The One That Got Away: Fish Story Winner.

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On the Boating Magazine website, we ran a contest where you had to tell us your best fish story, but one where you didn't actually catch a fish. The winner would receive a pair of Costa Del Mar Hammerhead sunglasses with 580 lenses. We had thousands of entries, but one stood out above all the rest. Here is the winning fish story from Shawn Corbin of Rocky Face, GA. Congratulations Shawn. Read his winning story below.

"I managed to muscle in on a fishing day with my Dad and is buddy, Ted. The day started off well, I was volunteered to drive, put the boat in, pull up to the dock and park the truck while my impatient mentors sat in the boat. Once we were on the water, I was more than ready to wet a hook. We pulled across the channel to a rock wall, a favorite spot of the two old anglers. They gladly pointed me to the "choice spot" to fish from, the drivers seat of the boat. Strategically placing their casts, they forced me to the other side of the boat, and open water. I took advantage of my Dad when he was "buzzed" by a bird the size of the boat. Dad hit the deck, I checked to make sure he was OK, then snuck in a few casts on the "prime" side before he gathered himself. On the second cast, "it" hit. Out of the water jumped the biggest largemouth I had ever hooked. I reeled and kept tension like a pro as this fish exited the water another time, showing us its size and beauty. I told Dad to grab the net. He took too long reaching, fumbling, and kicking for the net. By the time he had a firm grip on the net, the fish I had worked so hard to get in the boat had freed himself from my line. Disappointed by the lost battle, Dad apologized with the biggest "I'm so sorry" I had ever heard. The spirit of fishing was not with us the rest of the day, as we didn't get anything else. The only thing we talked about on the way home was the "dive bombing" bird. My Dad passed away a few years later and at the funeral several stories were told, but one story had new light. Ted brought up our fishing trip, and what he told me brought tears of joy and sorrow. He said there were forces beyond my control keeping me from landing the "bragging rights" fish that day. He then told me that when Dad was reaching for the net, he paused to look at Ted and winked-this fish wasn't going to make it in the boat. Tears rolled and as I walked over to his casket, I remembered that award winning line, "I'm so sorry". But now, I knew he meant, "I gotcha"!