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The one that got away

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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I should be working
Nov 8, 2002
Well gang I haven't read too many stories about the one that got away but I thought I would share this one. My friend James and I went out for a short afternoon dive. The water has been unusually flat on this side of the island for the past 3 days so everyone has been telling me about their catches and that I should get out while I can. I took their advice and skipped the gym. We went to a spot i had never dove before and James only once (the day before). Before suiting up and walking down the trail I asked James if I should take my gun or just my three prong. He told me he saw some good three prong fish so that is what I took. After jumping in and swimming out I noticed some nice shelves where Kumu (goatfish) like to hide. I followed these shelves out and tracked a few smaller ones but no big boys yet. On one dive while I was on the bottom I noticed a nice 20 pound Ulua (GT) swimming midwater checking me out, I crawled behind a large coral head and started grunting. The fish turned and slowly approached. I was already having contractions so I rushed a long shot and barely touched the fish sending it scurrying away. Oh well, I really wanted Kumu so back to the hunt. Following the reef out, I noticed a nice one around 3 pounds. After following for a while I saw it swim behind a coral head. I quickly dropped and waited on the other side with the three prong cocked. Sure enough, he poked his red head out around the corner and quickly got all tree prongs burried in his gill plate. Stoked man! Got dinner. While waiting for the Kumu I had noticed a nice arch that looked like an Ulua cave. Next dive I land along side and look in. Nobody home but a few small fish. May as well look around this pinnacle though.

After a few dives looking in holes I look back at the cave and notice two Ulua around 40 pounds swimming in. Oh crap! Big fish and only my three prong, Nah brah, get chance. I approach the arch and start a good long breathe up trying to calm my racing heart. I tip over and quietly land on top of the arch, looking in through an opening in the side. Wait a minute, there are four or five Ulua around 40 to 60 pounds then a fricking brute probably over a hundred. Okay, I have to admit that I am no expert in sizing Ulua but having taken one at 82 pounds and having helped Emile haul a 96 pounder into my Zodiac and then up a cliff, I would have to say that this guy was significantly larger than the previously mentioned. Anyway, I quickly ascend knowing full well that I am overmatched but wait a minute, James has a gun. I leave the cave and find James a few minutes later. After telling him about the cave, he follows me back and yes they are still there. I tell him to dive and land on top of the cave then slowly crawl to the edge and peek over. He executes this perfectly but I see three smaller Ulua run out and away. Did I forget to mention that while trying to devise a plan I kept seeing these little guys swimming in and out of the cave. Anyway we devise another plan.

I tell James to swim to the other side of the arch, breathe up, then dive, landing on the side instead of on top. I will then drop straight down and swim into the cave hopefully spooking them out towards him. We try to execute the plan but doesn't quite work. Yes James did his part and I did mine but still it didn't work. Why? Did I forget to mention that there was a tank in the hole? They just weren't afraid of me. I swam half way in and they kept swimming in circles. James finally took a shot but the 50 pound fish instantly shook off the shaft. By the way, I am still in the cave watching everything unfold. Then the craziest thing happens; the remaining Ulua swim toward me. I quickly cock the tree prong and watch this beast of a fish swim directly at me. It seems like forever but he finally turns about six feet away offereing a perfect broadside shot. Now I have to admit; with all humility, I am a pretty good shot with the three prong. All three fish that went home with me did't even twitch. The moment of truth arrives, I line up right behind the dozer's eye and let the three prong fly. I hear a loud "pak" but unfortunately, the Ulua is still alive. As a matter of fact, I must have hit it in the skull because only one prong stuck. The one prong however did hold for a few seconds. Just enough to drag me completely through the cave while hanging on to the rubber sling. I have had Ono, Mahi, smaller Ulua, even Kahala (AJ) drag me on my floatline but never have I thought I would get dragged behind me three prong. I thought about letting go but it would have made off with my spear. No way man. I watch this brute bend my one prong like it was a twist tie then swim off never to be seen again. I estimate that fish to be over 100 pounds.

Now I know some people will say I shouldn't have shot it only having a three prong but I had a good kill shot lined up. Will it die? Yeah, one day everything will die but this beast is not going to die because of the single hole I made. How do I know? I have gotten reef fish with old scars from other divers, I have seen dolfin as well as other pelagic fish with perfectly round holes on their sides from cookie cutter sharks. He will live and continue to grow too. Will I be back to that cave? You bet your butt I will. Will I reveal the location? How much money you get?

This is my story and I am sticking to it.

  • Like
Reactions: Griff

Brad nice story but what is a 3 prong ?? :confused:

Good story pal, That sucks that a you lost the fish. Will he die, probably not. Does he have a real headache, yes! I have shot fish with plenty of scars, I probably would not have taken the shot unless it was perfect which you said it was. I believe you :D Imagine if you would have landed it! What an ending to a hell of a story huh?


I will be back for him. This time I'll probably use my gun.

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