Canada was strange ground for me. Sure it was still attached to my homeland, but I was out of the country nonetheless. The day on the boat had been hot, much like earlier in the week. Hours would be spent on the boat each day before we made our way back to the tollgate, paid our coin, and hit my home in the United State of Mitten. Michigan had some great lakes. Yes, it's a pun, but Canada had great lakes with monsters in them; one of which would end up on my line.
My arms hated me. They threatened to give up and just let the fish have the whole rod, reel, bait and all. I began shaking. I needed this fish. I needed that picture of me; the one where my teeth are clenched, my neck turns into a capital A complete with bulging tendons and veins, while my shaky arms struggle to hold the monstrosity above the ground. The obvious caption below reading "Help me. Please."
Nearly 20 minutes into the battle, my arms, in a desperate second wind, pulled back at the moment the Muskie's panic heightened, but in the opposite direction. Physically, I had sudden relief. My muscles sighed while my mouth screamed "Noo!" The monster had taken my bait as trophy; hook still in mouth, a souvenir piercing to boast to his friends. My adrenaline tapered slowly into heavy defeat as I realized I had just experienced "the one that got away."
Completely unrelated, my shark "Dead Jim" (yes, that was his name) died recently. He was awesome!