Author Topic: TaxMan  (Read 580 times)

BackBayMan

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TaxMan
« on: September 17, 2017, 09:57:56 AM »
Hit our new shark spot last night looking for some of the sweet Leos we've been catching and maybe a soupie. Got lines in around 6pm with an hour to go before high tide. Soaked a big chunk of mac for a bite, but no hookup. Decided to try a nice chunk of bat ray wing. I know, I know. I'm sorry.

Rod goes bendo. It's on, and it's big. Pulling line. I had a 15' Ugly Stik, Okuma Coronado 80 spinner freshly over spooled with brand new Kast King 80lb braid and a 10' rub leader of 100lb mono tied together with an FG knott. Used a standard 3 way rig with 160lb wire, 10/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook and everything double crimped.

I had my drag down pretty tight to begin with, so when it got to half spool I wasn't concerned. I had at least 280 yards of line, and from the lack of head shakes or tail slaps and the way it was pulling, I thought I had hooked a big ray. Except it never quit. I've pulled on some big rays, and with this heavy of gear I have always been able to stop them, but not this thing. It just kept on pulling. I've got 28lbs of max drag on the reel, so I button it down pretty good to show it who's boss. Didn't stop it. It didn't scream line off, it just kept pulling. I look at the spool and sh!t my pants, I've only got about 20' left and it's not stopping. Hero or zero time. I lock the drag and walk forward to get some line on. It holds.

After that, it was just a game of tug of war. I'd gain some line, I'd lose some line. Still think I've got a monster ray. But I've never had a ray fight this hard or this long. I could not get any leverage on it at all. After about 30 minutes, I'm getting close to done. I can feel my hands beginning to open. Never had a fish pull like this before. I abandon my pride and hand the rod off to JayRay. Here, you pull on this thing for a bit. I felt better watching how hard JayRay had to work to gain any line on that thing. After another 10-15 minutes, it's getting close. JayRay hands me back the rod so I can finish the job and he can go grab the ray. When we first see color, we both thought it was a ray. I drag it in a little more, and it still looks like a ray. A little closer, and we see the tail fin. Not. A. Ray!

I get it in the skinny, and by now we can tell it's a pretty good sized shark. I'm thinking it's a soupfin and saying to myself man, do they fight this hard? A few more cranks and we can see it's not a soupie. TaxMan!

JayRay grabs the tail and drags it up on the beach. I run for the camera and pliers. On the way back I see the crowd of people watching, and I can't help but thinking there's no way it should have taken that long, or been that hard to land a fish that size. We see that it was hooked in the pectoral fin, which explained a lot. I was concerned the fight was too long, and it was only about 6', so we just snapped a couple of pics while we pulled the hook. No time for measuring and glory shots. We got it back in the water immediately. Took it a couple of minutes, but it swam away like a champ and everybody cheered and clapped!

So much luck involved it was insane. Chinese braid, $18.95 for 1000yds. Almost spooled and if it wasn't foul hooked, no way that 160lb wire would last against those teeth. There were times when I looked down at my reel, and it was flexing in ways no reel should ever flex. The 15' Ugly Stik got the job done, but I really wish it had more backbone and the reel had more cranking power. I also really wish I had a fighting belt.

Oh well, it may not have been pretty, but it was an epic fight. Shark fishing is a team sport, so thanks to the huge assist from JayRay I was able to add my name to the list of the six others who have put a TaxMan on the beach this year in The OC.

I posted a pic to the P-Soul group. If anybody can't see it there PM me and I'll send some to you. Also really liking this little bit of beach that seems to be pretty much ignored. It's got a lot of cool things going for it. I'm not going to post the spot publicly, but any P-Soul members who want to give it a shot PM me and I'll give you the details. That's it. I'm going to take some more aspirin, that thing kicked my ass!
Anybody have an emergency beer?

xjchad

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2017, 12:21:54 PM »
Congratulations on a great catch Chip!
Great read! I think you're selling yourself short a bit though. Maybe some luck was involved as in many of our catches, but you've put in the time and effort and you earned it!
So stoked for you, nice job!  8)

Eric H

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2017, 12:30:13 PM »
Your the first to get one casting, nice job chip 8)
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sasquatch

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2017, 05:04:20 PM »
Crazy.

Great report, and well done on the release. Especially with a crowd.

Like Verne always says, "Respect."

vdisney

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 05:51:10 AM »
I'm speechless brother, chu da man....................................................V

Latimeria

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 06:23:21 AM »
Wow...  I hate you.  ;D
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BackBayMan

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 07:21:49 AM »
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Wow...  I hate you.  ;D

 8)
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lightline21

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 10:18:22 AM »
Nicely done, my friend! Have a cold one on me!  ;)

1morecast

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2017, 12:51:04 PM »
Wow, Congrats...Chip! it pays to fish with a buddy and rod belt.  ;)
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BackBayMan

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2017, 01:48:09 PM »
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Wow, Congrats...Chip! it pays to fish with a buddy and rod belt.  ;)

Thanks 1morecast! I'd also strongly suggest a tail rope!
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BenCantrell

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2017, 04:29:26 PM »
Wow, congrats!

Nice chunk of bat ray, good to know.  :D

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2017, 04:59:00 PM »
What kind of distance do you think you got on the cast? Also, how big of a chunk of bat did you use?
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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2017, 05:52:40 PM »
Pro tip: if you catch a small bat ray, just let it swim back out to deeper water with your hook in tow...

BackBayMan

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2017, 05:53:26 PM »
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What kind of distance do you think you got on the cast? Also, how big of a chunk of bat did you use?

I did wade out to waist high, but I'd be shocked if my cast went more than 30 to 40 yards. It was a baby bat, so I'd say I used a 2" by 6" strip.
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BackBayMan

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Re: TaxMan
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2017, 05:56:06 PM »
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Pro tip: if you catch a small bat ray, just let it swim back out to deeper water with your hook in tow...

Just make sure you've got a big hook in it and give it a little love cut or two to get the juices really flowing ;D
Anybody have an emergency beer?