Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The One That Got Away

My father fighting a fish that we never got to see.
When: Saturday, April 30th, from 1:30pm to 8pm
Where: The Delaware River, near Trenton
What: Striper fishing with my father and Big "D" River Guide Dieter Scheel.
Weather: Cool. High near 70 and cloudy. 10mph-plus NW wind.
Moon: Waning, two days before new.
River: High, but falling. Very muddy with poor visibility due to recent storms.
Tide: Outgoing. High near 2pm.

"The one that got away."

One of the quintessential fishing cliches.

However, regardless of how easy an angler may laugh-off another's loss as "the one that got away," anyone who has spent time on the water has, at minimum, a handful of painful memories regarding unseen or unphotographed fish.

I have a few myself and two that are particularly uncomfortable to think about to this day. The first was on the James River in Virginia when my sinker got stuck under a rock, leading to the escape of what was almost certainly the largest flathead catfish that I have ever hooked. The other one that stands out was the 40+ pound barracuda that took my frozen mullet as I was standing on a dock in the Florida Keys. After peeling off 180 yards of line in about 20 seconds, it gave the astonished crowd two acrobatic leaps before taking the remaining line from my spool.
Much like that massive barracuda, whatever Dad hooked into on the Big "D" this past Saturday, he had little chance of getting it to hand. Since my father connected with the fish using a Sabiki rig, wherever this fish was hooked, it had only a tiny, thin piece of metal between the line and freedom. Dad fought it like a champ, but the chances of this fish coming up were slim. To add insult to injury though, the mystery fish stayed on the line for more that 5 minutes, and came off mere seconds before we got to take a look at it.

The one that got away........................

Next Up: Another shot at the beach with Pat on Saturday.

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