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It has almost been 24 hours so I can tell this story now without crying...:(.

Yesterday morning a buddy and I headed off the beach with a livewell full of menhaden and 6" mullet looking for a King or two. I had to be back at the dock by 11am in order to make it to church in time but the ocean was gorgeous and we were going to get some good fishing in. Our first stop was about 9 miles off the beach and we found a few small AJ's, some sharks and a few keeper sea bass but only one strike we thought was a king. I decided to run back towards the beach and stop at some structure closer and give it a shot before we headed in. Upon arriving the depth finder was showing plenty of life below us and a good size bait ball was on the surface. A sea turtle bobbed about and so it seemed everything was alive. We got the trolling rods out and started drifting across the structure in and out of gear to keep us 2mph or less. In the process of turning the boat around one of the lines got wrapped around the prop so my buddy cleared it but the leader and line needed to be cut and re-tied. Me "can you tie a double uni knot" my buddy "yea I can connect them". A few minutes later we are rerigged and we are fishing again.

5 minutes later my TLD 15 screams and I turn to see a 30lb king, 10ft above the ocean, 60 ft behind the boat. The memory frame in my mind is only when the fish is at his peak, I didn't see him come out of the water or go back in. As soon as I saw him I grabbed the rod. Boom he hits the water and takes off. FISH ON and I know it is a stud. My buddy clears the lines, grabs the gaff, and is ready to do whatever I need. The fish made a hard run at the boat and I frantically try to keep up. He gets below the boat and I have a million things running through my head "is the drag right, is the prop out of the way, I cannot believe I saw him sky that high". I make a few pumps and he starts to run again and has me up and walking around the bow. As he turns the corner around the bow I felt a pop and knew he was gone. I reeled up and here is my main line with little twists in the end where the knot came undone. Silently, I sat there and looked towards the beach knowing that human error had cost me my first really nice King. With my head held down like a beaten dog I walked to the back of the boat and retied the knot myself. The fish was gone and the morning was over. 20 minutes later I emptied the livewell and headed in to go to church. He got away and I just hope he isn't injured from the leader the tackle still attached. Never again will anyone tie a knot on my rigs besides myself.

Lesson learned and for a hillbilly from the mountains of east Tennessee it was another moment that cannot be replicated. A fun day none the less.
 

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Man that one is tough for sure. But, you now learned something very important. Who knows, maybe you learned a hard lesson yesterday so in the future you can catch a 50 pounder. There will be more kings for sure! Keep at it.
 

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I've been there done that. Whether it's a big fish or nice deer, it always hurts a little more when you count on someone to do what you can and probably should do yourself. It almost always seems to come back and bite you in the bum. I feel your pain!
 

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Lots of us have lost beast fish for one reason n or another. Still hurts big time. There is still to.morrow with bright expectations. Good luck, maybe next trip.
 

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the one that got away but came back

Lots of us have lost beast fish for one reason n or another. Still hurts big time. There is still to.morrow with bright expectations. Good luck, maybe next trip.
Made our annual trip to the florida keys six weeks ago. We spend 90% of our time there on a 27 foot rental center console cat each year trolling, primarily for mahi. We ran to the marathon hump early in the week due to reasonably calm seas and caught some football sized blackfin and skipjack tunas pulling tuna tangos and small squid daisy chains. Ran across a small pallet near the humps that was holding dolphin...our buddy hooked a twenty pound cow on spinning tackle with a chunk of cut bait but broke off when the line got wrapped around the bail....experienced fisherman, happens to the best of us in the moment. We picked off some more bailer dolphin for another ten minutes or so until our buddy hooks the same fish, which was determined after it was gaffed. When we got it in the boat we saw that it had somehow been hooked in the eye socket the second time around and had the other hook and line hanging from its mouth.
 

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Lesson learned the hard ways are never forgotten. Think we all have been there, it still hurts.
Look on the bright side, you're getting better every trip. ......... ICM
 
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