Tharp started idling toward the next dock but stopped well short of it to flip some laydowns. In the brushiest part of one tree, he hooked a big fish that got wrapped up in the tangle of branches. He had the fish pinned at the surface and the water was swirling, but he was afraid to exert more pressure and break his line. Suddenly, it was gone. He threw down his rod and sat down for 30 seconds with his head buried between his hands before reporting that it was a 9- or 10-pounder.