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The Agony!

Found this clip on the interwebs.  Love it.

Love it because I know exactly how this kid felt:

Admit it.  You’ve been there.

Here is the last muskie I had hooked:


She was right there.  You can almost see the water swirling yet.  What hurt so much is I had just sat down and sharpened hooks.  I spent at least ten or fifteen minutes sharpening hooks.  Started casting again and it was not three casts and I felt that “thump”.  By the way, that has got to be the best feeling in the world.

Reflexively I set the hook.  I put the steel to her.  Good hook set.  Jerked her “eye-teeth” out just like Gramps Roth taught me.  She came right to the surface, swung that big head back and forth, and there suspended in the water to her left was my bait.

There she was, gone.

It happened in slow motion.  Can still see it all in my head.

And I am still in a muskie slump.

I was fishing alone, not another person in sight.  For all you know I reacted just like that little boy.

I ain’t telling.

I do remember a trip a long, long time ago.  Miserable couple of days, early spring, cold, wet, spitting snow.  Rainbow trout were the target, and Uncle Ivan had caught one, a big one.  I wanted one bad.  Unfortunately, you know the saying, “all good things must come to an end.”  I was wet, miserable, hungry, but I had not caught a trout yet.  I can remember crying because we had to quit.  Yeah, I was a boy.  I shed some tears.  Still feel the same way, just do not shed the tears.  Well, most of the time. . . .

What to do when you lose a big one?

The only thing I know is to fish.  Keep fishing.  Keep trying.  The next one will be even bigger. . . .

Another trip, another one for trout.  My son spotted a really nice brownie in a pool.  He spent considerable time trying to get that fish to bite.  Finally, it did.  And then he lost it.  No tears were shed, but he was not happy.  I had no fatherly advice other than to keep fishing.

He spotted another nice brown, same one maybe, at least as big.  Again, it took some time to get it to bite.  This time we put ’em in the net!

I never forget that feeling either!


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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