My one that got away is a good one. Well, it's a bad one, because the fish got away, but it's a good story.
I was on Lake Kissimmee when they had drawn the lake down in the early 1980s. They drew it down to where there was very little water in it. You'd be running across the middle of the lake and you'd be in a foot of water and man, you'd be puckered up. A lot of times you'd end up hitting bottom so you'd have to push the boat for a ways.
The fish were concentrated in these deep holes, and we were catching fish. I mean, we were really catching fish. A guy by the name of John Fox was shooting movies, and we had found some fish on the end of Grassy Island the night before we were going to shoot movies. We went out the next morning to catch the fish we had found on the end of Grassy.
The fishing was so good that John Fox had two 10-pounders on one crankbait. We got it on film, too. That's 20 pounds of bass on one lure. While they were doing that, I was in the process of losing the biggest fish I ever saw.
I went down around Brahma Island and saw a hole that was a little deeper. I was throwing a Bagley Killer B2 and I hung this fish that was an absolute beast. I'm talking about a giant fish. This fish rolled up and it was at least 15 pounds, most likely more. The reason I know it was that size and better is because I caught my biggest fish, a 12-14, a few weeks later and this thing dwarfed it. It was huge.
Well, I fought it and fought it and fought it. I'd get it to the boat, and it'd run off several times. I finally got it up to the boat, and it's lying on its side almost where I could reach it with the net... and the hook pops out! It didn't take hardly any pressure; it just popped out.
The fish didn't move. It was still lying on its side completely whipped. I sat there stunned at how huge this fish was, and I watched it slowly sink out of sight. It didn't swim away; it just dropped vertically out of sight.
I never saw it again. It was huge.
It was giant.
It was huge.