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Kubasaki teen wins battle with giant fish

Date Posted: 2005-09-29

A boy spending a leisurely Saturday morning fishing doesn’t sound like much of a story.

When Kubasaki High School student Michael Siegel took up to check a tale that there was an eel living in a creek behind his school, he got a lot more than he bargained for.

On this Saturday, Siegel found himself on the receiving end of a classic fisherman’s battle. Fishing in a creek in Habu Canyon valley, which runs behind Kubasaki High School, young Michael threaded a piece of plain ol’ hot dog on a hook and tossed it in the meandering water.

Moments later, with a jerk and a tug, the delicate dance began. The fish took the bait and began the struggle for life. Michael wrestled with his pole as he took the challenge, determined not to lose the wriggling creature trying to pull away. It was difficult as the fish fought harder than the teenager had ever experienced.

Suddenly, Michael was in the water, pulled into the creek by the desperate fish. He thrashed around, half fishing and half wrestling before literally pushing the big fish into a net extended by his dad, Marine Colonel Bugsy Siegel. IT worked!

Excited, stunned and shaken, Michael and his dad hauled the creature from the water, where they looked, and looked, and looked. It was not your normal fish.

A giant eel was on the creek bank. Knowing it was something special, the camera came out and dad documented the moment. The 60-pound eel measured six feet long. Churaumi Acquarium in Nago identified the fish as a Great Eel, which normally grows to 3-4 feet long.

The fish, after the photo session, was tossed back in the water to swim another day. Michael? He plans to go after the Great Eel again, wanting another terrific experience.

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