To The Winner Go The Spoils

Having won the Mill’s County General’s Store Big Buck Contest, the buck having scored a gross of 141-1/8, but when it was scored by my taxidermist, Mickey Donahoo it scored a gross of 142-6/8, anyway it was a big one! But my mind goes back to a fateful day in September, 1999 I believe, when I caught and released, the biggest speckled trout of my life!

Carl Pittman, deceased now, was with me on that fateful day, September 5, 1999, as we stopped and bought bait, live shrimp, at the Pleasure Island Bait Camp and we zipped through Galveston Harbor and cruised out to the jetties, south jetty in particular, to sample the trout fishing.  We pulled up to my favorite place, carefully slid the anchor into the water, it held and we cast out our rigs, standard rigs for the jetties, just a split shot 12 inches above the hook, a small treble hook, hooked to a live shrimp, we were in business.

It wasn’t long before the action started, we were sacking up the specks we probably had 8 or 10 when I had a big hit!  At first I thought it was a big redfish from the head shaking, but when it circled the boat, I knew it was a big trout, big it was, but after a 10 minute fight, and it fought all the way into the boat, Carl slipped the net under it and it was my fish!

Wow, we measured it and it was 29 inches long, had already spawned and estimated its weight at 9 pounds, a king sized speck.  Thinking, If I had caught this fish on, or before, August 31st, I would have won, The Upper Coast Division of The Star Tournament, the CCA Tournament and I would have won a new boat, motor and trailer, (along with a big tax problem)!  What a difference 5 days made.

Having caught (and eaten) several state record fish, catching and releasing this speckled trout and thinking of the millions of eggs she has spawned over her life, I was glad that I released her.  Winning the Tournament wasn’t a big deal to me sure the notoriety would have been fine, but I could do without the tax problem!  Thank goodness the prize for winning the Big Buck Contest wasn’t $30,000 big!

Well, as I’ve said before, you win some and you loose some, that’s life!