The fish took off on a run for the gulf. It quickly ran out all 150 yards of my 30 pound test and then went into my backing, finally coming to a stop. I gained some line back before it changed direction and then headed for the end of the fishing bridge. I chased it by walking down the bridsge and handing my pole around the lights. At the end of the bridge, I tightened my drag and finally stopped the run. Pumping my rod I gained back line, but I was putting too much strain on the line and the fish surfaced about 100 yards away. It was the biggest fish of my life, a red or black drum and it dove again. I fought the fish for 15 minutes and then the line broke and I reeled in, inspecting my leader. Damn, I wish I could have got it closer for a better look. I don't really know if I could have landed it as I was on the bridge and looking down 20 feet. but it didn't matter as I had another great fish story. My first fish story occurred when I was five, on a family trip to West Union, Iowa. The purpose of the visit was to see family, but somehow we ended up fishing Otter Creek for trout,(Stangely we visited lots of family near trout streams, but rarely any where the fishing was poor). Casting my pole out I waited patiently for the bite to happen, but no bites. Soon the rest of the family walked back to the car and Dad informed me it was time to go, but I didn't wind in... After he left my pole atarted to jump and I fought a trout in only to lose it right at the bank. Now the rest of the family had already left so of course no one believed me and my first true tale of losing a fish was doubted. Being a good kid and having never stretched anything, unlike my brother Mike, it galled me as they laughed at my story. It would end up costing me as I was hooked on fishing and proving the doubters wrong. Since then a lot of years have passed and I have caught a lot of nice fish, but its kind of strange as some of my best memories are of big fish that got away. There was a big walleye that I lost at Keyhole, while fishing with my friend Ken Johnson. Another at the Cabelas National Championship, that would have won Bob,(Bentley) and me first place and a new Ranger boat, but it wasn't meant to be. Through the years there have been many stories, some believed but most doubted as fishing tales. I guess thats the nature of fishing. A sport where there are lots of doubters, lots of out right liars, and a few honest fishermen like myself. Oh well, the sun will rise soon and I am heading back to the bridge at Grand Isle. Clear skies.
ps Did I ever tell you of the time I was fishing with my cousin David Leitz and ..... pps(The above pictures are of a gafftopsailsail catfish and the fishing bridge at Grand Isle, La).