A very fun day full of catfish, and "Stupid Guide Tricks." More on that in a moment.

Tim Meyers and his father-in-law, Tom Powers, came down from Knoxville fishing this Spring but we got stormed off the water after an hour or two. I promised them a make-up day and this was it. They had a ball. Tim said, "I caught more fish today than I've caught in the last five years. And these were bigger than the fish I caught on a deep-sea charter two weeks ago." It wasn't fast and furious, in fact the morning started slow. But we hung in their, made a couple of moves and slowly but surely pounded out enough fish to fill their cooler, and probably threw back that many or more. No real monsters today, but we did find four or five quality fish. The best bite really didn't start until after Noon.

Now for "Stupid Guide Tricks."

Ever since I've been a fishing guide, people often ask me, "What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you on a guide trip?"

I'm usually at a bit of a loss because I can honestly say there has never really been a particularly outrageously funny moment... until today.

Anytime I'm catfishing with youngsters, I tell them, "Now hold onto that fishing rod tight because big cats can yank it right out of your hand." But it's never happened... until today.

The sad part is, it happened to ME, not a little kid.

There we were, fishing along and having fun. I am really not sure what happened. Maybe I was switching the rod from one hand to another? Maybe my hands were slimy from unhooking catfish and baiting hooks? Or maybe I'm just an idiot?

Whatever the reason, I remember feeling a fish hit, raising the rod slightly to get pressure on him... and the next thing I knew I was watching my very expensive All Pro Rod hit the water and start sinking, or being pulled, out of sight.

You often hear the phrase "cat-like reflexes." Well, I'm not bragging (much), but with cat-like reflexes... or an instinctive act of desperation... I hit the water head first in what I'm sure was a 9.8 Olympic dive. I went deep, waving my arms to and fro and finally felt my arm wrap around the rod. I grabbed hold tight, guesstimating I was ten feet down... at least it felt like it, and started trying to claw my way to the surface with my one free hand.

The catfish had other ideas.

Have you ever been in an underwater tug-of-war with a 15 lb. catfish? Don't try it. If he'd been a 30-pounder I would never have regained the surface, or sacrificed a $300 rod & reel combo

I did, however, win the tug-of-war, doing a one-handed dog paddle back to the boat where Tom was kindly standing by with an outstretched hand. Tom however, didn't reach for me. He said "Give me the rod!" Which I did and he proceeded to fight the fish while I made my way to the back of the boat and with Tim's help, climbed back in. Then I laughed until I cried as Tom landed our biggest fish of the day. Now is that service or what?

In the process of saving my fishing rod however, I fear the digital camera that I wear on my hip, will be a casualty. Fortunately the card is fine (see below)... and the rod & reel I saved were far more expensive than the camera.

Plus my clients got a wonderful show... and a great story I'm sure they'll enjoy telling for the rest of their lives.

Proud to be of service gentlemen.

Life is good and getting better everyday.

Read my book, "An Outdoor State of Mind"
"The outdoors is not just a place, it's a state of mind."