The fight was epic. I set the hook into what I thought was a log. Then she shook her head. The rod thumped twice electrifying my hands. I didn’t say a word. I just started reeling. My mind raced through the checklist. Keep the line tight. Keep her head down. Get her to the boat quickly but don’t horse it.
At first she played nice and swam up the current toward the boat. My cousins cleared their lines. She was about 8 feet away when she came up out of the water for the first time. She slapped the surface with a tail bigger than my hand. My heart started pounding in my throat.
She dove away from the boat digging into the river bottom. The ripping current vibrated the line as I slowly pulled her back up to the surface. Then she cut behind the boat. I turned her back into the current. My cousin grabbed the net. She was close.
But not close enough. She rolled out of the muddy water flashing her silvery-white belly. She was huge. My cousin reached out with the net. Which badly needed another 18″ added to the handle.
I tried to get to the front of the boat to put the fish within reach. But the damn cooler was in my way. The jig popped out of her mouth. She was gone.
This happened four days ago. Admittedly, I’m doing much better now. The sick feeling is starting to fade. The day dreams and nightmares have subsided for the most part. But I’m still pretty irritable.
All things considered, it was still a great day on the water. The weather was awesome.
And I became king of white bass.
Landing that big walleye would’ve been a great “beginners luck” story for my first trip to the Maumee River in Ohio. I’ll be back next April to settle the score. Along with the bigger net I just got from Bass Pro Shops yesterday morning.