Rob Kilby's failure to make the final-day cut at last week's Sam Rayburn Reservoir FLW Tour came down to one big one that got away. If that bruiser had found its way into his boat, he'd have advanced to Sunday with several pounds to spare.
"The third day, about 10 o'clock or so, I had three fish in the well," the veteran from Arkansas related. "I was throwing a swimjig in 2 feet of water and a big one grabbed it. She turned sideways and I could see she was about 8 inches wide – she might've been a 10-pounder.
"She left a big old mud stream and after she'd gone about 3 feet, the hook came out. It was the only fish I lost in 3 days and it was the difference between having 15 pounds and having over 20."
He said he had one day during practice when he could've brought about 28 pounds to the scale.
"I had five big ones that day. I never could catch more than one big one each day during the tournament and I don't know why."
The 10-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier rates Rayburn on par with Guntersville as his favorite lakes in the country.
"It just basically lines up with my eye," he said. "It's got a lot of grass and the same kinds of vegetation I was raised on fishing here in Arkansas. Even though it's best known as a deep structure lake, it's got a lot of shallow fishing.
"To me, a good lake is one where you can catch them shallow or deep at any time of the year, and it fits that bill."
The Big Bite Lookback, which focuses on the angler who's first out of the final cut at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great folks at Big Bite Baits.