Bonitas Feed On Flying-Fish, Wherefore They Are
Unaccustomed To Nibbling At The Hook.
They strike as gamely as the
gamest fish in the sea, and their first run is something that no man
who has ever caught them will forget.
Also, bonitas are the veriest
cannibals. The instant one is hooked he is attacked by his fellows.
Often and often we hauled them on board with fresh, clean-bitten
holes in them the size of teacups.
One school of bonitas, numbering many thousands, stayed with us day
and night for more than three weeks. Aided by the Snark, it was
great hunting; for they cut a swath of destruction through the ocean
half a mile wide and fifteen hundred miles in length. They ranged
along abreast of the Snark on either side, pouncing upon the flying-
fish her forefoot scared up. Since they were continually pursuing
astern the flying-fish that survived for several flights, they were
always overtaking the Snark, and at any time one could glance astern
and on the front of a breaking wave see scores of their silvery
forms coasting down just under the surface. When they had eaten
their fill, it was their delight to get in the shadow of the boat,
or of her sails, and a hundred or so were always to be seen lazily
sliding along and keeping cool.
But the poor flying-fish! Pursued and eaten alive by the bonitas
and dolphins, they sought flight in the air, where the swooping
seabirds drove them back into the water.
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