...that the occurances which make us want to break stuff are the same ones that keep us coming back for more?? Earlier in the season I set a goal. I set out to catch my personal best river smallie this year...preferably a Fish Ohio. Last nite I was wading the Scioto in a spot where I've caught some VERY nice fish lately...most recently a 18.5in SM on Saturday morning. I was wading in chest high water and had caught about 3 dinks and a few rock bass when I look upstream about 50 yards and see a family coming down to the river with inflatable rafts, a kayak, chest waders, fishing rods and everything else that they could possibly bring down to the river to make a lot of racket! So, at this point I'm thinking that my spot...is shot. I make my way over to an area almost directly across from where this family is now splashing around. Theres a drop off the runs just a few feet off the bank that I wanted to fish before they invaded the entire area. I toss my lure upstream and bring it back parallel to the drop of and WHAMO! What first felt SOLID like a big catfish or carp instantly runs about 15 yards of line off of my 6lb outfit. I turn the fish back in my direction and pick up some line. The fish heads back towards me and breaks the surface...tailwalks directly towards me...I see a dink smallmouth swimming just below what is undoubtedly my personal best river smallie, possibly the biggest river smallie I've ever seen. I can see that I only have one treble hook in the corner of the big smallies mouth just before it re-enters the water and heads away from me once again. By now...the family across the way has stopped splashing to see what all the commotion is. As the fish heads away I lighten up the drag a couple clicks to keep from pulling the hook. As my reel begins to sing once again, I feel heavy tailbeats digging for deeper water then a thrashing headshake then I feel mush. I begin reeling quickly to take up the slack...thinking the the fish must have turned towards me again. I then feel another strike and quickly reel up an 8in dink SM. The big fish had spit the hook and the dink swimming with him picked it up almost instantly. The people across the river look at me like I'm nuts. They'd watched me standing there, rod doubled over for no less than 2 minutes only to bring in an 8 inch fish....mildly embarrasing. After that, I fished for anoth 30 minutes or so. My nerves were shot. I was completely frustrated by the loss of that big fish. The sun was beginning to set...those kids had now splashed about 3/4 of the way across the river from where they began. Time to admit defeat and head for the couch. Nevertheless...today is a new day and I'll be back with bigger, sharper trebles!!