Jason, Jeff, Tom and I snuck out yesterday for a little more #justkeepskipping. We rolled out to the 43 a little late after making bait in the AM. We got to the high spot and it was a circus. Boats everywhere dragging kites, trolling, etc. We metered around for a minute, didn't see much, put our kite up and went hunting. We had a few friends in the area and kept in touch. We had all seen some little marks but not the stuff we were looking for. We continued to hunt around. Finally about 10 miles away from the high spot I start seeing the right stuff on the meter. I tell the guys we are going to get bit, it's just a matter of time. About 30 min later, the familiar scream "We're Bit!!!!!!" We all jump into action. I gun the boat to come tight. Jeff is reeling like hell. Jason is clearing the kite, Tom (FNG) is pretty much stunned. We come tight really quick and settle in. Jason is working the cockpit and I'm on the wheel. This fish stayed up on the surface for the first 20 min or so which is usually a good sign its a big one. We harnessed Jeff up and he got the drill down really quickly despite not having used one before. This fish was a straight up asshole. All of our other big fish have been surprisingly cooperative and this one, not so mucho. He fought the fish for about an hour and twenty minutes and the fish was now on it's side making the big circles on near the surface. We get a couple looks at it and it's clearly over 200. Probably about 250#. End game time. This is where things go bad. Just as the fish is making it's last couple of circles behind the boat, he shook his head, turned toward the boat and made a run. I pulled away quickly and Jeff was winding like crazy. It was gone. Hook had bent and pulled. I won't mention the brand other than to say I really only trust my Mustads with big fish. 7691ss in 9/0 has accounted for all of our kite fish. I didn't rig this lure and I ASSUMED it was a Mustad. That won't happen again. Jeff was exhausted and we were all very pissed off. Tackle failures are unacceptable in my book. One of the few things you can control when you fish is preparation. If you don't like your knot, retie. If your leader is too light, change it. If your reel is worn out, rebuild it. It's cliche but it's so true, when preparation meets opportunity you have success. At any rate. Pissed and dejected we put the stuff back out and get back at it. We have plenty of time before the next tide and we want redemption. Not five minutes later while crying in my ice cold Modelo, "We're BIT!!!!!". This time Tom is screaming! He didn't even touch the rod before line was ripping. Same drill. Everyone know's their job. Now Tom is in the harness for his second time ever. Just like the first fish, this one is a pain in the ass as well. Very tough, squirrely fish. Zigging all around the place diving, running, etc. It would never settle in even after an hour in the fight. Finally we kind of figure him out and we can keep him circling but he just won't get tired. He's upright and green as hell but circling none the less. Finally at the 1.5 hr mark he's showing signs of giving up. He starts showing his sides in the top of the circles. I set the fish up broadside, he plays with us for a few passes and Jeff gets him in the head with an 8' gaff. Jason got a shitty skin shot so I ran down with the 3rd gaff, sunk it in the head and ding dong the witch is dead. I pride myself on being super calm and collected when I'm on a big fish or driving the boat. I gotta say, I haven't experienced anxiety like this in years. Every time that fish would circle of dive for the props my heart would stop. I don't think I could have stomached another heart breaker. In the end the good guys won. Tom got his fish of a lifetime and we put another notch in the gaffs. We got in late and weighed the fish this morning at the Marlin Club. I called it 225# and it went 228#. Hell yes! Super stoked. These are the good old days guys, get out there and make some memories.