Hint for process of elimination: Use the keyword “despite” as a hint that the word in the blank must produce a statement that says that Isiah did the opposite of what might be expected after repeated failure. This should at least eliminate choices A, B, and D, giving you a 50% chance of getting this problem correct. Any time you can eliminate at least one answer, it is most advantageous to guess.
Read on for a full solution.
Solution: The keyword “despite” implies that Isiah did the opposite of what repeated failure might cause him to do. This implies that Isiah continued trying to catch the fish. To persevere is to continue a course of action while facing difficulty or with little chance of success, which fits perfectly here. Cement has a positive connotation here, but means to unite or fix something else in place, and thus does not fit grammatically in this sentence.
Work it out! Make sure you get the same answer.