Wow. You know, I have been taken aback over the last year or better by the number of times I have had some stranger give me a thumbs up for the articles I write. I mean, I’m just a regular old guy who likes to chase big ol’ fish around.
But now running this here contest? It took my local stardom to a whole new level.
Since the SVM Weekend edition hit shelves early last Saturday morning, I have received more than 100 emails guessing the weight of that fine fall flathead. The amount of texts have just gone through the roof, and random strangers are yelling numbers at me on the street, at work or out their car window.
What a response it has been, for sure: I know one thing, I am going to do this more often.
Without further ado, on to the good stuff: the winner, right? Well, let me cover a few neat things I came across while milling trough the guesses.
First of all, the most common guess. The most common weight guessed by all you incredibly smart people out there was 57 pounds. Nine different individuals guessed this weight right on the nose. While this is just several pounds off, it is not a winner. Sorry. How do they say...close, but no cigar?
On the low end of the spectrum, the lightest weight guessed was a paltry 26 1/2 pounds by Jay. Now Jay, I know fishermen are known to be liars but 26.5? Come on, man!
On the other end of the spectrum, the end we fishermen tend to hover near, the heaviest weights guessed on the massive flatty were 87 and 86 pounds, respectively, by Scott and Gordon. Now these are the kinda guys I need as agents, but unfortunately these guesses are just a bit to high. But much love to you fellas.
Getting antsy? The finalist for the trip for two looked like this after narrowing it down: My good buddy, Brian Eberhardt of Sterling, chimed in with a guess of 62 pounds.
Sandy Holla came in at 62.1 pounds. Dennis Horton guessed 63 1/2, as did Rhonda Wright, who used her knowledge of sugar bags to formulate the fish’s weight. The woman obviously knows her sugar. You go, girl!
Then there was Marlene Ford coming in with a guess of 63 pounds, 7 ounces, and Josh and Whitney Smith rounding it out with a guess of 64 pounds on the nose.
Well outdoor ladies and men, this amazingly beautiful fish – which is still swimmin’ the depths of the Rock River as we speak, by the way – was my third-largest fish to date, going by weight only. At just 46 inches but sporting a girth of almost 36 inches, the eating machine came in at 63 pounds, 13 ounces.
This makes our winner Josh and Whitney Smith. Your guess of 64 pounds puts you two in my boat for a day of winter channel catfishing. Or if you choose to wait until spring, we can chase some monster flatheads when the water begins to warm. Get in touch with me at your earliest convenience.
Again, I’d like to thank everyone who got involved with this. I am very humbled and honored that so many of you seem to like my ramblings here in the good old Rock River valley’s No. 1 authority for news.
Stay tuned to my column throughout the holidays for another random giveaway from one of my sponsors. Also, I will be giving away prizes all 12 days leading up to Christmas day, too, so continue to check in.
You all have a great week. May God bless you and yours and...