We all planned to have supper at the marina after the fishing excursion. I was intent on having my guests catching a fish and trolled for most of the later afternoon around the outer margins of the reef, delicately avoiding grounding our lures on the reef. Despite my best effort, --- nothing! The pianist's uncle was one of those gentle special human beings and waited at last until it was finally his turn on the lines.
It was getting late and the balance of the family had gathered at the marina and they could see us at Fiddle Reef, our running lights on, fishing in the gloom. It was cold so we trailed clouds of steam as we went forth in terminal desperation to catch a fish. The winter season was such that the fish there, were all winter Spring Salmon of 5 to 15 pounds, developing size on winter bait at that time of the year.
Suddenly, as we were about to give up, a line screeched into action and a fair sized fish started breaking water at tremendous speed, shaking and writhing with each jump. Fortunately the uncle could play the fish more easily because he had the Penn reel in hand rather than the knuckle duster. I said to everyone that surprisingly we had a Coho on because a Spring Salmon rarely leaves the water in the struggle to free itself. Was I ever wrong? One thing the Spring Salmon does to a bait ball is enter it with its tail lashing to cripple some small herring or anchovy so it can turn and eat them at leisure. However, sure enough the 10 pound Spring Salmon was hooked in the tail. It behaved like a Coho because of that. I had never seen a tail-hooked salmon before or since, but in retrospect that seems strange because of the manner of salmon tail lashing in bait balls. Moreover salmon lures are designed to simulate crippled bait.
Salmon. like all of us I guess, prefer getting things the easy way, and returning to have a leisurely lunch.Our uncle had a good time fishing and when he went back to the farm, he said he had quite a 'tail" to tell to his friends.