Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Personal Best

I received a picture the other day that got me thinking about certain special moments in a fisherman's lifetime. These moments are the times when we experience something extraordinary. What struck me is that for some of us these moments are crystal clear. Others though, may not be. The picture connected with this post came with these words "Here's what I know…he caught the fish in Malibu near Neptune's Net and was only out a 1/2 hour in a kelp bed, rough water. It took 1 1/2 hours to reel him in and he had somewhat of a sled ride during that process, he was in a kayak as I mentioned! He used a taddy #9 and the photographer was just his friend John, don't know the last name, he is a lifeguard in Ventura! It was a career fish and he spread the love amongst all his friends….that's all folks!" There you have it. Derek (I only know his first name) landed the 54lb white sea bass he's holding and will probably log this catch as his "personal best" of a lifetime. Now this is not to say that catching the biggest fish is what's considered "personal best". That's up to you. Personal best or extraordinary could be a trip, a cast, a fly, a fish or a combination of things. What's your definition of personal best?

Contribution by KD Heupel


2wildtrout said...

That's a great shot and story. It's very encouraging to know there are fish like that in our local water.

My definition of personal best is not necessarily the day of the biggest fish landed, although that's a damn fine day, but rather when I find total contentment in the day and surrondings on the water - that is, often times, the greatest accomplishment - a personal best.

Gierach touches on this ideal:

"... let me introduce an idea - just something to kick around: Maybe your stature as a fly fisherman isn't determ0ined by how big a trout you can catch, but by how small a trout you can catch without being disappointed, and, of course, without losing the faith that there's a bigger one in there." - John Gierach, Fly Fishing Small Streams.

Without being disappointed. Being content. That's my personal best.


Anonymous said...

What a great shot! Though I'm a fly-fisherman, I associate this little bit of the world exclusively with surfing. Having grown-up not to far from there, Neptune's Net and the view it offers hold a special place in my heart. A day in the water and a beer on the deck afterwards is pretty much a perfect day.

It's nice to hear a down home story from a place that has seen so much development lately. I still visit and surf this spot occasionally, if the swell is good, on visits home. I'm sorry to say that the crowds often keep me away.

Matthew D Dunn said...

Well, not my personal best, but yesterday I just had a great day fishing. One of the better days I can remember. Not a ton of fish, but a lot. Not huge fish, but decent size, not beautiful scenery, but quite pretty. Everything just seemed to come together and I felt great.

check it out here:

10 after 10 said...

Wow. That looks heavy.

One of my fondest memories is and will be my first saltwater hookup. I had a great guide who wouldn't let me go home empty-handed. Read about it here:

El Pescador said...

Nice pix Matthew. Each fish is a gem.

El Pescador said...

Justin, your story underscores a special session. Sarah's "plan D" would be another good name for the story. Thanks for sharing.