Select Page

So what is it that drives you in the sport of fishing? Is it trying to best the field in tournaments? Is it getting out on the water and spending time with family and friends? Or, is it just getting away from the hustle of daily life and recharging? No matter your motivation, the great thing about fishing is that there is something for everyone. The last few years, my drive has been adding new species to the list of fish I have caught. I have been pretty successful in this endeavor, but there was one fish that kept eluding me. One fish that my chase to catch, grew into something of an urban legend.

Much like the white whale in Moby Dick, this fish became my obsession. I would go to places that I knew they lived. I would have them follow lures all the way to the boat or they would come unbuttoned at the last second. Although they didn’t haunt my dreams, they did haunt me on social media. People were always nice enough to tag me in posts where these fish had been caught, thus fueling the legend even more. At one point I even became Wikipedia famous for my inability to seal the deal. So what elusive apex predator was I after you may ask. Well it was nothing more than the good old Chain Pickerel. Yes, this small member of the Esox family had been giving me the slip for the longest.

One day while checking my Facebook page and seeing that once again someone was pointing out my pickerel problem, I got a message from my friend Garett. He said that he had a place where I was guaranteed to catch not just one, but multiple pickerel. So this set the plans in motion for a road trip to Arkansas. I figured this would give me a chance to fish new waters in a different state, meet some new people, and if the fishing gods found me worthy, catch my Chain Pickerel.


Fast forward a couple months and Blake and I were on our way to Central Arkansas. We met up with Garett and got the run down on the locations where we would be fishing. Garett had some things to take care of, so Blake and I set off on our own. As luck would have it, Blake was first on the board with not one, but two pickerel. I have to be honest, at this point I really was starting to wonder if I was cursed. Maybe somewhere along the way I had committed an egregious act and was being punished by Poseidon himself.


And then it happened. Something hit my Rapala Shadow Rap like a torpedo as I was ripping it clear of a patch of grass. The fish made a run before it leapt out of the water. There it was, I was hooked into a pickerel. But I have been in this situation in the past so I wasn’t too excited just yet. After a couple more runs and acrobatics I was able to flip the fish in the boat. And just like that, the white whale had been defeated, the legend had come to an end. The mission was accomplished and any other fish were an added bonus. Blake and I managed to catch several more pickerel and a few largemouth before we had to return to Alabama.

Several days later Wikipedia was updated to remove any mention of my shortcomings. I could look at my social media feeds knowing that I would not be pickerel trolled anymore. I now have more time to remind my friend Nate that he has never caught a bowfin…sorry buddy. So it is time to think of another species to obsess over. Maybe a large stripe, monster cat, or Northern Snakehead, who knows. However, I am certain there are more trips and new waters ahead.

Tight lines!
Robert Brown