Ha! You are the best! You'd think I never fished before but as I have relived the moment about 20 times over the weekend as my friend Paul has been busting my chops.....Here is what I think actually happened.
I was standing on the front of the flats boat (Something I'm not used to) and as that first fish took off I was really surprised at how fast and how powerful it was. I was also surprised at how tight the drag was. I also was surprised that the fish almost pulled me off the boat and into the river. So, I decided to reach for the drag to back it off a little. At the same time, that Tarpon took off and again caught me off guard. Looking back on it, I don't think it "ripped" the rod out of my hand. I think it pulled me off balance so much that I was going for a swim. At that point, it was either me or the rod that was going for a swim! I really don't know for sure.
In either case it was a great night! 16 fish on and at least another 20+ bites that never quite hooked up. The next day we went out into the Gulf and couldn't stop talking about how much fun we had the night before.
One other thing that happened later in the night was my friend Paul fighting a tarpon that hit about 3 feet from the boat. It makes its first jump and almost hits Paul in the face. Paul jumps back like a little girl and it makes its second jump almost hits him again and he almost fell over backwards. It was pretty funny to see a grown man almost get beat up by a Tarpon!
In either case we all had a great time and hope to do it again later this Summer or next Summer when we are in town.
Thanks for the great time Keith!