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I set a fishing goal earlier this year. I thought it would be a great challenge to see how many freshwater species I could catch here in Texas. FYI, goals get you out more.

Needless to say it has been quite a year so far. The fishing hasn't ended, but with the cooler temps ahead, it is about to get interesting.

I get photos from my "reel" fishing friends showing off some of some their catches and the one's last week broke me! Just kidding, I was happy he caught a Carp and a Bowfin, on a trout pattern Panther Martin, in a dirty retention pond, 70yds from my back fence. In southeast Texas. Yep, that makes complete sense.

So, the next day, after a front moved through I tossed on my gear and walked out the back fence gate hopeful that one or the other would happen to grace the net. I say walked but I was thwarted by a lost key and had to cut my way out of the back fence with a cutoff wheel. This is another story all together. Anyway, I was determined and when I got to the lake I began to cast. It wasn't very long before I got a hold of one. Well, maybe more along the lines of it got a hold of me. Definitely more of the latter.

Seriously, it was the giant that got away. I miss cast a #8 peacock and black bugger and it landed in a small patch of grass a foot from the shore. I felt a vibration in the rod, then second later I saw golden 8" carp tale swing up and out of the water on its way back to it's little spot. So, naturally, I set the hook.

The Hellbender was in the perfect shape of a tear drop....ruh ROH. "Hmm, I need to play this soft." I thought, just settle in, it's gonna be a minute. So, I eased up a bit as the fish paralleled the shore about 10ft. out. It stops. I add a bit of pressure and begin walking backwards. It turns and takes off like golden rocket. At least that's what I imagine. So, so it takes off and all I can do is let him as he drags me towards shore. I try turning his head to shore with no luck.....I calmly and reluctantly give in and straighten the rod out....a second later the tippet snaps and the line smacks me in the face. The carp might as well have given me a back hand.

Crushed. As I stood there, I told myself I am holding my ground next time. Rod be damned. I tried again a few days later. Pretty sure I saw the same tail crest out of the water in the middle of the retention pond. Again, it happened a few days later on my next attempt. This one has a sense of humor, I say to myself. I have patience and will find what works to bring him to justice. This bandido of the pond. He better watch it, I own a Kayak and a bow. Just saying.

Get out there and tighten a line. And if you see my missing fish, let me know.


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