I breathed up and dropped down to check out the situation and it was as bad as I thought, my line went right under a ledge and through a small arch, then off towards the bottom at 55 feet. There in a small sand patch next my anchor was the fish, and it had done at least three loops around the anchor line. As I kicked back up to the surface I was chuckling to myself about the complete bird's nest the fish had made under my boat. But the wraps around the anchor line had probably saved my shooting line, slowing the fish's run and taking pressure off the turns of mono over the reef's sharp teeth.
I thanked the fish gods a few dives later after I had my hand in the gills of this winter yellowtail, it went an even 30lbs on the scale. No monster, but good eating and plenty for the wife and her family.
So most of my dives aren't worth re-telling, since they mainly involve me lurking in what few strands of kelp I can find these days, scaring the crap out of some poor blacksmith or senorita fish when I return to the surface. Then, a few weeks ago, I had the luck of running into a solid Yellowtail right under the boat. I had anchored next to one of my favorite high spots in about 35 feet of water, a craggy reef full of holes and ledges. The visibility was great in the 30 ft range and I could see the hazy outline of the reef and a few Calicos hovering over it. Blacksmith picked copepods out of the water around me. On my second drop I saw some movement to my left and this yellow came shouldering through at about 25 feet. I turned to my right and kicked steady, hoping it would school up to me. He briefly turned, closing the distance, then quartered away, but it was too late, I was in range and I let the arrow fly, hitting him a little higher on the shoulder than I would have liked. I immediately thought of the reef and held tight on the float line as I pumped for the surface. Alas, the fish was much faster than me and I could see his beeline for the crags. Hitting the surface with my bands on my shoulder I tried to horse him up, but he was already in the reef, the line felt rock solid. I gave him line, hoping to keep the wear on the mono even, or even have him swim out of whatever he had hung up on, and give him a little time to cool off.
"...trickery remains the best method to get close." --Carlos Eyles