A Three Hour Tour (Part 2)

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OK, now we had an objective! This was no longer a fishing trip. Now, it was a game of capture the flag between the dory team and the piscatorial ¨Silver Team¨. The tarpon had our lure. And, we wanted it back!

The bell rang again signalling that it was time to return to the ring.

Our challenger began moving up the creek. We followed along behind and slightly to one side of her. She had opted to veer to the right fork of the creek into what was called Wari Watla. Continuing a hundred yards or so Antonio spoke up, ¨She´s gonna get tangled up ahead because there is lots of underbrush!¨

¨Let´s try to cut off her path. Motor around and ahead of her to see if she will turn around,¨ I continued.

Antonio did as I suggested. As we passed her she moved further to the opposite side of the channel. Once we passed her Antonio began revving the outboard motor. The tarpon slowed, turned downriver, and took off in the opposite direction. We turned around quickly and followed.

I would bear down on the spool of the reel and force the tarpon to pull the dory along behind it in order to make it tire. Then, she would surge ahead and I would have to let her play out additional line in order to keep her from breaking it. Many times her surges caused my thumb to burn from the friction of the line. I was forced to occasionally change hands to let my thumb cool off. Antonio would compensate by repositioning close to the tarpon once again.

Pulling a 26´ long waterlogged wooden dory is no easy task. It had required Antonio, Justino, and I all the strength we had to skid the dory a few feet through the mud and get it afloat that morning. The tarpon, on the other hand, towed us around almost effortlessly! I commented to Antonio that I could feel the rhythmatic surge forward of the dory with every stroke of the tarpon´s tail.

She no longer exhibited high jumps. Instead, she would come to the surface, roll onto her side, and crash her head onto the water before submerging.

Three times we travelled up and down this tract about 200 yards long. The tarpon apparently did not want to leave the safety of the deeper water in this pool formed where the two creeks intersected.

Finally, our adversary tried a new tactic. She began to move methodically and deliberately downriver in the direction of Lakun Tara about three kilometers away. Now when she came to the surface to gulp air, her path did not deviate and she remained upright. As she surfaced one could observe that she was about seven inches across her strong black back.

At one point we were surprised to discover that we were being followed and were surrounded by numerous other tarpon of various sizes. Apparently, our opponent had brought along her supporters!

When we reached the deeper pool in the mouth of Kung Kung Tigni, the tarpon tried another tactic. She sounded directly below us then tried running under the boat in another direction. I reacted by plunging my rod tip deep into the water so that the line wouldn´t tangle in the propeller of the boat. She also made another full-fledged aerial leap while in the deeper pool.

I was surprised that she still was able to gather that much strength. On the other hand, that leap seemed to have weakened her. She began to move downriver again towards Lakun Tara which was now only about 200 yards below.

Then, she surprised me by leaving the relatively deep channel and moving onto a small and shallow sandy bay on the western side of the channel. We moved in closer. Our sparring partner seemed to be running out of gas. I´ve seen numerous tarpon run themselves right up onto the bank when they are ready to give up. I was concerned because I did not want to see her roll over to subsequently die.

We tried to get close enough to cut the leader. Still not willing to let us get too close, she turned and raced back into the channel. She tried to move under the boat a couple of times. Then, she went back into the shallow bay. I pulled on her as she steamed for the bank. She turned. Then suddenly, the line pulled out from her. I reeled in. Each of the two treble hooks had a broken barb and a completely straightened hook!

We made a sweep of the shallow bay. Our opponent had already left the ring.

¨Its getting late. Let´s get back to Eden!¨ I called out to my companions.

I hummed on to myself as we steamed into the setting sun.

No phone, no lights no motor cars,
Not a single luxury,
Like Robinson Crusoe,
As primative as can be.

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Updated 09-19-2011 at 07:21 AM by mupitara (Writing skills weak! Still tweaking!)

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