OCR lessons for bass fishermen:
Earning state records for largemouth bass is elusive. I’ve been trying for years. There’s a little farm pond just a few miles from my house. My friend and I fished there regularly, certain that the fish larger than ten pounds fourteen ounces was in there. We came close with a few eight pounders. Now that Parkinson’s has sidelined my friend, I also fish no more. Bubba is still out there. That record, set in 1980, still stands. So does the record for the largest chain pickerel. Caught in 1957 off the dock of Lower Aetna Lake where my sister-in-law now lives, I doubt anyone will ever catch a pickerel larger than nine pounds three ounces.
And once again, the capture of $1,000,000 on Million Dollar Mile remained elusive despite the best effort of professional bass fisherman Aaron Britt.
He claimed his training for this race came from bass fishing.
“Very grueling on a man’s body,” he said.
As his first obstacle, he chose Bamboo Forest. Perhaps it brought him a sense of comfort and confidence that these would somehow bring him the familiar look and feel of fishing poles. Such was not the case. He was on the obstacle for 1:38 while the Defender, Erik Mukhametshin – the Beast from the East (Ukraine), took only 0:34 to land the obstacle.
With $10,000 up for grabs, Aaron took off running towards Flies on the Wall. Reminded of the words tattooed to his neck, “Never give up”, he kept running until he heard the Beast approach.
Oh, how often I have fished the waters only to be distracted by something when that potential record fish breaks the water in a violent grab for my lure. But I miss him on the set because I turned around. How many times did I not land one on the line because I looked away, briefly letting the tension off the line just enough for the struggling fish to dance once more and shake itself free.
Even the “Money Man” yelled, “Tonight he is the catch.
Don’t look back. Don’t look back.
Aaron is the bass and Erik has his line in the water and he’s coming after him.”
And just like that, Erik passed Aaron and denied him the catch.
Back at the line with host Tim Tebow, Aaron said, “Harder than it looks.” He shook hands with Erik, flashed his “Stay true” tattoo on his knuckles. He’ll never fish these waters again.
As we say in the bass fishing world, we do a lot of fishing but very little catching. The Million Dollar Mile record still stands after three episodes. Tonight we also saw Faye Stenning and Hunter McIntyre return with little trouble in finishing off their foes. Rebecca Hammond debuted and likewise caught her prey. As we say in the bass fishing world, maybe next time.