He also knows that the fish has the hook “side ways in his mouth’ and is rushing away with it. He lets the line slip through his fingers and makes the two reserve coils fast with this line. He does not lunge at the line lest it should throw the hook out. He says to the fish, “Eat it a little more. Eat it well.” And then he strikes hard with both hands again and again so that the points of hook firmly stuck in its flesh. This done, he braces himself “against the thwart”, leaning back against the pull. The fish starts pulling the skiff steadily.
The old man hooks a huge Marlin, 1500 pounds or more and 18 feet in length. It is the biggest fish caught by any fisherman in that area so far. The old man perceives by pressure of his thumb and finger on line that it is a male and it is one hundred fathoms deep.
It is a long drag that lasts for about three days and two nights. All this while the old man stands leaning against the bow with the line taut against his back. Towards the nightfall he covers his shoulders with a sack and slowly brings it under the line. The fish never comes up but swims nobly at a steady speed. Once or twice it gives a lurch; the line cuts through his right hand and once his face strikes against the stern and he is nearly pulled overboard. However, he endures the great pain in his back, the cuts in his hands and the bruises on his face patiently.