We now realized that we
needed a leader and went scram-bling
through the tackle box looking for
something but to no avail. After approaching several
fishermen, we found a gentleman that gave us a
length of 50-pound monofilament. We quickly tied
on our last big hook with the leader and looked for a
There were none on the pier that we could find.
Paul started toward the pier house looking for dead
fish and I started in the other direction. I finally
found a small yellowtail and hooked him on the
line. The entire time we tried to look nonchalant so
as to not attract attention. This was going to be our
I signaled to Paul. We met at the same spot
where we had seen the king and tossed the line in the water. Paul brought up the fact that the king would run,
so we left the reel in the free spool mode. We were two naïve, almost teenagers who had no experience on how
to set the drag on a reel or how to deal with a fish this size. We were about to get our first lesson.
After just a few minutes the king reappeared and grabbed the yellowtail. To keep the line tight while I set
the hook, I kept my thumb on the line and reared back on the pole. The king took off! With the reel in free
spool, the line literally flew out, burning my thumb and causing the biggest “bird nest” tangle I had ever seen.
The line quickly popped, and he got away again.
We were out of big hooks and had no leader. We realized that we were out of our league and decided to let
one of the fishermen on the end of the pier know what had happened.
He was able to locate another dead fish and managed to hook the king. He fought him for about 10 minutes
and tried to bring him in too early. The king still had enough energy to wrap around a piling and break the
Even though he got away, it was an exciting day for two young fishermen. Paul and I both agreed that next
time we would be prepared!