It's almost that time of year, again. People are getting the gear ready and waiting to break open the bait. April 15th, 2018 will mark the opening of another season of sport fishing on Prince Edward Island.
Here are some of the most comical catches, from past seasons, as told by locals.
1. The Dingbat
One of the wildest fishing stories comes from our ‘What’s Your Catch?’ call out, on the PEI Sportfishing facebook page.
When a recreational fisherman—who remains unnamed—was fishing off Grant’s Bridge at night, several years ago, he witnessed an interaction between a father and son who had been fly fishing nearby.
As the story goes, he’d heard the son say, ‘Dad, I got one.' To which the father replied, ‘Well, reel it in.’
‘But, Dad, it's flying away.’ The boy had in fact hooked a bat.
Apparently, this was a common occurrence quite a few years, ago.
R. John Dempsey, an experienced recreational fisherman agrees. “I’ve seen a bat or two caught.” Dempsey makes a respectable point by saying, “Today, I wish I could just see a bat or two, period.”
2. Message in a Bottle
Neil Mader of Marshfield tells a fishing tale, not so outlandish as catching a bat, but a comical one, nonetheless.
Several years ago, Mader and his friends were fishing at White’s Dam. Mader, a recreational fisherman, was showing his friends the ropes when he’d reeled in a fish, killed and gutted it.
“They were horrified,” laughs Mader.
Suddenly, one of his friends shook off the sight of the gutted fish, and excitedly began reeling in his own line when he'd felt a tug. This was his chance to show up Mader, after all. When he’d finally gotten his prize to surface, he pulled a Labatts Blue beer bottle out of the water.
“It was the pull of the stream on the bottle. He got really excited,” says Mader. “We couldn’t stop laughing when he pulled in a bottle of blue.”
It goes to say, Mader’s friend had gotten the message that he wasn’t going to show up the others that day.
3. Wheeling and Eel-ing
Jonah Anderson of St. Peter’s is no stranger to surprises when it comes to pulling strange things out of the water.
Anderson was in grade school when he and his brother had been fishing for trout in Morell. When he'd felt a tug on his line, he began reeling in what he thought was a fish. Turns out he’d hooked an eel.
While some people are purposely out and prepared for catching eels—normally, with specialized traps and gear, utilized for safety measures—Anderson and his brother were in no such position.
“We fought it for over half an hour,” he says. “Eventually, we had to run the damn thing over with our bikes to kill it. They’re terrifying!”
After hearing these fishing tales, it makes one wonder what people will pull out of the water this year…