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Friday, November 21, 2008

The Fish Was This Big

I just returned  from five days "OF" Club Serena. I say "OF" Club Serena because saying "at" Club Serena just doesn't do the place justice.  For me Club Serena is a magical mystical tour.  I have called Club Serena a resort, and even the name Club is a little misleading.  I think of a resort as a bright, polished, starchy, airy, pink shirt,plaid shorts type of place.  Club Serena is none of that!! Club Serena is a pool, a small restaurant/bar, a couple of bungalow's, a wooden love seat, a stone wall, Club Serena is a place to go if you want to think, if you want therapy, if you want to relax, if you want to be motivated, if you want to repair any mental capacity that has gone a little astray, then by all means go sit by the beach at Club Serena and once again "listen to the silence"!! Talk about dreams coming true!!  Well my dreams of catching fish came to life a couple times over.  I did have to work out the kinks of the new rod and reel at first, but after my first cast found my pony tail, the 2nd cast ended in a huge huge mess of line all tangled, things did start to get much better.  I had overheard from one of the girls in the dive shop that there were alot of fish out past where the water turned from almost clear to a much darkercolor.  That dark water was way out there but I was determined to catch fish, and there wasn't much worry of undercurrent because the water here is so calm, at least on this side of the island. Later in the week it did start to get a little rough, but on this day all things were right for fishing.
Serena had put in what was an underwater cement sidewalk that led out about 100 yards into the ocean.  It was for the divers to walk out easily with all there equi
pment and also to get out to where there boat was anchored off the beach. 
 My first step onto the sidewalk and I almost hit the deck as it was covered in a slippery algae. But onward I forged.  The area here is so abundant with sea life that all you need to do is open your eyes and you will see many little creatures.  Walking down the underwater sidewalk the several times I did while at Club Serena, particularly at low tide and the little tidal pools just showed all sorts of colorful sea creatures.  Bright blue starfish, little tiny sea crabs, long flowing starfish, the most amazing colored shells, poisonous spiny sea urchins, little fluorescent shrimp.  It was quite amazing to see.  I knew why I loved aquariums!  Although seeing it in real was much more interesting than peering through any glass.
With rod, reel, and couple lures in hand,  I headed out into the deep.  I peered out over the water and saw a school of tiny baitfish skimming over the top of the water.
Not there usual way of existence.  This was good to see, as it was a sign that something was probably chasing these little fish. I tied on a lure that most resembled the little silvery baitfish, and started scanning over the water.  I thought I saw something dark and I quickly flicked my lure towards the shadow. Nothin
g but coral.  Coral was pretty abundant to the area I was fishing so I knew I needed to be pretty accurate 
with my casts, and as soon as or before the lure hit the water I needed to reel fast.  The idea was to keep the lure up on top to avoid hooking the rocks and also to imitate the fleeing baitfish.  
I had my hand to my forehead shielding the already bright sun at 7am.  Even with the polarized sunglasses, and the wide brim hat, this sun was hot and powerful.  I quickly did a double take, as the sun caught something shiny about 30 yards forward.  It looked like a Barracuda, my heart did a thump as I thought the object looked fairly big.  Cuda are definitely the type of fish that chase baitfish.  I opened the bail to make a cast and made the worst cast in the world.  I uttered something and laughed at myself.  I reeled the lure in fast for another chance.  I didn't see the Cuda as I made ready to cast again, I thought he was gone, but a hard look showed he was still there, he had just moved forward  a little. 
 I took aim and cast that lure far past the fish.  I reeled hard, the lure was heading straight for the toothy fish.  I swear the lure hit him in the head, but another couple turns of the reel and the lure was at my rod.  I didn't see the fish as I made ready for another cast.  I tried to put the lure right past where I had last seen him.  Just as I brought the rod forward to release the cast again I saw a bright flash from the sun, I knew it was the fish but now he was quite far from his last stand.  I wanted to get that lure back to me as fast as possible for another cast.  I started reeling even before the lure hit the water, I saw a flash and bam I felt a weight on the end of my line. The drag wasn't set right, and I quickly gave it a quick turn.
ZZZZZZZZZZZ the fish was on the drag, but to much drag.  I reeled and tried to gain some line, another second or two and this fish would win our little battle.  I reeled again, he was still on. Then ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz a long run on the drag, I tried to gain line back, but he had already found his way into the coral. Then the line went limp.  He was gone.  You think the Kentucky Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports.  Not Quite!!!  There sure wasn't any shame in losing a fish like that.  It was Awesome!  
After that I didn't see a fish for days.  I tried fishing but nothing.  I even bought a frozen squid from the kitchen and tried that.  Still nothing.  I was happy with my one experience but really you can never be happy with just one fish fight, I wanted more.  Wednesday the sky grew really dark, it started to rain and the wind picked up pretty good.  It rained and rained for almost 25 hours.  I really thought that the rain and wind would either push all the fish out, or maybe push a few in towards the shore.
After the rain had finally stopped, I couldn't sit still.  The water was still pretty rough and there was no way I was walking out on that sidewalk.  I had bought this fairly big jointed lure and thought what the hell, I'll give it a try.  I really tried to whip that lure out there.  I was trying to get it fairly high to get a little extra distance from the wind.  I started casting a few times in each spot that I stood, and then I'd walk ten or 15 feet. I was just at the edge of the property when I thought I would make my last cast.  I needed to get my feet a little wet and try to take advantage of the outgoing waves.  I stepped a few feet into the backing waves,  and ripped that lure as far as I could.  It didn't go as far as I wanted,  I made a couple of turns on the reel and the lure caught a solid rock.  Or whoaaaa that was no rock, I saw the line start ripping of down the beach, and not out towards open water.  I knew instantly it wasn't a Barracuda.  I started moving in the direction the fish was going, reeling line as fast as I could.  The drag was set pretty lite, and this fish was taking full advantage, knowing he was hooked and in a battle.  It seemed the fish was staying in a little deep channel that ran down the beach.  As I walked and reeled I gave the drag a little torque every couple of feet, slowly tightening it down on this fish. He seemed big, but maybe just small and solid.  I hadn't seen him yet, but it wouldn't be long till he made an appearance.  Well that's if I didn't do something stupid.  The fish had gained some pretty good water going out towards the deep. He was digging deep.  If I didn't keep him up high he would cut my line.  I held the rod as high as I could and reeled.  
He had stopped taking line from me, but he had gained alot in the first couple of strips off the reel.
I new I needed to go into the water.  I hesitated a little but knew I needed to chase him down, at least a little.  I stepped into the water and was up to my knees very quickly.  Now I was gaining on him, I could see that he was starting to get tired. The fish made a big mistake when he let himself come away from the rocks.  He was out and I had turned his head.  Now it was all fishing rod.  I started backing out of the water.  Reeling, lowering my rod, and then reeling as I muscled him towards the shore.  I saw him about 30 yards out, he was tired.  It was what I think we call a Trevaly. (Trevaly pictured above)
I had mentioned this fish in my last blog.  The fishing store said they were fun to catch down in this area, and they weren't kidding.  I continued to muscle him in.  About ten yards out he saw me and made a short burst and it caught the drag ZZzzzzz but I was all over him.  I turned his head back toward me and it was it was all over.  I dragged him onto the beach and picked him up by the tail.  He was probably 8 pounds.   A real solid fish.  The hook was just barley stuck in his mouth. I gave it a quick twist and the lure was out.
I looked around and there wasn't a single person that saw my battle.  I thought for a second to take him for food, but then thought what the hell.  He fought a good fight, he deserves another one.  Getting to be a pretty good sized fish around here was no easy feat.  I walked into the surf again and held the fish so the current flowed through his mouth and gills. He wasn't moving and I gave him some encouraging words to come back.  A couple seconds later and his gills moved and next his tail made a quick shake and he was ready to go.  I let go and he quickly swam back to his family.  Now that was AWESOME!!!!  Never ever forget that.  Sorry I thought to bring a camera, but the sand eats camera's and wasn't taking a chance with mine. 

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