To most of us, fishing means a weekend spent relaxing by the lake or river or some exciting sea fishing. Sipping our favourite beverage, we feel a little tug on the rod, and slowly reel it in. Instead of the nice Bass or Snapper we had hoped to have for dinner, however, what greets us are strands of underwater weed. This has happened to all anglers at one point or another. However, seaweed is not the only unexpected catch; anglers have caught all kinds of unusual things. Read on to find out the strangest things caught while fishing and the craziest stories shared by anglers about their incredible catches.
8 Surprising and Strangest Things Caught While Fishing
1. Fishing Rods
Reeling in someone else’s fishing rod is more common than you might think. A lot of people lose their fishing rod if they leave it unattended for a while, so, however, ironic it may be, you might just hook onto someone else’s hook and leave with more rods than you started with.
2. Fishing Lures:
Lures are meant for the fish’s mouth. However, that’s not where they always end up. Lures can often get lodged into rocks, and if you are fishing from the shore, you often cannot retrieve them. Anglers often retrieve these lures lost by others. An angler reportedly caught a branch covered in lures! They got a dozen crank baits, swim baits, spinners and spoons, but no fish.
A lot of critters are found near water bodies. Dragonflies stat their lives as aquatic larvae and are therefore present in abundance near ponds and other small water bodies. So it should be no surprise that some people hook on to this insect while fly fishing. One such event is even caught on tape-
This might sound strange because bats are not aquatic creatures. So how do people catch bats while fishing, you ask? Well, lakes and rivers are often surrounded by greenery, and bats dwell in trees. So when you swing your line, it might accidentally hook on to one, either on a tree or in mid-flight near the water. Some anglers have also caught bats while fishing in small streams near caves; those dingy places are known to house these nocturnal mammals.
5. A Test Bomb
Yes, you read that right. A fisherman in the US state of Maryland was on a fishing trip with his father when he caught an unexploded test bomb! Luckily the coast guard was nearby, and the bomb was returned to the water without it exploding. The fishermen later found out that the area where they were fishing is home to “Target Ships”. These are military ships used for radar testing and test bombing. The bomb that was reeled in was a BDU-33, which is a small cast-iron and steel non-explosive ordnance that is used in training to simulate actual bombs.
This might give some people a fright, but catching a water snake is not uncommon. Water snakes are harmless, but another type of water dwelling snake, called the water moccasin or cottonmouth, are deadly. Therefore, if you are fishing in an area where snakes are present, make sure you can tell the difference between a water snake and a cottonmouth!
Another story that made the news recently was that of a 16-foot snake caught by two fishermen in Chagrin River, USA. The snake was a constrictor that was dead in the frozen river since it is not a water snake and does not live in such cold climates. How it got there is a mystery, and it sure wasn’t what the fishermen were expecting to reel in!
There are multiple stories of people catching sharks using just a rod and reel. A kid once caught the same baby shark three times; the shark kept swimming in the same area even after it was released.
There is also video evidence of two men accidentally catching a fully grown tiger shark while drift fishing on the east coast of Florida. The shark played with the bait for more than half an hour before snapping the fishing line.
Another unusual story for the strangest things caught while fishing comes from South Carolina, where a fisherman and a math professor, expecting to catch a catfish, instead hooked on to a 2500-pound shark. They battled with it for four hours and then had to call backup because they were too tired to reel it in. Before releasing the shark, they attached a tracker to it, and plan to study it for years to come.
8. A Person
There are many incidences of hooking on to people’s cheeks, eyebrows, or clothes during fly fishing or even hooking onto yourself sometimes. So the next time you head out with your rod, make sure your companions are standing at a safe distance. There is even an interesting story making rounds on fishing forums on the internet, of a mother-and-daughter who went fishing and accidentally caught on to a scuba diver! Luckily there were just a few laughs and no injuries.
What is the weirdest and strangest things you have ever caught while fishing? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to read more? 10 Fishing Myths Busted.