May 20, 2010

Fish Tale

I was walking on the Saprito Fishing Pier when I heard a fisherman holler, "JOE!  JOOOOOOE!  It's HUUUUGE!"  This, naturally, piqued my curiosity.  Joe, as it turns out, was about 50 yards away. He also was the shouter's fishing partner and 16-year-old son.  And, his help was needed to reel in whatever was hooked on the end of the line.

So, Joe ran up and took over.  He pulled and tugged and grimaced and reeled for about ten minutes.  Both he and his father were convinced that the mystery creature must be at least 15 pounds and...well...huge!

The fishing line bended and curved until at last the sea creature surfaced for a split second.

It was...

..... a stingray!  
Stingrays are one of my favorite sea critters.  I especially love to encounter them at depth when I'm scuba diving.  So, I was concerned about the well being of this ray.  It was quite big and putting up a heck of a fight.  I didn't want it to die because it chomped down on a grunt which actually was a fisherman's bait.                     

Joe maneuvered the hooked ray and walked it all the way down the fishing pier.   During the 45 minute adventure, the ray continued to thrash and Joe struggled to hold on.

At last he and his father landed it.  They measured and weighed it (57 inches, 17 pounds!) and avoided getting stabbed by the ray's stinger.  Then, they dropped it back into Sarasota Bay, where it swam away quickly.  Yeah!

Not only was it nice to see the stingray released, it was great to see this father-son team in action problem solving together.  Their congratulatory high-five at the end said it all.

Well done!


Jim Klenke said...

Great shots.

B SQUARED said...

I have fished for years and never heard of anyone catching a Ray. Glad to see they practice 'Catch and Release.'

Rachel said...

Awesome! I've caught them before but not in Sarasota. I love it when you dont know what your getting until it gets right up to the boat!

T. Becque said...

Oh, I'm glad they let it go. I was in suspense the whole time I was reading your post hoping it wasn't going to end sadly for the ray!

SRQ said...

I was happy about the outcome too!

Zyzzyz said...

What a heavy catch to try and land.