Dimon Kendrick-Holmes

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: Better lucky than good

Here at the newspaper, we sometimes get press releases that are nothing short of awesome.

More than a decade ago, when I worked at the Clarksville (Tenn.) Leaf-Chronicle, I got a press release from the Potato Council announcing its new slogan: "Potatoes: We're here to help."

It came with a little notebook on which every single page declared, yes, "Potatoes: We're here to help." I lost it in the move to Columbus.

Dang.

Last month, I got a press release from Fishing League Worldwide announcing that Evans High School near Augusta had won the Georgia State High School Fishing Championship.

The competition was held at Clarks Hill Lake on the South Carolina border. There was a five-fish limit.

Blake Stephenson and Tyler Mathews of Evans High brought to the scales five bass totaling 17 pounds and 5 ounces, which defeated the East Hall High School team of Tristan Thomas and Dakota Crumley, whose five bass weighed 17 pounds and 3 ounces.

The press release listed more names of high school students and weights of bass. And it contained this quote from Blake, a senior:

"We caught our fish on a green-pumpkin shaky-head rig."

I challenge any of the area's baseball players to say anything that cool after winning a big game.

In fact, it makes me deeply regret not being on my high school's bass fishing team. Wait, my high school didn't have a bass fishing team.

My high school had all the boring spring sports. I went out for track and got whipped by guys who ran a lot.

For me, running track was like taking calculus. You can't just show up for the test without having worked any of the problems.

You're not going to get lucky and solve a calculus equation -- or win the mile.

But you can get lucky fishing.

Oh yes you can.

When I was a teenager, I went deep-sea fishing in the Gulf with my dad and brother. We were on one of those party boats, and everybody was dropping lines off the side and catching red snapper, except for a few Marlboro men in the back of the boat casting for trophy fish.

We caught so many red snapper that soon thereafter the federal government set strict limits on the breed -- or maybe that was a coincidence.

I had two hooks on my rig and I'd just caught a couple of little red snapper -- ho hum -- and was reeling them up to the boat when -- Wham! --

a 6-foot tiger shark swallowed both fish and got hooked. One of the deckhands gaffed him and knocked him out with a baseball bat, and I suddenly had a trophy fish.

It was one of the greatest moments of my young life.

One of the Marlboro Men came over to shake my hand and ask me what bait I'd used. I told him I was using squid. He swore and called me lucky.

I should have said I'd been using a couple of red snapper. Or I should have said I'd rather be lucky than good.

No, wait: I should have said, "I caught my fish on a green-pumpkin shaky-head rig."

Yeah. That would have been impressive.

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, dkholmes@ledger-enquirer.com

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