The boat swayed with each wave reaching the limits of its buoyancy. Cody refused to let the approaching storm deter him from reeling in the biggest catch of the tournament. His high school sponsor could see that Cody was fatiguing and time was running out. He encouraged Cody to let this one go.
"No, he is mine!"
As soon as the words left Cody's mouth, his teammate yelled, "I've got one!"
The sponsor turned to see Colton's rod bowing toward the water with each turn of the reel. Cody continued to fight as Colton began his struggle. Everything in him wanted to turn and inspect what Colton had hooked but Cody knew he couldn't take his focus off of his catch.
Cody yearned to be the first to land a trophy fish. He turned the reel faster until his arm was about to collapse. The sponsor was scooping Colton's average fish into a net as Cody turned his reel for the final time. A massive fish flew in the air and waved at Cody as he flipped on his side and crashed back into the water.
Cody's rod was motionless. He looked and could see the string dangling from the end. Rage flooded his mind but Cody refused to let it control him. He turned and sat back on the cushioned seat, holding his disappointment in his hands. The sponsor neglected to notice Cody's loss and Cody didn't say a word. The entire ride to shore, he quietly outlined day two of the tournament while Colton triumphed over his big catch and relentlessly teased Cody about the big one that got away.