Every now and then I get to go out on a friends boat and not have to worry about my guests having a good time, bad time, catching fish, not catching fish. I always try to make sure every guest goes away with an amazing experience, and if they haven't caught anything then that bothers me - and it happens from time to time.
So it is always great fun to go out with mates whenever possible and be able to relax a little bit more - not to say that the pressure is still on between us all to get that big fish on board.
Fishing had been pretty quiet on the tuna grounds for a while and, although we always expect to get onto the fish, we knew that if we didn't this day it wasn't going to be the end of the world. Conditions were really good however and it was a nice morning to be out on the boat.
The action started right from the get go however but we weren't able to get anything to the boat as the Silky Sharks had other ideas. I had just rigged up a new lure on one of the rods when the reel started screaming. Grabbing the rod as quickly as possible to make sure that the tuna didn't get too far from the boat I started cranking on the reel. Before 5sec had passed I felt that great big 'thunk' and the rod bent right over and line started streaming off going straight down. Shark.
This time however instead of biting us off right away, I must have hooked this one perfectly and there was no biting off. I needed to try and get as much line back as possible - and hopefully the lure as well (although I knew that was going to be unlikely), I really hate the thought of these beautiful creatures dragging hundreds of feet of line around with them if at all possible. So this meant a large battle ensued to retrieve as much line as possible. She was a big girl and no sooner had I put line on the reel, she took it off even faster.
My arms were killing me and all I kept thinking about was my knot that I tied the hook to the lure should definitely have pulled through by now - apparently my knots are pretty reliable - damn it!
Eventually we got the shark to within a few meters from the boat, but that was as close as it was going to get and we were able to cut the line and off she went to torment us another day.
I was exhausted, but it was a lot of fun as well. We moved away from shark alley in search of some less sharky waters and stumbled across some skipjacks. Finally we were able to get one on the line and boy do these guys give you a good fight. Incredibly strong fish for their size, they can stream line off the reel like a fish twice their size. Finally however we were able to get one on board and it was one of the biggest skipjacks I had ever landed - what a beauty. And what a way to end a busy morning on the water. My arms were aching, but the pain was eased somewhat knowing that I had just caught the biggest fish for the day (not counting the shark!).