The Big One

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With the moon and tides still ideal and given the success of the past four days, we elected for a quick turnaround at Cooktown and a run back to No 5 (and a half) Ribbon Reef. We dropped the baits at 3:35pm.

There were scad breaking the surface nearby and Capt Jared brought Shaka close. At 3:55pm we hooked up. We knew from the first jump we had a really nice one and within minutes the drag was up to sunset.

Unusually, she headed for the reef and we spent a long 20 minutes fighting within meters of the coral. She actually jumped alongside the reef and at times we could see her shape against the white sandy bottom. She decided to seek better territory and headed in behind the reef through the opening between No 5 (and a half) and No 6 Ribbon Reef, stripping line at will. The balance of the fight took place well inside the reef.

This was the strongest fish we have ever caught on Shaka. The fight lasted 2hrs 45minutes, past sundown and into the dark. We had her to the boat only once in that time and CP (Charles Perry) touched the leader but couldn't get a wrap. I lost count of the number of times the double came up only to disappear again. The drag was at sunset for the entire fight and she was still able to jump after two and a half hours.

Finally, we got her up again. CP got a wrap, eased her up and Elliot Muller got the tag in. She swam away in excellent condition. I, on the other hand, required several beers to recover.

We called her at 1,100lb plus, our third grander in three days.

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