My brother and I have been fishing our entire lives. We started at my Grandfather's old pond on his farm in Springfield, Tennessee. That has been some forty years ago, and the small catfish we once caught there has faded to the hunt for the king of prize fish. The fish I refer to has spawned it's own fishing classic. It causes grown men to spend their hard earned money on lures and other devices to catch this "King" of the lake with.
The fish I reference is the Largemouth Bass, a fish that will eat up all your free time and cause you to stay up nights to think of ways to convince this supreme fish to take your bait. Over the years I have read stories about the big bass. I have seen the pictures of these monsters that lie beneath the murky green water. So they are real and they still grow to enormous sizes.
Jesus was aware of fish and fishermen as he chose some to be his disciples. He also turned a basket containing a few fish into enough to feed the thousandís. Fishing is a solitary event which means that for the most part it is peaceful and filled with tranquility. I have had some my best prayer time while out by myself on a misty morning in one of my favorite fishing spots.
My brother has always been more dedicated to honing his skills in the attempt to lure this prized fish to eat his bait and give him a wonderful fight. He has even started making his own lures in an attempt to catch these magnificent beasts. While we will usually catch mounds of bass weighing five pounds or less. But the big one's ten pounds or over are much more of a evading in their capture. They have lived to be their size by confusing and frustrating their opponents. Us!
In 2005 I took a trip to Vidalia, Georgia to help a friend put on a concert, for his home town. I knew there was a bass producing pond on my friendís property in Georgia. So I packed my pole and lures for the trip just hoping I would get a chance to dip my line in the water.
Well luck was on my side and on the last day of the trip I woke up at sunrise went down to the snake filled pond and went out in a small boat that was left for me to use. I went out into the middle of the pond and started casting my line into the water. An hour went by the two hours flew out the window my time was fading fast. I came back to the launching point where I put the boat in and sent my lure into a patch of weeds.
Then it happened, I felt a strong tug on my line and the fight was on. It took me around 5 minutes to coax the fish near enough that I got a glimpse of the enormous size. When I did I was awe struck. On the end of my line was a beast. My heart was racing and my hands were trembling with excitement.
I worked the beast, and got it close enough to try and bring it in the boat. My palms were sweaty and I was praying that I could get this thing in the boat. I reached down in the water and got a good grip and brought my prize catch in. Immediately I felt vindicated for all the early mornings I had gotten up and went to the lake and came up short.
I beached the boat, and with my catch in a bag ran back to the house and woke my wife. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. My wife was shocked at the size of "Chester" as I had named it. Well Chester and I made the trip back to Nashville that day and a couple days later we went to a taxidermistís. Chester weighed in at just shy of eleven pounds.
I will never forget that day and Chester is always strutting his stuff on the mantel in my home. Since that day I have caught one more bass close to Chester's size but felt that God blessed me with one big fish so I let the other fish go back to make another fisherman's dream come true.
I may at some point be fortunate to catch a fish bigger than Chester but it will never feel the same as that early morning in Vidalia, Georgia.
Bass fishing is a sport that causes grown men to literally cry at the loss of a big fish. We have all been there, but there is no feeling like the time you hook and land a monster, and thanked God for the privilege.
Great story Jeff. I am not a fisherman, and do not think I ever will be, but I was taken in by it, wondering if you would reel him in. I liked the beginning how your interest grew from the small fish to the big fish, and now how everything is measured by that 11 pound (we say 5kg) bass on your mantlepiece. I hope you catch a bigger one still.