I have told a few stories here about “the one that got away”. Do not get me wrong, my fishing partners and I have landed A LOT of really nice fish over the years. We have albums full of photos proving that most of them have not “got away”. Yet, the ones that got away seem to live forever in our memory. That is fine, that keeps us fishing, but hopefully there are some things learned in the process:
Let’s see, I can think of a few hard lessons: Re-tie knots, sharpen hooks, upgrade hooks, replace landing net netting, just to name a few.
Most importantly, I can think of one other lesson–Do not quit! Oh believe me, I know the gut-punch of losing a big fish. I have sat down mumbling to myself more than once; I felt like crying, felt like throwing the rod in the water and giving up. But I did not. The only real cure to losing a big fish is to get back in the game, to hook another one, and next time land it! Oh sure, it may take a long time before you hook another one like you just lost. On the other hand, it may not take nearly as long as you think. It may happen on the next cast!
One of my biggest pike came after losing what was a big pike. I rested the spot, came back an hour or two later, changed up lures and got bit again! This time the pike was twice the size of the one I had lost!
I can remember my son’s agony after losing a big brown trout. He had done nothing wrong, the fish just got off before we could put it in the net. My only advice? Keep fishing! He did and an hour or two later he caught a brownie that was just as large as the one he had lost.
Learn from your mistakes and never quit!