The one that got away


My Firetail worm fell effortlessly, then sank into the depths,

Then my heart began to pound inside my ears.

Why was it that my hands still shook waiting for a strike?

I've hooked 'em big and small down through the years.


The wake behind old mama bass stirred creatures down below,

Then she grazed her back against a rotten log.

My gosh! She took my purple worm! I yanked and set the hook,

She exploded through the morning's misty fog.


Thundering through the spawning beds, she broke the river's peace,

The underneath my boat to break my line.

This fighter for her freedom seemed to never tire,

If she lost, she knew what she would leave behind.


Holding tight I braced myself, she passed me by again,

But I allowed no slack within my line.

Into the net, then in the boat, I couldn't believe my eyes,

This trophy from the deep was really mine!


There was no one there, only me, to know I'd caught that bass,

But I knew exactly how I'd end my day.

By letting mama bass go home, more babies would be born,

So I just let her be the one that got away.


— Sandy Carroll