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Updated: 03/14/2014 08:06:11AM

Fish of a lifetime

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By Capt. Ralph Allen

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Is there a catch that really stands out in your memory? You know, one that was so unique it still causes you to daydream about the experience? A fish that was so exceptional that you’re quite certain that you’ll never meet it’s equal? Perhaps your most memorable fish was a catch that was special because of the circumstances involving the accomplishment. Or maybe it was so memorable because of the people with whom you shared the adventure. There are lots of reasons why a fish might be a memory-maker. In my case, there’s one fish that stands out as the grandest that I’ve ever encountered, even though it wasn’t the largest fish I’ve ever caught. In fact, I wasn’t even the angler who bested the beast, and I wasn’t even on the same boat as the lucky fisherman.

It was December of 1985 and I was anchored with a charter party at the site of a sunken barge off Redfish Pass in about 60 feet of water. Today, that site is part of Sherman’s Reef, but in those early days, Sherman’s Reef had not yet been constructed and all that existed at that location were the remains of a steel-hulled barge lying upside down on the bottom. Such good numbers of cobia and amberjack had been caught at that location in the preceding weeks that I was joined at the wreck by my partner vessel, and both boats shared the site as we sat tugging gently at anchor lines set 100-feet apart.

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