Made-for-TV drama about Noah (Chris Klein), a homeless World War II veteran who settles in a small North Carolina town and develops relationships with Eleanor (Gretchen Mol), a lonely war widow and a mute boy (Zach Mills) whose father has abandoned him. Noah is a fantastic fisherman and aims to make a living at catfishing. Eleanor allows Noah to stay on her small farm in the "fishing shack". They are drawn to each other through mutual loneliness and a longing to find purpose in life and create a new future for themselves.
Noah is haunted by his experiences in the war and by his quest to catch a mythically huge bass that has become a metaphor for his inner struggle to find himself. He once caught the gigantic bass, but released it as he could not bring himself to kill it. He finds himself falling in love with Eleanor, but cannot pursue the relationship until his inner turmoil is resolved. In the end, the mythical bass remains free and Noah and Eleanor find themselves and each other.