The fish is no more than 15 feet from the boat, and it doesn’t take me long to reel it into the net. Kieper removes the hook, then shows me how to handle the fish properly for a photo. The fish is hardly huge—less than 30 inches—but that hardly matters. I’ve been at this for about 16 of the last 24 hours, and in these conditions—hell, in any conditions—anyone who is fortunate enough to catch one of these predators only to be disappointed by its size isn’t deserving of the moment. As I cradle the fish, admiring its teeth, eyes, and color, I forget about the casts, the long, cold hours of hunting, and the exhaustion. I’d spend a week on the water for this fish. I’d cast 20,000 times.