Got out with my son this morning on Lanier. Caught some bait early. Fished with small threadfin on #6 hooks and some larger herring on #2 hooks. Water temps were stable at 45. Fished everything on floats or planer floats. The big fish hit and sat on the bait for a few seconds. I picked up the rod and fed it some line. Shortly after, it took off. I engaged the reel and handed it off to Charles. After it peeled 200+ feet, I realized this would be a solid fish. At about 300', I decided to turn and chase the fish. We were fishing with Abu 6500s and 12' fluoro leader. By the time we caught up to her, she found her way into a brush pile. I got the rod back and played cat and mouse for a while. I finally just opened the bail and fed line allowing the fish to swim out of the brush. It started to take off in a different direction. Heres where we got lucky. I engaged the reel after it ran 50+ feet. I felt the break, which was luckily the branch breaking from the main line (20 lb). I handed the rod back to Charles for round 2. The fish managed to pull another 100'. I continuously loosened the drag after the brush incident. The fish surfaced and we did have to use the trolling motor to catch up again. I was afraid of breaking the badly frayed line. Charles did a great job keeping the rod high and keeping solid pressure on the fish. She was a click over 40 pounds and 45.5" long. We released her with anticipations of getting a Replica done.
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