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Fish Stories from Fish Stories

Fish 1

River AnglersAs part of our exhibition Fish Stories: Early Images of American Game Fish, we asked Museum guests to share their own “fish stories”—stories of “the big one” or “the one that got away,” or one of the many adventure stories that often accompany fishing expeditions—by writing or drawing them on a card to be posted in the gallery.  The response has been terrific, and has garnered many stories!  Today, we’ll share a few of them with you.  Please visit the Museum soon to enjoy this exhibition, and share your own fish stories!

Close Encounters: NessieNorristown, PA 1976 Cleaning a swimming pool—draining to the bottom. 5-foot carp swam between my legs and scared the stuff out of me—we drained the pool and rodeoed the sea creature into a 30-gallon trash can—60 pounds of carp—no hook required!

Baja, Mexico:  Big black sea bass – 300 pounds – came up finally to the boat, tired, rolled over, and looked at me, then opened its mouth and sank back to where it came. I thanked it for visiting me.

Strange Catches: While fishing Lake Powell in Utah for striped bass, a friend had his pole pulled into the lake. The next weekend another friend caught the fish with my friend’s pole still hooked on.

AnkleCaught a bat on a fly rod in Boundary Waters, MN. It was going after my fly and snagged it in mid-air during the backcast.

My husband went fishing and managed to get a 3 hook caught in his scalp. I had to take him to the ER! He kept the hook as a souvenir!

Life-Changing Experiences:

  • 7-year-old Melissa got a Barbie fishing pole
  • 7-year-old Melissa caught a fish
  • Melissa cried!
  • Fish wiggled
  • Melissa became a vegetarian

Fish 1 I bought a fish in Jerusalem. It was alive at first, but they killed it for me. As I was going home th fish started wiggling in my bag. I cried because I was very sorry for it. Later I cooked it, and every time I ate a piece I cried again.

Epic Adventures: Fish Prince12 years old, my family squeezed into a little john boat back in a cove that greatly resembled a swamp. A water moccasin swam out from the brush heading straight for us, determined to get in the boat with us. My mom, also determined to keep it out, broke her favorite fishing pole keeping it away.

I caught pink fish. My boyfriend knocked it off the line with a paddle, He turned back around and I caught it again, this time getting it into the boat. It opened its mouth and I screamed. He got the net and quickly got the alligator gar out of the boat. I didn’t know it had teeth!

My dad caught a giant carp in Bella Vista and it pulled his boat across the lake for about an hour before he got it in …. It was about four feet long!   Nothing but Memories: AlaskaTurquoise lake in Colorado. Beautiful fish everywhere, but a very overgrown lake bottom. Left 8 metal lines snagged by the bottom plant life. Caught nothing but memories.

After spending an entire day on a northern Minnesota lake with nothing to show for our efforts but a sunburn, we docked the motorboat at the dock. Upon debarking the boat, three 24+-inch northerns swam peacefully under the wood dock. We all put our fishing lines in the water, but the fish (and I swear they winked at us) just kept swimming!

A True “Fish Story”: CatfishMy grandmother took the boy cousins fishing – nothing! She took us girl cousins fishing – we played at it, then went to the fish market where the man tossed us a fish so we could say we “caught it”! Boys were jealous!

The Ones that Got Away: Still bitterI spent an hour trying to catch a fish and when I finally did I was too scared to touch it.

I went sea fishing and caught something, but while reeling it in I saw a trail of blood. A shark ate it!  Boo Hoo!

I was fishing with my grandpa when his line went down so I grabbed it and a channel catfish of about 5 lbs was on it, but right as I got it to the dock the line snapped.

And the Ones that Didn’t: 25 yearsOn me and my old lady’s first time to go to a creek together I caught a blind rainbow trout with my hands. I’m still convinced that I won her heart by doing so.

Linda DeBerry
Senior Copy Editor / Publications Manager

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