Sometimes things are just meant to be.
Even in ideal sight-fishing conditions, redfish can spook, bend a hook, pop a line, just not eat or find myriad other ways to avoid the landing net.
So imagine finally hooking up with a valuable fish — like one that could mean a new $65,000 Skeeter boat and more than $7,000 in prize money — and then slipping on the way down from your elevated casting platform and watching your rod fly overboard.
“I think I might have broke a rib,” Pescay says immediately after crashing into the seat beneath his platform. “God, it’s hard to breathe.”
Miraculously, after almost knocking the wind out of himself and taking about 10 minutes to recover, Pescay struggled back up to his platform to see if he could at least find his rod in what appeared to be about 18 inches of water.
He did — and incredibly, the redfish was still hooked up.
“I ended up fighting the fish, catching him and weighing him in today,” Pescay told the Biloxi Sun Herald. “That fish was so important that if one person had gotten in between me and the leader, I would have not gotten Angler of the Year. It was critical that I had that fish. Today I was in a rush like usual. You want to catch as much fish as you can. You want to cover as much ground as you can.
“It had just started raining. I had hooked the fish, and I climbed down from my tower to go net him. And I’m quick about it. I was just a little too quick with a wet surface, and my foot slipped out from under me, and I came tumbling down and landed on my handrail right underneath my left ribs.”
Paul Dufrene won the event based out of the Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville, Miss., but Pescay placed second and outpointed the field for the season to win the boat and bonus cash and take Eastern Division Angler of the Year honors.