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Spanish Mackerel, Running

At first light, they propel their bluish, opalescent bodies through the Gulf like bullets gunpowder-blasted through the barrels of high-powered rifles, whipping back and forth the thin crescent moons of their tails.

They strike and swallow whole our spastic shrimp impaled on barbs of treble hooks, bending double our black Phantom rods, unreeling our reels with god- awful fury. With a single snap

of jaws teeming with a hell of murderous teeth, they sever the thick nylon of our line, leaving it hookless, impotent, flapping in the surf like a tiny, fraying flag of surrender.

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