Like all pros, I have a lot of ones that got away. I've had plenty in the past, and I know I'll have more in the future. However, I have one that sticks out and I still think about.
It was during this past season (2010) at Clarks Hill Lake in Georgia. I was doing very well; I was in the Top 10 going into the third day. Most all of my fish were biting a Jackall Squad Minnow 115. I only needed 6 1/2 pounds to make the final day cut.
By the afternoon, I had a few fish in the livewell and was fishing a long point. I was actually catching fish behind other guys with my jerkbait. The way I was doing it was by making really long casts with the Squad Minnow. When you go to cast it, the weight goes to the back so you can throw it really far. This was key with the water as clear as it was.
The spot was about 10 or 12 minutes from where we took off in the morning. On this particular point, shad were bunched up. I was working the bait when a good fish hit it. It was big, I could tell from how hard it was pulling. I worked it all the way up to the boat and saw it. It was about 6 pounds.
I had a lot of adrenaline flowing and bent down to grab it when the only hook that was in it just fell out. It shouldn't have, but somehow it did! I can't explain it. I yelled "No!" as it slipped away. I can still feel that fish getting away. It was terrible.
I only weighed in 4 pounds that day and dropped to 20th place or something like that. Though I lost the fish, I really wouldn't have done anything differently. I don't know how it came out. I must have been nervous or something and fought it too aggressively.
I'm sure there will be more ones that get away, but that one still hurts.