The fish fits in his two little hands, but for “Little A,” the huge smile says whopper.
“Five-pound bass!” 9-year-old Alex Collins proclaimed Tuesday in a text message from a top-secret fishing spot somewhere in Chester County.
Tuesday was the second day of Alex’s dream hunting/fishing trip in South Carolina with Chester County Sheriff Alex “Big A” Underwood. Earlier this month, Alex and his mom put the boy’s name in for a chance to win the outdoors trip, which they thought was in their home county, Chester County, Pa.
Alex’s mom is a single parent, and ill with a heart condition, so Alex begged for a chance to go hunting and fishing.
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The trip was in Chester County, S.C., but deputies in both states were so moved by Alex’s story that they refused to let his dream of going hunting and fishing for the first time be dashed. Alex flew to South Carolina on Monday on a flight paid for by loving cops. After being outfitted with hunting and fishing gear that Underwood mostly paid for out of his own pocket, “Little A” and “Big A” looked for deer Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.
The story, first published in The Herald Dec. 19, and several follow-up stories – including “Little A’s” arrival Monday – has attracted a national following.
No big bucks have been bagged in the trip – so far.
“Not yet,” Underwood wrote in a text – emphasizing “yet.”
But one of the first casts Tuesday at a river spot chosen by retired State Law Enforcement Division dog-handler Horace “Hoss” Horton – who worked with Underwood for years at SLED and is one of the sheriff’s closest pals – turned to gold, as “Little A” pulled a monster from the murky depths.
“Little A” heads home Wednesday with his fish and memories so big they won’t fit in any fish bucket.
“I can’t wait to see the fish he caught,” said Alex’s mom, Leslie Collins, from their home in Pennsylvania. “What a trip!”
Surely the size of the fish will grow in the telling after this trip of a lifetime, until it had to be carried to shore by an ocean liner. All good fish tales grow.
Especially magical trips for a kid nicknamed “Little A,” who dreamed of catching a fish with “Big A” – and went right out and did it.