The One That Got Away

While every angler has at least one that has gotten away, as pros we have a bunch. Some have deeper reaching consequences than others, and some stick out more than others. This one haunts me to this day.

Denny Brauer

While every angler has at least one that has gotten away, as pros we have a bunch. Some have deeper reaching consequences than others, and some stick out more than others. This one haunts me to this day.It was during the 1994 Bassmaster Classic on High Rock Lake in Greensboro, N.C. It was one of those fish that didn't matter at the time, because I wasn't aware of how far it would reach. It was just another lost fish.During the first day of competition I was flipping a Strike King jig into some bushes. I had made a flip that was just a little too far. It went over a branch and, of course, a 3-pounder hit it. If the flip was right on target, I think the fish would've taken the bait anyway, but it was just over the target. I set the hook, and he got to thrashing about and got off. I kind of shrugged it off and went back to fishing. Over the next two days I didn't let that fish bother me, but as the weigh-in shook out on the final day, it hit me. If I had landed that fish, I would've won.The fact that Bryan Kerchal won didn't help at the time, but after the events that took place later (Kerchal died in a plane crash later that same year), it kind of helped the pain, if that makes sense. I'm glad that it was him who won after all.I try not to get too caught up in the past, but I think fishermen are more susceptible to this than a lot of folks are. I try to put history behind me and make history every day, because if you can't put the past behind you, it'll affect you in one way or another.All that said, I still think about that fish.

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