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One Photo: One Story; A wish for a bigger fish

There was 30 minutes remaining in the Rydin-Hy Ranch fishing contest when Mrs. Razz and I pushed the rowboat from the shore. I was rowing; she was ready with her pink fishing pole to win the contest.

I was in the lead.

Earlier that morning, I snagged a 2.35lb bass along the shore of Lake Sherman. It was hiding near a fallen tree just shaded from the morning sun. After weighing in, I let it swim away.

When I go fishing with my family, I spend most of my time untangling lines, tying knots and taking fish off of the hook for everyone but me. It’s an endless job. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. When we’re out there, wherever there is fishing, we have time for each other. No schedule, no cell phone, no appointments or the race of life; it’s just us.

We have been fishing together as a family for years. It’s valuable time spent together, connecting, quiet time to talk about whatever you like.

The fishing contest was from 9am-5pm. The winner won a T-Shirt claiming; “I Won The Rydin-Hy Fishing Contest”.

I wanted that shirt. My family knew if I won, I would wear that shirt for the next 10 years. They were trying to stop me.

Late in the day, Kelly was fishing the banks along the tree line as the sun was ducking behind the hills. With ten minutes to spare, Kelly’s pole wiggled and she felt the line tug. “Tip Up”, I yelled. She reeled and reeled and landed a bass.

I could tell it was going to be close. We had ten minutes to spare, and her fish looked a bit bigger than mine.

“We’re not going to make it back”, Kelly said. “Yes we are”. I told her as I began to row the 150 yards back to shore.

The deadline was minutes away as we approached the shore.

We could see the staff gathering on the shoreline for the final count.

“Last call for the fishing contest!” Someone yelled out.

We shouted from the boat, “We’re coming in!”

I was leading for 7 Hours and 57 minutes.

We drifted the last few feet to the shore and scrambled from the boat.

Her bass weighed 2.50 lbs. She had won the fishing contest by a few ounces. She got the T-shirt and wore it for the rest of our vacation.

The winning fish swam back into the lake.

I couldn’t think of a better ending. I haven’t seen the T-Shirt in a number of years. If it were mine, I’d still be wearing it and reminding everyone of my mighty fish tale.

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