"You're going to need a bigger boat."
Those words, spoken by police Chief Brody in the movie "Jaws," are arguably the best ever used to describe the size of a fish.
The largest fish are usually hooked a long way from home and with no witnesses, cameras or pictures to prove the tale.
Here are a few quotes you may have heard before. Regardless, each is a very good example of the one that either was caught or got away.
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"It made Moby Dick look like a guppy."
"When it splashed back into the water, the wave almost sank the boat."
"The fish was so big, I could stick my arm down its throat."
"The bass was so big, I could put my fist in its mouth."
"Its head hung off one side of the ice chest and the tail off the other side."
"We had to cut it in half to get it in the fish box."
"It was so big, it wouldn't fit in the net."
"We fought it for hours before it broke the line."
"It burned up the drag on the reel."
"It took three of us to get it in the boat."
"This is no lie! It was the biggest fish I have ever seen."
"We had to net it to get it."
"The fish was so big it took a tow truck to haul it to the scales."
"Some fish are never hooked. They are seen from time to time by frustrated anglers who give them nicknames, such as Satchel Mouth, Bucket Mouth and Sow Belly."
"The fish was so big, that the picture of it weighed 10 pounds."
"The boat is 17 feet long. The head of the fish was past the bow and the tail was wrapped around the stern. That's big!"
"It was so big that we couldn't get it to the bank."
"It must have been a stingray or shark. It just kept taking line until it snapped at the knot."
In closing, I'll quote the wise man who once said, "Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost getting caught."
A free fishing seminar, "Winter Catfishing: How to Catch Big Cats on Cold Days," will be 6:30-8 p.m. Monday at Gander Mountain, Interstate 77 Exit 36, Mooresville. Leaders are Mac Byrum, the lake's most popular catfish guide, and Jake Bussolini, local author of several fishing books. Details: 704-658-0822.
Another free fishing seminar, "Winter Catfishing: How to Catch Big Cats on Cold Days," will be 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, also at Gander Mountain in Mooresville, and also led by Mac Byrum and Jake Bussolini. Details: 704-658-0822.
The one that got away is always bigger than the one you weigh.
Spotted bass are suspended off points and humps throughout the lake. Best places to fish are near channel markers, particularly those in Reed and Mountain creeks. Spots are hitting a variety of lures, including shad raps, shaky heads and jigging spoons. White perch continue to bite small minnows, spoons and Sabiki flies around dropoffs in water to 30 feet deep. Catfishing is good to very good. White striper fishing has been slow.
The lake level is about 4.7 feet below full pond and dropping. Water temperature is in the mid- to high 70s.