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Sun Valley Community School, Idaho

In December of 2019, I was in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the New Year’s holiday. We were staying at a hotel on the beach, and the frozen tropical drinks made it feel unquestionably like paradise. My dad and I went to the marina and he talked to the fisherman, an experienced Mexican guide who knew where to find the fish and was excited to do so. I was taking in the salt air and gazing out at the birds hovering over the water while my dad arranged for the trip. We hired the guide to take us out on his boat.

We left very early in the morning when it was just becoming light and the water was calm. We cruised effortlessly across the glassy water and through an occasional wave that came up with the wind. The boat was a sparkling new, white, medium sized, deep sea fishing boat with a fighting chair and a half dozen rods in a rack at the back. The rod that I used was a heavy duty one with a giant reel and yellow line.

We only had to wait 20 minutes to hook our first fish. I heard the reel and the line started running out with a long, zooming hiss. The rod tip bent. We caught a small bonito first, blue and silver with tiger-like stripes and jagged sharp teeth. After that, we caught two large dorados that were incredibly amazing blue-green-yellow fluorescent hues. One was a female, so we threw her back. The captain chummed the water with squid to attract the fish, and it worked as clouds of squid ink swirled around the water surrounding the boat.

The reel started screaming again. I could tell it was a huge fish because it was hard to reel in and it kept pulling out line fast. The rod was bending like a tree branch with a lot of snow on it. I was holding on to the rod as if my life depended on it. I fought it for about 45 minutes, and it ran and retreated back toward the boat five times or more. I was using the boat’s fighting chair to battle the fish, but it still felt like my arm was going to fall off. During these runs, we saw that this fish racing like a rocket car was a yellowfin tuna. When I got it close to the boat, my dad used a gaff to haul it in. When we brought it on board, it flopped around a lot and we clubbed it. Everyone was impressed with how big it was. It weighed 80 pounds. It was a light blue the color of the sky with yellow fins by its forked tail.

We brought it back to the marina and everyone admired it. I took pictures with it while it was hanging at the marina. We brought it back to our hotel and they cooked it for us. They made sashimi, ceviche and tuna steaks. It was juicy, delicious, and perfectly prepared in each style. We gave the rest to the captain and the hotel staff. It was the best vacation that I have ever had. Catching all those fish gave me a nice sense of accomplishment, especially the giant yellowfin tuna. The experience made me more confident and more positive about facing challenges and doing things that are difficult. I think that I will go fishing more now because it makes me feel great.

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