There was a brief moment during the struggle when Tim Holt believed the big fish just might win.
His son, 12-year-old Ryley Holt, wasn’t about to let that happen.
“At one time I thought it was going to pull him in,” the proud dad said of the 37-inch, nearly 30-pound striped bass his boy caught Monday in the Hudson River. “I asked him, ‘Do you want me to take the rod?’ and he goes, ‘No, I want this fish.’ I didn’t do anything.”
It was on the water in the Port of Albany, just after 8 p.m., when Ryley Holt won a 10-minute battle he’ll never forget. His dad won’t, either.
“I’ve caught big striper before, but nothing close to that,” Tim Holt said. “It was a real fun, fun catch for him. One of those epic moments.”
“Me and my dad were just screaming,” Ryley Holt said upon seeing the large fish he had conquered. “It was so awesome. It was an amazing feeling.”
The Holts had six poles set up in their boat, and they were on the water for about two hours when one of the lines took off.
“When the fish grabbed it [bait], the line just went, and by the sound it made, we knew we had a big fish,” Tim Holt said. “I slipped while reaching for the pole, and Ryley grabbed it.”
The youngster held on tight in his fray with nature.
“When I was fighting it, my back started hurting,” said Ryley Holt, the 4-foot-8, 71-pound Scotia Middle School seventh-grader. “That’s when my dad asked if I wanted to give him the pole. I wanted that fish.”
No other boats were nearby.
“It was a little bit cold and a little bit windy, but we decided to go anyway,” said Tim Holt, a printer technician for Xerox. “No one else was out there. It worked out well for us.”
The Holts were using chunks of herring as bait.
“The striper come up every year to spawn. The herring also come up to spawn, and that’s a smaller fish,” Tim Holt said. “We caught a herring and cut it up for bait.”
After pictures were taken, the Holts released the fish back into the water.
“We had a great day,” Ryley Holt said.