Mike Milano (Kyagra to many) chartered my boat out for Tuesday. He showed up to the docks with a plethora of rods and reels; something for every type of fishing. One in particular caught my eye. It was a winch of a reel - older model Penn, deep crimson in color. It was spooled with what looked to be about 1,000 yards of thick braided line. Looked to be about a 9/0 and measured about 8 inches across. The rod that the reel was mounted to was brand new; still had the price tag and plastic around the butt end. It was thick and stout; ready for anything! I laughed and thought "what does he think we are going fishing for..." The bait guy, who normally is anchored out of the pass, was not there so we were stuck with old frozen cut bait and catching our own. 14 miles out and we dropped lines - a snapper a piece was the result. Ok, ok nice start - can't keep em but at least the fish were biting. Mike and I had both agreed before we left the harbor that we needed to catch some Triggerfish and Grouper; something to put on the dinner plate since you can't keep snapper til June 1st so after a few more snapper, we changed our game plan. We went back to the harbor near crab island where there were some huge bait balls. We quickly threw out some sabikis and began catching bait. Just what we were looking for - big, nice thread-fin herring. These baits were about the size of a larger blue gill. We both got excited because nice big bait usually means nice, big fish! We went out to a new spot only 3 miles from shore. I looked over at Mike and he starts rigging up that huge Penn reel with a stout hook and stronger leader. He dropped one of the herring down to the bottom and in no time - WHAM fish on! Mike became glued the gunwales of the boat as the fish on the other end pulled with all its might. I was hootin and hollerin and Mike gruntin and cussin as he struggled with the fish. We were hoping for a big Gag Grouper but it turned out to be a 36 inch Amber Jack - we will take it! Amer Jack are a BLAST to catch and are known to pull like a 1 ton truck. Next i dropped down. With the massive reel in hand it was only seconds before WHAM fish on! This time, however, the fish ran straight out and was ripping drag off the huge reel - this was not another Amber Jack! I struggled keeping the rod tip up and tried to reel but for every foot i reeled in, the fish took out 2 foot of line. Finally, the fish turned and headed toward the boat. I was able to catch up and reel in some line at that point. Then , Mike and i both look over the bow to see an 8 foot shark staring back at us! It saw the boat and took off toward the beach ripping off drag like it was nothing then SNAP the leader was cut. It would have made for a good fight and a great picture had the line not broken but i will just have to settle for a decent story. All in all it was GREAT day of fishing. Here are the totals:

(5) Amber Jack
(8) Trigger Fish
(5) Red Snapper  

(1) White Snapper
(1) Shark (probably nurse or bull)