One fish from glory: Keith Combs

“To be honest db I have never gotten over it.”
— Keith Combs

“And neither have I.’
— Jennifer Reid Combs (wife) 

Dateline: Lake Champlain, N.Y. and Farmington, Conn.

“It was 2016. I was in the Bassmaster Angler of the Year race all year, but this one event, Bull Shoals, I weighed in only four fish. I had a 2-pounder, maybe 2 1/2-pounder hooked for my limit, but it came off at the boat …” 

And then there is a long pause. 

Keith Combs is in Plattsburgh for the Lake Champlain Elite gig. I’m in the spare bedroom at my house in Connecticut, off the road this year with a bad immune system and an even worse virus lurking out there.

Keith is a bud, I called him to give him some grief, but right now I’m just listening because this is a man of few words.

“… every fish counts out here, db, every fish. At the end of the year that fish would have done it for me, that one fish.” 

From somewhere in Texas, Keith’s wife Jennifer: “It was monumental, db, that one fish. He doesn’t open up much, but oh yeah, we talk about that one fish a lot.”

“db, I have one goal every year, every year, and that is to win AOY, to win Angler of the Year…”

And then once again it goes silent up there in Plattsburgh … and here in Connecticut as well.