Wahoo!

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We caught a monster! Yesterday, while cruising outside Kadavu's southern reef near the Korolevu Pass, we were trolling with two lines and a flasher in the water when I heard the clicker on the starboard reel start to tick with a frenzy.

I used one of my favorite salty phrases—"Fish on! Fish on!"—and Dominic dropped his water bottle in the sink and came charging through the companionway.

He took the rod, downshifted gears, and started to reel in the fish. He felt its size and strength right away, saying aloud that he hoped we hadn't caught anything too scary.

He put Dimitri and I to work reeling in the flasher and the port lure and gathering the supplies to bring the fish onboard: gaff, striker, spike, line tied with a bowline and a loop.

Dominic moved forward to the beam of the boat and strapped on his fighting harness, stabilizing himself against the toe rail as he battled his underwater foe.

As Dominic reeled, Dimitri spotted the fish in the water. At first he estimated it was three feet, then four, then as it got closer, he simply hoped we hadn't caught a shark.

The fish thrashed alongside Helios as it reached the surface, flashing light like a strobe when the silver scales on its belly caught the sunshine.

Once the fish was exhausted enough to lie parallel to the hull, Dimitri sunk the gaff through the fish's flesh just aft of his gills. As he did so, the hook became dislodged from the fish's mouth, and for a few tense moments we feared all would be lost. But then Dimitri hoisted the fish up over the lifeline, and we had our catch onboard.

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Then came the least fun part of the task—using our various devices to end the fish's life as quickly and humanely as possible. 

Then we tried to get a handle on just how enormous this wahoo was. Dominic measured him in the cockpit, five feet from his sharp teeth to the tip of his tail. We don't have a scale this size onboard, so Dominic rigged a block to weigh the fish against his 66 pound kettle bell. The bell was heavier, but not by much. A safe estimate puts this little fish around 50 pounds.

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After a few hours of fish cleaning and filleting, we began feasting, feasting, feasting—sushi (our best yet!), ceviche, fish tacos, and sweet and sour fish on the menu tonight.

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