Starting to put things together I'm in the port back corner and pinned at a perfect angle out and away. My fish wasn't 100 feet from the boat but the other anglers were fishing deep in one form or another so my fish for the time is in a different water column. It takes a tearing run but I have a confidence in my gear and my fresh leader etc. and I'm hoping the fish stays pinned.The run goes out and away and it feels like a nice 100ish pound fish. Not a cow, not a rat....a damn fine tuna. I'm reminded of a fun conversation I had on the way down with the Chartermaster... his quote from last year that stuck with me was you control what you can control and he smiles and say if that was my first year's motto that this year his wisdom is 'smooth is fast'. If you can take 3/4 of a crank smooth instead of a full rotation without yanking on the fish, the fish is more likely to stick with the program and keep coming in smooth. I think of this as a # of fish came unpinned yesterday on me and I want to do what I can to control keeping this fish hooked. I spend the entire fight in the same corner. It runs around some, a few bonus pulses but in the end its all in that same port corner. Art is by my side making sure my angle is clean but there are 4 fish hanging so deck hands have to bounce a little and I'm in great shape to just work steady. Eventually I'm straight up and down and I increase my drag a little, go to low gear and get to work on bringing this fish up. Smooth is fast and I keep my rod loaded. It is hard fighting but for once, so far in this trip it just sticks to my program and not his and in only about 30 minutes I land a beautiful 100 pound tuna. The picture of Art and I is taken at 6:05am. The sun isn't even up and I have a dandy on the deck. I'm thrilled! I let out a whoop or two. I wonder if a few fellow anglers think I'm past verbose but in the end I'm just excited and proud. I'm getting bit, I'm hooking fish and I'm landing them and this trip is starting to come together. Within 5 minutes I have a drink of water and new 100 pound gear in the water. 1s and 2s are being picked up among angers and it has a nice feel to it. Guys are getting bit, tuna are being landed, it feels good. French toast is breakfast and I adore me some toast from France. A little cinnamon and fresh grated nutmeg are hints in my tasty breakfast and I inhale a nice meal with a grin on my face. Back out on the deck I grab my 100 gear and I'm at the port side baitwell pinning on another big sexy. I hear a deckhand yell BIG BOIL STARBOARD CORNER! I see a nice hole in the port corner and put in and strip line as my butt hooked bait takes off hard and fast. I think to myself that fish is going to come across the back of the boat and pick me up and no shit.... it happens. I'm not 50 feet from the boat and I haven't been fishing 30 seconds since breakfast and I'm hooked up again. Yet again, I never leave the port corner the entire fight. This fish goes 40 minutes and a dandy 110 pound tuna with beautiful coloration makes the deck. Tyler and his 'steady gains' right by my side and I love when a beefcake like these guys asks for a 2nd gaff. Picture is at 9:20am and I have 2 fish for the morning. I'm walking on air. I had some worry in my head was last year a fluke, was last year mixed with some hand offs and some freshman luck just that or could I apply 40 years of fishing passion to the big boy stage and get bit on a semi-consistent basis. I belong on this deck. I am not the king, I have decades to learn but I can fish successfully aboard the Intrepid. Someone yells my name at some point later in the morning and a stunning turtle swims by starboard side. They tell me it is going to come to the surface and I grab my phone, bring up the camera feature and right as it sticks it head out of the water I snap a picture and tuck my phone back in my tackle bag. Not till later in the evening when I am cleaning up photos do I realize it comes out stunning and I can even zoom in and see barnacles its back. I fish solid the rest of the day but I have a grin on my face. When something goes wrong I just laugh it off in my head and get back to fishing. The kite rotation is on fire including a toad of a 250 pound + fish that goes to a gentleman that truly deserves it. He had hurt his knee right before the trip departed and chose to board regardless. Spent days staying off it in hopes of healing but alas he was stuck with a bum knee for the trip. He didn't care and when his # was called he followed that fish around and with the help of his godson and the crew, hours later they land a true toad. I'm in awe at suck a larger fish on the deck. My kite turn comes up and with the rate the kite has been getting bit, I head upstairs by choice to watch for a few to stretch out my arms and pound a bunch of water in hopes of being pinned to the rail soon. The kite gets bit 3 separate times in the next 30 minutes but it never sticks and I decide to head back downstairs and fish the evening push. An amazing sunset strikes the horizon and it's so stunning I later learn it makes the Intrepid facebook page as a # of us are along the stern of the boat. We pull the hook for the night and go on a slow search for bait. I do a very me thing. I ask Tyler if I can help try to catch flying fish tonight with nets under the lights. I probably belong getting off my feet and having a cold one before supper but instead I am running around the boat like a child as we shout back n forth when we see one. Dolphins are our ally as they flush flying fish towards us and visa versa. The dolphins get more than anyone but it is their home after all and I love watching them hunt. I finally get a chance at one as it is coming towards the boat and I hear Travis behind me telling me to aim right in front of them and I lung the net into the water and come up with MY FIRST EVER FLYING FISH! Sorry, no photos but what a rush. It's like hunting. It's a whole new element. Another species. I think there has to be a little karma in helping make the bait you will use on the kite but in the end I really did it because I am a 42 year old kid. I love the adventure. I love the chase. I love it. I get a second chance and miss but the fish flies out of the water and, believe it, lands on the deck. #ITCOUNTS I head inside and enjoy a drink.... supper.... shower... write... sleep... repeat. I awake at 4am and my hands hurt for the first time. They are just stiff and a few minutes of flexing and stretching and laughing that I am in the middle of nowhere, eating cookies at 4am and chasing fish as big as my own rear end. I am ready to head up the steps. There are a few fellow spry individuals around in varying states of lucidity and I enjoy a fresh cup of coffee. I love that the boat has a quart of half n half always at the ready and these little treats make me feel spoiled. I've saved for an entire year for 1 thing and it is little things like a freshly cleaned lucky coffee mug and half n half that remind me how fortunate I am. Out on deck I get to fishing. My # is up on the kite but there is no way gray light is passing me by without a sardine on the end of my own line. A few singles are caught and I keep thinking the kite has to go off at any moment... but it doesn't. At 10am the announcement comes that we are moving and will arrive at the new spot in the middle of the night. I head inside and change to comfy and casual. Clean on my room and rinse my short range long pump gloves. Head upstairs for a G&T or 2 and ahi seared lunch with coconut rice and then a BIG FAT NAP! I awake to cigars and JW black on the back deck followed by a poker game that goes long enough it has to be paused till after dinner. I adore passing the time with a game of cards and my adversary is a pleasure to play with. He is smart and wise and changes tactics on me multiple times eventually finishing me off. My mentor checks my JOBU rig I have set up and we decide we are ready for battle. I shower and dream of cows. I set an alarm and come upstairs to make sure I am in ready to go in time for our arrival. I'm still up on the kite and have high hopes that a new spot and gray light will bring luck to my kite turn. I have to soak a bait. I fish my 130 gear and I fish it hard and we are seeing some life around the boat as an occasional boil is yelled out from random crew. I know as god slowly turns the lights on for the day that I can barely make out a balloon out there under the kite and I have the privileged of watching the kite bait get bit. That unmistakable sound of the clicker going nuts behind and above you as that freshly hooked fish comes tight on the kite rod and crew is passing it down to the deck. I get my rod stored and Art meets me in the starboard corner. This is a huge kite reel. HUGE. A 3 speed Avet 80 wide I think. Blue, the size of a damn watermelon. I get to work on the fish and honestly the fish comes in like a puppy. I'm hoping it's a dandy fish because kite fish have a reputation for potentially being larger grade fish and I'm at gray light on a fresh spot. It's work but whether it is the fact that the fish is hooked deep with a very large hook, heavy line, 3 speed reel or my studly amazing fishing skills () this fish comes to the rail in 20 minutes. To my amazement its big! Like personal best big. My previous personal best from last year was 107 llbs. and 1 or 2 fish from yesterday was right around there but this fish is appreciably larger. In the end it weighs out at 5 star at 154 pounds and I have a new Personal Best Yellowfin Tuna. I ask Art if that was a 20 minute fight and he laughs and says maybe since we put the bait out, smiles and pats me on the back. Art and I hold the fish up for a beautiful photo and I let Art hold the head side being the gentleman that I am You can see the weight carry through the fish all the way to the tail and I laugh that it certainly isn't how I envisioned such a fish to fight but every fight is different. I stand around for a minute or two before the fish is dropped in the RSW as I almost don't want the moment to end. I head in quite late for 3rd call to breakfast and promptly blame the fish for my tardiness as I'm served chili rellenos and eggs. I head downstairs and strip my filthy shirt from holding the fish up for photos and smile. It is the very same shirt I caught my PB last year. I am not an overly superstitious person but I will never discount positive attitude and effort along with a little luck. A fellow angler on the boat tells me some divine light follows me around. I say it's BS but I'll never discount luck. Heading back outside as I have to fish. Skip jack are now everywhere and we go on the troll in hopes of escaping them. I'm lucky enough to get to take someone's troll spot that is happy to stay inside and recharge their feet. I thank them and head outside as I don't pass up the opportunity with hopes of my first ever RSW Wahoo. We have mostly cloudy skies again and swell has me planting my butt in the corner of the boat as my brain can't stand getting but a few feet away from my rod but we keep changing directions in search of fish and I almost get a saltwater bath from the scupper a few times. I get short bit just enough to make my heart skip a beat and then it must come back for the piece it missed because my rod is pegged!