The whole reason we took this vacation was for the tarpon fishing. This was our 4th (and best) year yet! If you're not familar with the story of how this tradtion began (and for a little background info on tarpon fishing), you MUST read HERE and HERE.
Since we had Mally with us, I ended up only going out on the boat with the boys one of the two days. Ryan had a successful day one, but I definitely picked the better day, weather and fishing-wise. I was prepared for some action and had a really good feeling about the day. I bought a new telephoto zoom lens just for getting great pictures of the tarpon jumping. I was ready!
We got out on the water before dawn and watched the sunrise.
It was gorgeous.
Ryan was at the helm and ready for some action.
We saw another boat in the distance.
This must be just what we looked like.
All of a sudden...tarpon spotted.
Ryan hooked him.
And the tarpon was not happy!
This fish jumped like crazy!
It was awesome!
The fish eventally snapped the line before we could get her to the boat.
But it was a good sign.
Time to get serious.
Ryan got to use the reel that I got him as a wedding gift.
I think it was good luck.
This time Ryan's rod came apart and the top 2/3rds slid down the line into the water and we had to chase it down and reattach it.
Meanwhile, the tarpon was still jumping like crazy!
And I was LOVING it!
This is where I fell in love with my camera's high-speed continuous shooting mode.
And that new lens.
We eventually got her to the boat.
She was probably about 90+ pounds!
And then came Round 3.
The last tarpon of the day.
The tarpon that would make my husband the happiest man in the world.
Ryan battles her, wearing her down.
This fish didn't jump as much, but she put up a hell of a fight once we got her to the boat.
She's at least 85+ pounds.
Ryan has always wanted a picture of himself holding a tarpon.
It's illegal (not to mention traumatizing) to pull the fish out of the water and into your boat.
But you can get in the water with the fish!
As luck would have it we were in shallow water and close to a beach.
Ryan steered the boat to the shore.
The tarpon was hanging on for the ride.
Basically just swimming along next to the boat.
Once we were to the shore, Ryan had to battle her again.
Finally, she was close.
And really heavy!
Come on, Ryan!
Sweet sweet victory.
This is the picture he's been waiting 6+ years for!
And then we quickly put her back in the water.
I've never seen my husband so happy.
And I've never been more proud.