Since these particular fish really gave me the stiff-arm this fall, I thought I would nominate them for the Heisman trophy.
#1 Trout on the Jefferson River in Montana, Sept 09
Like Colt McCoy these trout are smart, alert, strong and fast. Just when I thought I was starting to figure out their game, they kicked my fanny. They can run upstream on you, downstream, wrap around around a rock, pass, run, shuck, jive, and can find a weed-bed faster than Colt can find Shipley in the endzone. I could hook ‘em…but couldn’t seem to land ‘em. At least not the big guys. These Jefferson fish stay cool under pressure. Just when you’ve got your bent rod under control and are starting to think you have a Christmas card photo in the making, they’ll ignite the after-burners and spit the hook with ease.
#2 Tarpon in Marathon Florida, Oct 09
These saltwater titans in the Sunshine State are a lot like Tebow. I hesitate to use the word “explosive” since I think Lou Holtz has over-used it all year to describe any & every player he likes. So let’s just say these tarpon were massive and intimidating and constantly on the move. It’s as if they were palming my face in their hand, holding me at arm’s length while I swung (and casted) away like one of The Three Stooges. I did jump a couple of baby tarpon and even those brushed me off like Tebow lightly patting the helmet of a deflated opponent long after the whistle has blown.
#3 Redfish in the Mississippi Marsh, Nov 09
Not just because of their crimson hue, these redfish are Mark Ingram…stout, stoic and stubborn. Just as I was confident that I had some of them cornered in a shallow braid or narrow finger of water, they would find any seam, any hole, any pocket, and they would simply bury their heads, bear down and blow right out of there — leaving me scratching my head and blinking my eyes.
As you can see I’ve been up against some worthy opponents this season, perhaps sending me into a bit of a fishing slump if measured merely by the scoreboard at the end of the day. But you won’t see me tapping my helmet to come out of the game. After the chaos of the holidays is out of the way, it’s back to the water just as soon as possible. 2010 is my year.