Ole Ben’s blog yesterday got me to a wondering and reminiscing about some of my old fishing experiences and stories I have heard. Now, I want to state that everything in this blog is true unless stated otherwise. . .
I worked a contract job on the east coast of N.C. and one of the fellows that I worked with and whom I considered a good friend, loved to go offshore fishing. He had a big Maco open fishing boat just shy of 30 feet long with two 150 hp Evinrudes. Long enough to usually be able to get on top of two or more waves at a time and that makes for a smoother ride the 25 or 30 miles out to the Gulf Stream and the same back in.
Anyway, let me get to the point. Ben mentioned Cobia in his blog and that reminded me of my friend’s story. I may not remember it correctly, but I know one of my readers may know this story and he has my permission to correct it.
The way most offshore fishing trips start out is the catching of live bait. In the inland water-ways inside the inlet at Carolina Beach, there were always schools of Menhaden around. My friend would spot a school, head toward them, and stand on the bow of the boat with his net while the boat drifted up to the school. He had a huge throw net, much larger than anything I could handle, but he could throw it and it would open up and land over the schools of fish.
Although I can not remember if it was him or one of his fishing buddies that threw the net in this story, I am inclined to believe it was him because very few people could handle such a huge net.
There is a rope that you attach to your wrist with a slip knot that keeps you from losing the net. The net was thrown with perfect precision over the school of Menhaden, but was not known to the thrower was that a large Cobia had been feeding off the school and that is why they had come to the surface. The net fell over the Menhaden and also over the large Cobia. As the lead weights around the edges took the net down and over the fish, the rope was yanked hard to close off the bottom of the net.
Then all “H” broke out. The poor fellow didn’t expect what was to happen next. He was yanked right off the bow of that boat and into the water. Of course that Cobia headed down into deep water, dragging the guy along behind. The force of the large fish pulling this fellow tightened the rope around his wrist and he could not get it loose. He fought and fought and when he had used up all the air in his lungs, he thought that he was going to drown. One last huge effort, and he got loose and headed up and broke through the surface gasping for air.
He lost his expensive net and it took him awhile and at an expense to replace it, but at least he survived to fish again. Wonder what goes through his mind every time he throws that net after that experience?