Goldfish

<p>Not quite the golden-colored fish I was trying to end this year's contest with, but I will take the small victory after what I've been through the last couple days. There are target-able carpsuckers an hour and a half from where I live. Quillback and Highfin, mostly. I spent three days trying to land one for the contest this year. I had actually camped out near the spot, but had to come home after the second day due to a leech bite I got two&nbsp;Thursdays ago fishing the contest that had become infected and&nbsp;turned into cellulitis. I got the meds I needed and went back again today.&nbsp;Of the dozens I targeted, some with what I felt were flawless presentations, I only got three to take the bait. Two never felt the hook as I pulled it out of their mouths. The third... a fish that will haunt my dreams. A big quillback. He was hooked, but apparently not well enough. He came off as I battled him - I think I hesitated too much as I was trying to play the fight slowly as to not horse the fish. His snout came out of the water, so close to me that I could see it was definitely fair hooked. Then he thrashed and was gone. Today was just the river gods laughing at me. All snarls and gremlins and frustrating ridiculousness.&nbsp;I even had a snag turn into a slingshot that buried the hook in my arm - a stick-worthy outing. I finally left after driving every one of the carpsuckers from the spot and all that was left was an empty beach. I will do some more homework and return with more knowledge and hopefully more skill and sweet revenge shall be mine in time, this I swear.&nbsp;</p> <p>Cue the fish below - One of my&nbsp;first outings this year was shocking and depressing, as the magical little gem of a pond JKnuth showed me many years ago where we used to get goldfish has had its population completely nuked somehow. Suspect the DNR wiped them out, but don't know for sure. I did some sleuthing online and found sampling data elsewhere that looked promising, so I decided to go to this new place and lo and behold, there they were! Tight lipped little suckers. Took a lot of coaxing - but with the smallest hook I own, my tenkara rod, and a single flake of oatmeal I finally broke through and captured a fish I feel satisfied ending this year's contest with, as this wild goldfish&nbsp;kind of brings it full circle for me. It's been awesome as always, everyone. Thanks for all the fun and sharing all your&nbsp;amazing catches! JUNE ROCKS!</p>
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