Headed out last night with my buddy Pat H. Met him at the SBH at 1930. Set off for the North Gap. Water temp was 67 degrees. Started at the mouth of the Buffalo and began our pattern. Beautiful night.
At 2030ish my outside rod goes off. Perch Candy 50 foot back. We had just went from 23 fow to 18 fow real quick. Thought it was a snag. Picked it up and head shaking begins. Comes in fast towards the boat, a couple more runs then lays up.....
Side note: my buddy Pat has been trying to get to a meeting to pick up a Beckman net. Hes a Buffalo fireman and life has gotten in the way of the past couple 1st Tuesdays...
We can see the fish. Appears to be a very thick mid 40 fish. Definitely my PB. Get it to the back of the net and Pat tries to scoop it. Goes in head first, hooks get caught..some hooting and hollering commences, fish starts shaking, then rolls out of the net. Time slowed down. Fish is sitting there on the side of the boat, swear I saw it wink and flash a toothy smile as it swam away....
Drop to my knees, which I now realize are shaking. Pit in my stomach. Lots of words I shouldnt repeat here. Sick.
Moon rose at 2230. Ran circles around the North Gap untim about midnight and headed in.
Until next time, I guess. Dammit.
Sometimes you eat the bear & sometimes the bear eats you, but you'll remember that one for a long, long time. Congratulations on getting him in the net, though. & thanks for the report.
We should be able to get your buddy Pat a net even if he can't make it. I'll poke around a little & let you know what we come up with.
My sympathies on the loss, but don't give up that wink might have been a see you later.
Only way to cure that sting is to get an even bigger one! Go fish! (and sorry to hear)