The ensuing tug-of-war was exhilarating in more ways than one. The tripletail yanking on my line was well above average, but it was its savvy rather than its brawn that made me sweat the tussle. First, it made a U-turn around the buoy rope. Then it dropped out of sight, dashed toward another crab-trap marker nearby and made a hard right the instant it swam past the rope. Luckily, the 10-pound braid held up to the abrasion, and a few minutes later, after some fancy boat handling, we brought the plump 13-pounder aboard.