't remember the brand. The engine was an older Merc 200hp. The boat had a new 105# thrust Motorguide on the bow mounted dead in the center. (This mounting looked strange to me. I don't think I have ever seen one mounted this way.) The trolling motor was a hand control model. I know the trolling motor was new because it hadn't even started to rust. <SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I don't care what they did with the Tarpon now but I darn well want a couple of scales and some of the photos they took of me with the fish. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">If I publicize this enough, these guys are gonna have to hide under a rock. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">I talked to the DEP on Friday morning. They said they?d burn somebody?s butt if they didn?t have a Tarpon kill permit. I talked to Doug Olander at Sportfishing magazine and he said he?d keep his ear to the ground. I called several area newspapers. One of the sportswriters for the <st1:City><st1:place><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Ocala</st1:place></st1:City><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> Star Banner said he?d talk to friends at other newspapers so I have done all I can do.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">A couple of weeks later, my flying gaff was hanging on my mail box but no scale or photo.<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Today is Aug 22<st1:date Year="2008" Month="6" Day="10"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">, 2008</st1:date><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> and I haven?t heard any more about the Tarpon but he was one of a very few fish I?ll never forget. <o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><SPAN style="COLOR: black"><o:p></o:p>
<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto">That isquite a fish story!:bowdown:bowdown Sorry it that it didn't have a better ending, but at least you got him to your yak! When I saw Hwy 19, I thought you might have lived in Tampa (I lived there for 3 years andnever even hooked a tarpon, but have hooked 3 in my yak here recently-exciting stuff!!!) It looks like you were maybe 1.5 hrs north of Tampa. I love your signature! Congrats on you catch!!!!
 

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This is the biggest fish that I have a picture of. We killed the kings up to 20lbs back in june near Gulf Shores

I also caught a 5" Black Tip the first day and my batteries were dead

Going down to the Texas coast this fall for the Bull Redfish run and hope to catch some of the 30lb+ fish that are very common

 

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Ken... So sorry to hear about your fish loss. Dangggggg... that WAS a WHOPPER!!! It's a shame to go through all of that without a picture. Maybe they will surface somewhere. I hope the idiots who stold your fish and took off... get what they got coming to them. :reallycrying :banghead
 

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gottafish (8/23/2008)
true-king (8/23/2008)
gottafish (8/22/2008)a gaff and a camera would be good to have to capture the moment and the fish
So, did he get away? Or were you able to wrestle him in?
Long story short, yes. Long story long, (but veryinteresting) see post from old forum I found: http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=44659&posts=25

I went conservative on the weight since 40lbs was the biggest that I had heard of being caught up to that time off of a pier, but he was 5ft (+ - 1 inch.)
I remember reading that story last year. Too bad you didn't get him in, a 40 pound king off of a kayak would have been a heck of an achievement!
 
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