BOW TO THE KING
Captain Jot Owens
It was a beautiful early September morning with just a little coolness in the air and a full moon showing in the sky just off Frying Pan Shoals, NC. I put out a spread of live mullets rigged with circle hooks fished on Carnage Rodswith my PENN Torque 25N reel. The lines were not out long after sunrise and that's when it hit! A very large Tarpon came jumping out of the water 10 feet from the boat and let me tell you it left a hole in the water like somebody dropped a car in! Needless to say we woke up, my customer grabbed the rod and we took chase, after a 45-minute fight that big Tarpon finally came to the boat. It measured 75ins which is around 130+ lbs. Not a bad way to start a day!
A WHOPPER WAHOO
A memorable catch near the top of my list is a 143 lb., 3 oz. wahoo, which I caught in 2003 while fishing out of San Salvador, Bahamas, aboard the Foxy Lady II with Captain George Gardner. Targeting wahoo for my television series, we were trolling five lures from as many PENN 70 Internationals spooled with 80 lb. test monofilament line. Half-way into day one, the center rigger lure gets slammed. I grabbed that PENN 70, held on, and watched in amazement as the monster fish emptied nearly 3/4 of the spool on its initial run! Some 45 minutes later – after two shorter runs and a lot of bull-dogging – we boated the fish. It measured 6'6" in length, with a girth of 36ins.
- 1. International 70VS
STRIPPED DOWN SAILFISHING
Captain Ray Rosher
One of my craziest experiences was the Miami Raft Invitational charity tournament. You have a truck tire inner tube and 30 days to build a raft. So there I was bobbing around the ocean in this homemade raft, surrounded by 12 rods with PENN Spinfisher 9500 and International 16VS reels. I managed to hook four sailfish at once, which was insane. Like getting released out of the gate on a bronco—I even left a wake behind. In the end, I caught three 7' sailfish to win the tournament. Muscling 50lb sailfish onboard using only my body and my PENN gear without puncturing the raft: that's a feeling I won't forget.