I finished the red fox painting this morning and was getting ready to have lunch when Old Paul called to inquire if I would go with him to check out a prospective fishing location. Paul asked if I would go with him to check out a prospective fishing location. “I waded the Gasconade yesterday and just finished a painting this morning, old buddy, I am pretty tired”, I told him. There was silence and then he said he did not feel to well either and should probably just stay inside and keep warm. I asked him if he thought a ride in my car and some lunch would help. “ Well yea, I think so, I just never like to lay around and it makes me feel better to get out, like that, and everything ... so I'd like to go with you if you feel OK and like that and every thing, like that” he said. "OK, I will meet you (close to Paul’s in Centertown, our traditional lunch place and car parking spot) the Mennonite Store and we will grab one of their great sandwiches and eat in the car. I still have my micro light rig with 4 lb. line I used on the Gasconade yesterday, in the back of my car". Oh good Paul said, "I would like to watch you fish". A small imitation shad crank bait was still tied on the line. If there were any Crappie to be caught, it would be a good choice, and it was the same rod, reel and line that had yielded a great catch of Crappie two weeks ago and also two limits of trout during Thanksgiving vacation in Gatlinburg, TN. It was colder today than when Old Paul was entertained by sitting in his truck, most of that day, when he watched me catch a bunch of crappie. This time I hoped we could get my car close enough again so he could observe, if there was any action today. When I told him he might stay in the car while I cast a line, he said "It'a be a better show than them on TV". And today he made a rare confession to me, he took some Tylenol for arthritis in his neck, but he still wanted to get outdoors. So I obliged to help him with his plan for recovery and we drove about thirty-five miles from his place in Centertown to Coffman Beach, Missouri Dept. of Conservation boat access. It is a beautiful place and is closer to my home than any place on the Lake that I have found! Any way, it was cold so Old Paul stayed in the car until he saw my rod bent and me moving at edge of the pier. It was about the tenth cast to a rock shore near brush along the shore line, when my retrieve came to a sudden halt! I felt the movement on the other end of the line, it was something very much alive! I thought I would lose the lucky lure like the one I caught so many trout on in Tennessee, because of the strain and the brush in the water. Then I felt a change of direction, and it was definitely strong, swimming out into deep water, the pull made me wonder if I could turn the lake beast! I immediately loosened the drag and kept the rod high enough to make the rod bend with out the line breaking. The big fish made a fatal error by swimming into open water and it dove deep heading out from the dock rather than in to shore where all the crappie trees and brush would have provided rescue for the thing. I really thought I had a big channel catfish, which I have caught on artificial lures before, and once during the battle I glimpsed a yellow golden brown side, which further made me believe a catfish was on. By now Old Paul was coming down from the car and two guys nearby, fishing from a boat, came in to watch the contest between me and the monster. The drag continued to sound and allow line to come off with some resistance. The reel with help of a very good rod, held high, continued to flex and the big fish began to tire a little. After about ten more minutes after Old Paul came to assist in any way he could, and I had the fish close enough I could hold the rod in my left hand and reach for the gill cover and try to grab the fish with my right hand. But just as I touched the side of the monster's head it gained new strength and dove down taking line out again. Old Paul thought for sure I was going to loose the fish. But, I kept the same rod angle and did not allow slack in the line, the 4 lb. test line held and my micro light trout tackle worked perfectly! After round two the momentum switched and I had control of the situation! I remembered a Gulf Coast battle with a bull shark and how patient I was then. I knew I had to be as patient now! I wore the shark out and got a photo of that monster. A fishing buddy from Alabama declared me winner when the shark was beside the pier and kinda of rolled on to it's side. He cut the line and the exhausted shark swam away. There was no rule about me not bringing this fish up on the pier and no one was about to cut the line today! Old Paul was giving some kind of advice and the guys in the boat were now on the dock watching too! Finally I saw the defeated lake monster in the water next to the pier, I keeled down on one knee, lowered myself almost laying on my belly, still holding the rod high and bent at the same angel and reached down to the head of the fish, I got three fingers and behind the gill cover, dropped the rod and used both hands to grasp it better and pulled a huge fresh water drum up to the deck. This time my hold was secure and held the biggest fish of that species I have ever seen victorious. One of the guys from the boat took a picture and I exclaimed that Old Paul brought me good luck again. I think the Lord is providing Live Action for him YEYEYE! Could this fish on such light tackle have been a state record? I will never know, but Old Paul will prefer to remember it as so and tell his fishing friends around Binder Lake it was some kind of record!