||102 lbs 1 oz
On Saturday, February 25, 2017, I caught my biggest ulua by far at 102 lbs. It was the last night of the two-day ulua tournament I had entered, with stiff competition. I was up against great ulua fishermen, and I knew I needed something good that night. Everything felt good from setting up my rigs to handling the bait. My bait touched water at 8 p.m. sharp. It had been quiet most of the night with just a couple of dings on the other poles.
By 1:45 a.m. everyone was tired and drained from the day. We all dozed off and fell asleep. Ten minutes into our nap, a ratchet on my Newell 646 reel was smoking! Like music to my ears, it woke me. My feet started dancing their way to the action.
I sprinted as fast as I could to the pole 60 yards away from my cot. It felt like a mile! By the time I reached my pole, an ulua had already ripped the line one-quarter into my PowerPro backing.
Finally I got to the pole, threw off the bell, unclipped the hold-down and pulled the pole out of the rock spike. The battle was on! There was no room to give any more line. With confidence in my line, knots and rigs, I locked down the drag. The fish almost pulled me off the ledge, but I planted my feet and managed to turn it around. The 20-minute battle felt like a two-day fight.
This fish was definitely a smart one and was gaining line. I could feel it rubbing its massive body in any hole or crack it could find.
I got the fish to land within 20 minutes. The awesome partners I have ensured I would not lose this one. They jumped into the water in cranking surf and sank a cheap, 4-foot gaff into its gills. The rest is history!