So Near and Yet so Far

DATE: 18-08-2007    TIME: 0300am     ROD: Penn Powergraph Surf 12ft.     REEL: Penn Senator 113HLW     LINE: 30lbs mono     RIG: Long Snood Bottom Feeder      BAIT: Frozen tamban(herring)

I lost a huge leopard ray estimate about 30kg while waiting for gaff.

Went to the jetty around 7pm. Casted out one rod and light up my squid lamp to catch squid. Water was still low and catching it was very tough. Tide was coming up smoothly but bait was not lasting. Keep on changing bait but just no action.

Very fast time past and it was already full tide and the current was about to turn. I decide to change my rod location also. Already 0200am but I decide to stay on until the current change as to see will there be more squid on the downtide. It was quite disappointed as hardly any found.

Around 0300am, suddenly my reel alarm went screaming non stop. I pickup and strike but it keep on stripping my line out. My rod tip guide was broken when I strike and was dangling around. No time to worried as I concentrate on my battle. It was some sort like a one way traffic… I just can’t do anything as it keep pulling line along. Very luckily is stop after a very good run. I quickly pump my rod and manage to gain back some line. The fish also turn around and heading back toward me. I am very happy to see that and keep on gaining line. In my mind I thought it would be a 10 over kg ray. By now, it was just about 6-7 meter away from me. But to my surprise, it started to hold on in the mid water and using it sheer weight to pull it down. I have to put up every effort trying to lift it up. This tug of wall was terrible. It really worn out my energy. After sometime, I have to rely on the jetty railing to hang on too that. Looking around, there was no any experience guy present there. Hoho… I have to fought this battle myself. With the help of the railing, I manage to rest myself and regain some energy back.

After sometime, the fish move alittle and i take the chance to lift it up….Hoooooo….finally it surface….wowwwww!!!!…it is a huge leopard ray. I try to keep it up on the surface as I want to worn it out. But it manage to dive down one more time before I was in full control on it. By now it was laying upside down on the water surface. On seeing this, I decide its time to gaff it. I ask one of a guy there watching the whole battle to help me get my gaff but he has problem of fixing it and don’t know how to gaff. After seeing the hook was firmly secure, I decide to ask him to hold my rod so that I can gaff it myself. But when I just hand over the rod to him and about to turn around and get the gaff, suddenly the main line near to my rig burst. Aiyooooooo…..why like that…so unlucky….The fish just swam off with my rig and the sinker attached. Upon checking my line later, I found a long stretch of it was damage. Think it was drag on the seabed during the initial run. Well, just to bad, not mine mean not mine. After a hard fought battle, I still lost it. But I am happy as at least I have the chance to see the fish.


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