If Plan A doesn’t work, Beware of Plan B

Published on May 18th, 2020

Marc Herrmann shares a non-sailing story to take our minds off all the non-sailing now occurring.

Many years ago, I got an opportunity to go out fishing with a friend, and as we waited for the next bite, he told me about his wife’s unique experience obtaining her diving certification.

She was pursuing her dockside certification in shallow waters, and while underwater she saw a large white object floating just above the ocean floor. Curious, she swam closer to discover it was a 5+ foot halibut that had a rope noose around its body, followed by a length of line with a frayed end.

She found this to be rather odd, and once back on the dock, she told her story to one of the Marina attendants. He immediately started to laugh, and began to tell her about an early morning fishing incident with a guy who had snagged a massive halibut in his old aluminum car topper boat.

Apparently, he fought with this thing for a couple of hours when finally it succumbed, allowing him to reel it alongside the boat to club it. Realizing he had landed the mother lode, and it being far too big to bring into the boat, he decided to make a rope noose and tie it to the side of the boat and head back to the marina.

However, on his way back, the fish came back to life, and for those of you familiar with halibut and the strength in their tail, it started to violently thrash around while attached to the boat.

With less than half mile to the marina, this is when our avid, and at the time happy fisherman, realized that given the current circumstances, the trapped fish was going to destroy the boat.

Not realizing what to do next, and seeing the boat was taking on water, he panicked and picked up his shotgun (don’t ask me why he had a shotgun) to shoot the thrashing fish.

However, this idea didn’t quite go according to plan, as when he aimed at the fish, the fish’s tail violently hit the side of the boat and knocked our fisherman off balance just as he fired the gun. Rather than his aim be directed at the fish, it instead blew out the stern, which then led to significant ingress and subsequent sinking.

With half the marina watching this unfold, our now very unhappy fisherman was swimming in the water, with no boat, and much to his consternation that last traumatic course of events broke the noose around the fish and it too got away.

And now you know the story of the large halibut with a noose that got away.

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