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Wednesday, September 27th
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Brian Forrest Story, Catching 7.9 Pounder Day Before Tournament And Then 7.57 On Tournament Day

An amazing story submitted by Brian Forrest.

The story of the 7.9 and 7.57 pounder caught.

The fish I am about to show you has created a connection that I could never have imagined.

Three months ago, my best friend suffered a stroke, and lost mobility in the right side of his body.  As you would expect, he was physically and emotionally traumatized by this event.  Since then, he has persevered and shown that he is willing to work harder than anyone to make a full recovery. The things that keep him motivated are his passions for the 3 F’s in his life, Family, Friends, and Fishing.

One week ago, a close friend invited both of us to attend the Hawg Hawlers Lake of the Ozarks Tournament.  My friend knew that he was not capable of tournament fishing yet, but he agreed to come to simply enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of tournament fishing, which also allowed him to enjoy his fill of the 3 F’s.  Members of the Hawg Hawler group are not just friends; we consider them family in the fishing world.  Later that week, I invited him for two days of pre-fishing on my boat in preparation of my upcoming Solo Pro Series Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks.

My best friend and I met up Friday morning and went out on the water to play in the boat and test his fishing skills. Having lost over 50% mobility on his right side, my friend wasn’t sure how difficult it would be to be back in the boat fishing after three months of continuous rehabilitation.

 It turned out to be a beautiful day on the water and I caught a few keepers!  Half way through the day, we pulled into a cove in an effort to explore new water and the unimaginable happened.  A 7.57 lbs. bass bit his jig!  With great challenge, his hard work paid off as he worked the fish to the boat with assistance from me holding the net.  As soon as the fish was in the boat, excitement came over both of us.  Here was a man who just had a life changing experience, thought he would never use a fishing pole again and then, caught the biggest fish of his life.  After taking a few pictures, we released the fish back into the water and called it a day because, we both knew it couldn’t get any better.  But that is only half of the story.  Now let’s skip to Sunday…Tournament Day.

After take-off, I immediately went to the area where my friend caught his fish in hopes to catch another.  I stopped a few docks early in hopes of catching a few extra fish but was surprised when I hooked into a big one.  At first, I thought I was snagged but, soon realized…”fish on”.  After working the fish for about one minute, I finally got her to the net, screamed at the top of my lungs with excitement, and put her in the live well.  Not a second later, I called my best friend telling him about my catch.  Neither of us could believe it and were both filled with excitement.  I did wonder if this was the same fish we had let go earlier…maybe it was.

This fish helped me finish in 4th place and win Big Bass in my first big tournament for the year.  I will never forget the weekend where both my best friend and I caught the biggest fish of our lives– quite possibly, the same exact fish during the same weekend.  This connection that is shared by one fish and two men is one I will never forget.  On Sunday, that fish was released back into the lake in hopes that another boat would have the same unimaginable, once in a lifetime FATHER and SON experience like ours.

Click links below to see video of both catches.

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