I’ve got another one…
And this time I am solely to be blamed.
We had taken a boat from very close to where I live in India, my plan was to check out what offshore fishing the place had to offer.
The boat was a rundown piece of floating debris with air-cooled engines and a top speed of 8 knots, she had a clearance of just over a foot at her lowest point. We left at about 0330 and hit a bee-line. I went to sleep on the fishing nets piled onboard as soon as we got on. We woke up at daybreak only to be greeted by a fantastic spectacle of feeding Bonito. There we Bonito all over the place, it was vast.
The Feeding Bonito (same trip):
We let out our lines but they would not take a thing, I did not have any fly or spinning tackle with me or we would have had a ball. To give you some idea of how large this shoal was, we were doing 5 knots and it took us about 40 – 45 minutes to get through the entire shoal which was swimming across the boat from starboard to port.
More Bonito Feeding:
In the midst of it all we did manage to land one cobia, gradually we passed the shoal and went into deeper water.
Sometime at about 1100 hrs, about 150 + hundred meters ahead at the 10 O’clock position I saw huge Yellow-fin Tuna feeding, from that distance I estimated them to be about 6 feet in length. These barrel shaped monsters were going airborne making huge splashes as they landed. I asked the boatman to steer in that direction and asked the boys to retrieve the lines so we could switch lures.
At that very moment a Spanish-Mackerel hit one of our lures. I handed the rod to one of my artist friends I had invited on the trip. While he fought the fish, one of my other mates filmed the event on video and I had the still camera. The 50lb tackle was too much for the fish and he made short work of it. As the fish was brought in for the coupe-de-grace, I asked one of the guys to hand me the gaff, he handed me my Aftco Gold Gaff which is a gaff used on larger game fish.
The Spanyard that did us in:
The other thing was, he passed me the handle end of it across stern, between the guy who was playing the fish and the guy video recording it. Stupid me, instead of looking at the gaff as I drew it in, was taking a picture of the fish close up. At that point I felt the gaff stick into something, thinking it was caught in one of those loosely hanging ropes, without looking, I gave it a bit of a shake to release it, it was then that I heard my mate yell in pain.
These Aftco Gaffs are extremely sharp and have a knife edge. What happened was, the first time I felt resistance the gaff sank into his thigh, he caught it a pulled it out without a wince, when I shook it, it slipped from his hand and penetrated the base of his thumb at the ball of his hand and ran it’s way through the thumb so that it came out through the tip (of this thumb). It is a real thick gaff hook so you can imagine what it looked like.
So much for those giant Yellow-fin, we had to turn the boat around and head back, straight for the hospital.