The next few photos are all early spring prizes. Not because of their girth, length or overall size, but rather for the way that they were caught or the way that they fought.
Some were netted quickly, while others spooled the reel, taking line effortlessly, refusing to be retrieved until fatigued by a bowed rod and taut line.
A few were found in lakes and ponds, some in large rivers, and others in the small no-name locations discovered only by wandering through dense woods, soft muddy marshes, and small unrecognizable trails.
All were released without incident to grow into future trophies. Enjoy!