Catch and Release a 190 Pound Dumbass Fish

The lure choice was excellent. It was a 6 inch piece of plastic that, well, looked like a real worm. Right down to the color.

Imagine that.

Only this worm had 3 small hooks embedded in its head, midsection and tail. This little lure had already fooled a number of private lake largemouth bass over the last couple of days. This late evening it had already fooled one good one.

The cast was excellent, up to a point. My brother-in-law isn't quite sure where things went wrong. He claims a release of the line a moment too soon. As the power of the cast was brought forward, he says he remembers hearing a metallic ding that could have only come form the top rail of the pontoon dock he was fishing from. Next he felt a hit in the back of the head with a sharp pain.

I think "ow, shit, damn" was his description of the impact.

The momentum of the rod wasn't finished and the line tightened, driving two of the hooks into the back of his head. He said he stood there in disbelief and laughed.

An attempt was made to extract the hooks. Pliers were found in the bottom of the tackle box. An initial tug on the hook was made. I believe this was described as "ow, shit, damn, I'm fucked."

He's living with us temporarily while between houses and thought rushing home for my help was a good idea.

Just goes to show that he doesn't know me that well.

At the end of the long gravel road out was the main blacktop. He popped the clutch and hit the gas, spinning the wheels in the gravel and fish tailing out onto the asphalt.

A couple of hundred yards behind him was a County Sheriff. Lights went on and he was pulled over for the first time ever in his 48 years.

Sheriff comes up to the window.

"You were kicking up gravel and spinning wheels pretty good back there. You in a hurry to get somewhere?"

"Uhhhh, yup," and my brother-in-law leaned his head out the window.

Apparently the look on the Sheriffs face was somewhere between surprise, shock and humor.

"Okay then," said the Sheriff as he backed away from the car. He waved his hand forward, "you're free to go."

When he got home he comes up and tells me I have to help him release a 190 pound dumbass fish, then he turns around.

"What a moron," I think was my exclamation of concern. "Bet it hurts."

Of course, not really caring about the pain of others, I had to play this out. I dug out the oldest pliers and wire cutters I could find in my toolbox. Got some peroxide in some vague attempt at not infecting him with, something. After getting things all set up, I grabbed one of the hooks with the pliers.

"This is going to hurt," I love saying that and yanked on the hook knowing very well it wasn't going to budge.

"Shit, son of a bitch, I could have done that."

"Go ahead ya big baby," as I handed him the pliers.

We knew what we had to do, cut the eye off, push the hook up and out and just pull the thing out. Only every time I touched it I kept hearing shit, shit, shit.

At this point I wasn't sure if this was a good idea. The skin is so thin on this part of the head that I wasn't sure if he hadn't buried the hook into his skull. It wasn't moving around much. I decided to give up and talked him into letting the pros take care of it.

He eventually got around to going to the emergency room, but he was in no hurry. He said it didn't hurt much as long as it wasn't touched.

I haven't had a chance to talk to him since he left. I heard through the grapevine that as soon as he got there they put some shots in his head to numb the pain. Apparently the shots hurt more than anything up to that point and more than anything that was to come.

I also heard that emergency rooms are ill equipped to deal with hooks. There weren't any wire cutters around. So they had to track down the night maintenance worker so he could dig up a pair of cutters from his toolbox.

I was told this was not a confidence builder.

When done, he went back to the lake. He was camping for the night and wound up doing some night fishing.

No fish were hooked and neither was he.

Too bad, a second time and I wouldn't have been so hesitant.


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  • Now that's a fish story. Hilariously stomach-churning, thanks for the laugh and the impending strange dreams I have no doubt those pictures will generate.

  • This is the 2nd greatest set of pictures I've seen on CN, just behind Offhanded Dribble's gallery of Miss Ohio, Lindsay Davis, in their legendary Omer Asik article.

  • I finally got to talk to him about his ER run. He was the hit of the night. Everyone on staff ran to get their cameras and whipped out their cell phones. Wouldn't be surprised to see the pictures popping up all over the place.

    The ER docs also gave him "The Stupidest Thing We've Seen all Week" award. Apparently nothing else even came close.

  • That was painful to look at! We've done an ER run up at the lake and it sure isn't fun digging out a hook-- they usually run it forward and create another hole in the head to dig it out. Ouch.

  • Deafmom, that's the easiest way to do it. If it were anywhere else but his head, I wouldn't have had a problem doing it myself. Then you go back to fishing.

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