- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"Will that stop a tuna?"
"No. It isn't the drag that turns the fish, it's the line. The fish is hooked in the side of the mouth and the farther he goes, the more line he's towing through the water. The resistance of the line on one side of him makes him turn, if he turns."
"Sometimes they don't turn?" I said. All along I had been thinking of the line snapping as the fish fought; the idea of a tuna just overpowering the drag and the line on a single straight run was so alien to my experience that it just never dawned on me.
"Sometimes they don't," he said.
"What happens then?"
"When the fish hits, the drag is set very light, and in two or three seconds the spool's turning at about 6,000 rpm. You throw in more drag, set the hook, and still the spool is turning at 6,000 rpm. The drag doesn't slow him down much, it just sets the hook. And if he doesn't turn, it takes a big fish just about a minute to strip off all 850 yards." In the time it would take the best middle-distance runners in the world to cover that distance—a minute and 44 seconds—a tuna would have already run another 440. And Mark Spitz would have been lapped six times in an Olympic pool.
Just then the Sarah made a sweeping turn to the right and headed toward shore. We hadn't been running too far off, and in 10 minutes we started to slow down so I could see two small buoys that marked the entrance to a narrow channel. We passed them and slowed some more until we were barely moving through the flat water into an estuary with nothing around except some broken-down houses, a rotting fishing boat half up in the weeds and a lonesome-looking finger-pier just wide enough for one person to walk out on. Somebody was standing on the end of the pier with a red plastic bucket in each hand.
Mr. Cunningham put the Sarah into neutral, backed her down and nosed her into the pier. The person put the two buckets on the bow and then jumped up to get aboard, but he couldn't make it. He tried again, getting one foot over the gun-whale, hung there as the Sarah backed off and then pulled himself aboard.
"Who's that?" I said.
"Matello Silva," Paul said.