As a biologist, Jerald Horst has cut out the livers of speckled trout, and examined them under microscopes.
He’s run his fingers through gravid ovaries packed with ripe, orange roe.
He’s opened stomachs to discover their contents.
But there was nothing scientific about Horst’s reaction last month when a trout as long as a man’s arm carved a hole in the water with its gaping maw, and sucked in his She Dog.
The sounds were loud enough to be heard on the other side of the small marsh lake — first from the fish crashing the bait, then from Horst, who jumped to his feet and squealed like a schoolgirl who just caught a glimpse of her favorite boy-band member.
After several earlier near-misses from other fish, Horst practiced great restraint in letting the big trout take the bait for a second or two before yanking the rod upward like Paul Bunyan starting a swing of his axe.
The light-action rod bowed like a noodle, its tip seeming to crawl along the line, refusing to miss a moment of the action.
A veteran angler who has logged more hours than he’d ever admit in the surf at Grand Isle, Fourchon and Elmer’s Island, Horst had caught bigger trout in his life, but this one was special, just like all fish lured to the surface by a topwater plug.Read More...