A sky full of shining stars and a three quarter moon at 50-55 degrees was our source of illumination. We had been fishing for about 3 hours with only Mani having success with a catfish a shade under a kilo. I reeled in and discovered that my hook was missing so tied on another Owner 6/0 and baited it with a fillet of the freshly caught cat. Made the cast not knowing if I had hit the spot I wanted because of the darkness.
Then followed the surf casters silent vigil, fore finger gently holding the braid, time loses its significance when surfcasting, only the finger holding the braid matters. Suddenly a sharp tug and then the angler's instinctive reaction to it, the strike, short and firm in this case.
The universe stops and then the surfcasters dream comes true, the magical sound of running drag and bent rod. I had set a loose drag and on the first run turned it up a notch or two. A short pause then another run and again the drag was tightened a notch or two. This went on for 4 or 5 runs the fish made. At times I did manage to lift and pump a few precious yards of line back. The fish headed to my left towards a sandbank and Shekar who had joined us while engaged in his duties of saving Ridley Turtle eggs commented if it beached itself on the sand bank it would be impossible to retrieve so we followed the fish to the sandbank. Shekar showed me where to wade across the channel onto the sandbank and this is where the finale took place. Me on the edge of the sandbank closest to shore the fish just off the opposite edge of the sandbank in deep waters and Shekar who took a look at the amount of line left on my spool and took off to my left urging me to keep a steady lift and pump retrieve when ever the opportunity presented itself.
By now the fish didn't exert as much force as it had earlier but I was still cautious. This caution was due to 15-16 feet of 17lb mono which connected my 30lb braid to my rig. My hook line was about 3 feet of 30lb fluro and my 4 oz bank sinker was rigged on 50lb mono. Prithivi had shown me this rig and said it is easier to cast with the mono than with braid. I fought the fish and brought it into shallow waters and then onto the sandbank. Shekar ran across and completed the act.
In all the GT made 7-8 runs and what helped me was the fact it ran towards a sandbank. Also, the length of the 11 foot Daiwa Emblem surfcasting rod gave me the advantage as far as leverage was concerned.
Tackle was Abu Cardinal 606 ALB spinning reel with about 250 yards of 30lb braid matched to 11 ft Mh 15-30 lb Daiwa Emblem surfcasting rod