David Bergman has two loves in his life -- fishing, and his wife.
"Fishing was my whole life, before I got married, of course," he said.
Bergman is a fishing expert who made a career out of his passion. He works at Camp Blue Star in Hendersonville, where teaches kids the ins and outs of fishing.
The 27-year-old said he has always dreamed about reeling in the catch of a lifetime.
"The two things I wanted to catch more than anything in the world was a muskie and a marlin," Bergman said. "I used to draw pictures of muskies. And I remember back when America Online was a thing , my screen name was Big Muskie."
In mid-March, Bergman loaded his canoe and set off on the French Broad River. He thought it would be like any ordinary fishing day, but on his second run down the water, two fates aligned.
"I threw it in, and, man, she didn't even give me a warning. She just hit like a truck," Bergman said of the muskie.
Bergman struggled for five minutes to reel in his catch. Then another canoeist came over to help.
"He was like a river angel," Bergman said.
After about 10 minutes, the two were finally able to pull the female muskie out of the water. Bergman thinks she weighed 40 to 50 pounds.
He quickly snapped a photo, and then it was time to let her go.
"I wanted to keep her safe. I wanted to get her back in the water, so I didn't spend too much time thinking about it.
"I held her by the tail and kind of watched and looked at her. That's when it started to set in. That's when the tears started coming out of my eyes. It was an incredibly magical moment," Bergman said.