Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Apex Athlete

Once upon a time, I was a decent basketball player. I could shoot the three, get to the rim and I played defense as only one taught by Julio Delgado can play defense. I loved the game, and went as far as my effort and will took me for my athleticism flat out wouldn't have taken me anywhere. In college and over in England I came to realize just what a difference real athletic ability meant. I remember one game in particular, ten seconds left in the half. I was out top, guarding the conference player of the year, a 6 ft 2 inch stud from Louisiana. I was a freshman...5 ft 10 and about 170 lbs soaking wet but in this situation my job was pretty simple. Stop this guy. I got right up in his face and sunk into a defensive stance. He went right and I stayed with him...he spun back left and I stayed with him. With the clock about to expire he rose up for a jumper and I exploded into the air, my left hand mere inches from his nose...I was all over this guy!

Then I landed...and he kept rising...right over the top of my hard working but un-athletic ass and he nailed a 19 ft jumper to end the half...right in my face. Thus I was introduced to the concept of an Apex Athlete.

Yes, everything relates to carp fishing, and there are clear Apex Athletes in the carp world. A 15-17 lb fish is the ultimate...they will whip your ass and make you like it. If you catch a few in a day your arms will be sore, your fingers will be smacked by the reel, and your belly will have a bruise from the fighting butt. They will take your backing for a run, not once, but often two, sometime three times and they will find the weedbeds, boulder fields or any other obstructions available to them. The Apex Athlete will rise up to end the half, and maybe even glance down to give a nod to the feeble freshman defender before zeroing back in on the rim and knocking down the shot. You might win a possession or two against these guys, but in the end, the better athletes usually win. These are the fish that give carp on the fly their reputation...all hail the Apex Athletes!

14 comments:

Carp Aficionado said...

Good stuff right there John. Great read.

spearyhopper said...

That's a bruiser, boss. Love the analogy, I feel the same way on the court, although at times feel like the apex and the foil on the lacrosse field.

Trevor Tanner said...

The 1 to 5 pounders are really apex athletes as well in a fascinating way. They typically have a slightly vertical build with over-sized tails that is ridiculously strong for their size and even fast.

trashfisher said...

I bet if you tied a 15lb carp to a 15 lb walleye the carp would whip its ass in a one-on-one tug o' war.

Tim Gerke said...

I despise basketball, but I love this post.

Ex-Ex Angler said...

great post. i was just thinking about this, too. have you noticed in large groups of carp, they exhibit pack behavior? i observed that there is an "alpha male" in a group (a leader, if you will), as well as a 'guard' fish that will scout and alert the pack. i noticed this on my last outing, that i wrote about here.
http://exexangler.blogspot.com/2013/04/high-and-dry.html

John Montana said...

I will check that out and get you n the blog roll ex!

Brett Hartley said...

as a former basketball player I can really relate to the first. LOL Love the story and your writing!

Mr. P. said...

Great analogy, John.

David McKenzie said...

Really nice fish John.. A recent catch?

John Montana said...

Sunday David...solid fish!

Targhee said...

Awesome!

Wendy Berrell said...

I suppose I was watching that game.

Athleticism... one of the many facets that together place carp at a pinnacle.

Nice.

John Montana said...

You were there Wendy...funny the stuff we remember.