07-29-2003, 06:32 PM
I had to go back to the tackle shop that weighed my fish last week to pickup my wedding ring that I forgot when I washed my hands and decided that I needed to return to the reef to see if the big girls were still in town. I will dispense with the anecdotal prose and just say 5-6 very large fish dropped one of which was within 10 ft. and I saw perfectly clear. That fish was 45+ minimum. I landed one fish that after 40+ min. of serious resuscitative therapy succumbed to the stresses of the fight. This upset me so much that I quit drifting Hickories and think that I have to re-evaluate the the prudency of targeting these very big fish. If the eventual ending is always going to be fatal than I do not need nor do I want to fish for them anymore. I amusing tackle heavy enough to land bluefin tuna (schoolie) and I don't believe that is the problem. The 54 took too much time to land and this is why she died I am sure but I could not do anything to change that situation as she was in complete control and I could do little but hold on as I had the drag as tight as it would go. The fish today was landed in no more than 5-6 min. and the water temp. was 59.6 deg. so I am at a loss as to why these fish are dying after capture but really doesn't matter as I don't want to kill anymore............PERIOD! The fish measured 45" and weighed in at 32 lbs. a beautiful fish that would have been better off not eating my live fish. I brought her home and she is headed to the inlaws as they were expecting filets from the 54. I finished out the morning throwing a 650 gr. and bunker/herring fly on a 12 wt. just for the heck of it, didn't really think I would hookup but I wanted to try out the rod my friend had loaned me. A nice day on the water but a sad ending to another fish that will haunt me for awhile. I have killed maybe 8 fish total in the last 10+ years and it still bothers me to kill any of them.