Wall Hanger

After sitting on the dock watching the wind blow for the last few days, I was anxious to get out and wet a line. We were finally going to fish the intoxicating waters of Rum Cay. Rods were rigged in hopes of catching that elusive triple-digit torpedo I’ve heard so much about and before long we were circling a fertile seamount just minutes from the marina.


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Illustration: Rey Flores

It was only a matter of seconds after the first lure hit the water when we hooked up. The fish practically swam to the boat and was about to feel cold steel when out of nowhere a second wahoo skyrocketed the abalone head that slid up the leader. We lost the fish and an expensive lure. The only bright side is that after resetting the spread we quickly connected with what seemed to be a much bigger fish. This one was about to dump the spool when the line suddenly went slack. Another lost fish and $100 lure!

We continued to work the pinnacle just a few miles from shore with nothing to show for our efforts. But again, it didn’t take long before we saw action. This time, all three rods lurched over simultaneously. Once again, the first fish came to the boat quickly. My estimate was a conservative 50 pounds. Not the wall hanger I wanted to display in my office, but certainly a quality fish for the fillet table. As I was about to pierce the gaff, an enormous silhouette appeared out of the depths and swallowed the struggling ‘hoo in a single bite. I quickly returned to the second rod, only to realize that fish, too, had fallen victim to the monster sharks below. Our focus now turned to the last fish of our triple header. Halfway through the fight, the line once again parted. To be honest, I would have been happier if my knot slipped or someone had forgotten to close the snap swivel—anything but another cut off or shark bite!

Broken but not defeated, I retreated to the bow and broke out the rigging box. Staggering five lures onto a 50-foot piece of 900 lb. multi-strand cable, this was a sight for sore eyes. The captain must have thought I was still drunk from the night before, and halfway through the rigging I was even starting to doubt myself. Not one to give up on anything, I continued to fabricate my modified wahoo stacker. “Looks good boys. Let’s send it!” I said with slight hesitation upon completion.

The atrocity went over the covering board and the action of the five lures dancing and diving on the same line was super intense, almost too much for the rod holder to handle. While the wahoo seemed a bit leery of the super rig at first, I knew they were hungry. We trolled by the point where we hooked our triple header and without fail, the wahoo stacker got a bite. “Ha, I got one!” I shouted. As shocked as I was thrilled, I began cranking and slowly winched the fish toward the boat. Twenty minutes into the battle the wahoo made another screaming run. Five minute later, the line got even heavier. I thought that I had finally hooked into my trophy hundred pounder! With the drag set on full strike, I could barely turn the handle. Finally, after close to 60 minutes, we saw color. 

No one was ready for what they were about to see, nor did we have enough gaffs. Tethered to a tangled stringer of wahoo, each thrashing with a weighted lure swinging from its jaw, I realized this might have been a bad idea. Complete chaos was an understatement, though we boated all five fish intact and decided to call it quits on a high note. Not surprisingly, no one at the dock believed our story. However, the tangled mess of frayed cable and torn skirt material still hangs in my office to this day.