It is 7 a.m.. The morning after Mother’s Day, 2016. I woke up at 5:30, just like every other day. I made 6 minuscule servings of coffee to fill my coffee mug while cursing at my wife’s Keurig machine, and it’s ridiculous little plastic cartridges. I drove my eldest son to high school while telling him about my experience of 8 hours ago. I came home, and then realized that I had not yet emptied my gear out of the back of my car after last night.
Could I face that already, or should I leave it in there until later?
I stuck four fat fingers up under the tailgate release on the SUV. I looked up at the clouds passing by, and decided that unloading would have to wait until later. I realized that I shouldn’t be here right now, this is not where I belong at this moment.
At this particular 7 a.m., if the world was fair, and if there were no domestic responsibilities, I would be waking up on the beach of Hickory Pass, the sand filling every one of my crevices like a grouted, saltillo tile floor . My eyes should be cracking and squinting open to see the beautiful blue sky above, with puffy white clouds drifting by. The sound of waves pounding the sand should be pulling me gently into consciousness. My body should have far more bug bites than it does. I should be sorer. Most importantly, I should be waking up with my giant fish laying next to me. Sleeping. Waiting for our proper introduction.
I had spent the better part of 2 hours with her the night before. Doing the dance. I had persuaded her to spend some time with me by offering up a 7 inch mullet at sunset. A gift which she greedily accepted of her own free will.
It was the blindest of dates. Neither race, religion, nor species make much difference to me, but I will say, with absolutely no judgement…more as just additional information, that I am quite sure she was a Jewfish. She teased me from about 20 yards out into the Gulf of Mexico. I would draw her nearer…at one point just a few feet in front of me…but she was as powerful as she was shy. Quite often she wouldn’t feel comfortable with me at anywhere less than 40 yards.
I needed this one. I was desperate. Success would have given me the “Street Cred” that I needed to get my internet fishing show off of the ground. I would have been a contender.
My 41-year-old Garcia Mitchell 300 reel was certainly not made for this, but with the beautiful simplicity of it’s raw, steel, steampunk guts….it performed flawlessly. My cheap Durango light pole was perfect. I recently switched to braided line, and I’ve had an issue with having knots slip out. Not tonight. My buddy taught me how to tie a “Loop-in” knot two weeks ago. Any knot that could withstand that much torque for 100 minutes was tied right. I worked my drag like Arthur Fiedler worked the Boston Pops Symphony. I feel that I did everything right, anticipating my fishes runs and breaks.
I would have been an instant star. Viral, baby. Now I am forced to try to create lemonade out of my loss. An 8 minute video with no “Tada!” at the end.
The braided line ended up breaking. It broke my heart at the same time. Painfully. I used all of my strength for almost two straight hours. And then in one micro-second…..pfffft….limp, broken. I was left with the tearfully painful job of reeling in 10 yards of weightlessness in the pitch black night. No swivel. No weight. No hook. My Jewfish, (suspected), was simply too much for my combined Fishing-Being last night. She won. I lost.
Will viewers appreciate and understand the skill displayed in an eventual loss? Will they appreciate the adrenaline and the heartbreak? I will help them to feel what I felt by pairing my video with the saddest Power Ballad of all time. What is that, you ask…? There is only one way to find out…click on my video below. For the love of all that is Holy, click on my video.