Horrific Fishing Tales...

Ken Jones

Staff member
Horrific fishing tales...Slinger wins!!!

Date: May 20, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: StveO
Subject: What's Your Best HORRIFIC Fishing Tale?


With this rain, wind, hail and other bad weather here on the west coast, thought it might be fun to share some fish stories. I've read a lot of the Bio's and the best pierfishing experiences are great. But, lets play devils advocate.

What has been your worst experience?

I'm interested in a lesson you may have learned from a horrific experience with a fish or the gear used attempting to catch that fish. Even if it's a bonehead newbie maneuver and you have been fishing for 30 years. (i.e. your catching rays, stay clear of that stinger or your casting your conventional reel, don't get your thumb caught by a loop in the line, etc. etc.)

Remember we are all human. 'all is one under sun and moon'

Posted by avidangler

I was fishing salmon on the Feather River last summer and as I was landing about a twelve pound salmon I set my rod and reel down (a Lamiglas with a Shimano Stradic) and was just cradling the fish to get the hook out when it slipped out of my hands and went screaming back into the river, dragging my outfit with him. I was in shock. I just stood there dumbfounded, unable to react. It all happened so fast. I had a conventional outfit and a fly outfit also, so I wasn't out of luck, but bummed nonetheless. I caught up with my friends and my buddy Cabby asked" What's the matter with you?" When I explained what happened and how I tried for a half an hour to snag my rod back they just said "Man,that has to suck." And it did. Now get this. That happened at around 10:00 in the morning. Later at around 3:00 or so, I am casting an artificial and I hook this fish. So I'm fighting it and fighting it and finally I see it come up, not a bad fish. I put some pressure on him to coax him into the shallows, and this "stick" pops up. I thought "What the ?...." So I pull again and up pops my rod. "Dude,my pole!!" I cried out. Steve waded out after my rod and was able to grab a hold of it."Hey man, you hooked the rod tip!" I said "No freaking way! Give me that rod." We were all in disbelief. The odds of me getting my rod back were so slim, let alone the fact that it was still attached to the fish that had "stolen"it, and the fact that I had snagged the tip!! "Revenge is mine!" I exclaimed as I fought the fish, to the exclamations made by Steve and Cabby. I believe Steve said "That is the baddest thing I have ever seen in my life!!"

I ended up losing that fish. But I got the rod and reel back,and that was a happy ending to one of the outrageous things that have happened to me. Just thought I'd share that story. Later-avidangler

Posted by SteveO

Right on... That's a great story! The fish gods smiled on you that day, well, kind of. Thanks for sharing

Posted by mola joe

Not sure how horrific this is, but it's one that stands out for me as far as pier fishing goes. Summer of 74 and fishing on Hermosa pier is really getting good. Big bonito, barracuda and halibut are all biting good. Nothing compared to the unexpected showing of 16 to 20 pound bluefin tuna that are taking anchovies being slid down on slider rigs. What a sight as these bullets would crash on bait schools holding by the pier. The images are something that I will never forget, something very few people can say they've seen. Watching tuna from a boat is one thing, but getting a birds eye view from a high pier is another. Only one bluefin had hit the deck out of dozens hooked this week. These fish just plain kick your ass on the tackle we were using from the pier. The fish were touchy as most bluefin are, only eating nothing heavier than 20 pound line, with 12 or 15 pound the way to go. I wanted one of these fish in the worst way, more than any other fish I've ever caught up to that point. My turn came as I stood and watched an anchovy that I just slide down my line hit the water. The bluefin nailed my bait so fast I never saw the fish. All I saw was a huge boil mark where my anchovy was a few seconds earlier. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking as I tried to reel the sinker up to my slider and tighten the line to set the hook. It was almost comical how fast this fish was moving down the side of the pier, I've never seen anything like it before. It took a matter of a few seconds when my sinker hit the slider and my line started melting off my Squidder at blazing speed. What did the hotshot pier fisherman Mola Joe do? I put my thumb on the spool to try and stop him. I'm not sure how many layers of skin we have on our thumbs, but I left every layer of mine on top of my fishing line. The line popped like a gunshot went off. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. My thumb looked like I took a grinder to it. Everyone thought it was pretty funny, but to this day it's the one fish that I wish I could get a second shot at. It was the only tuna I ever hooked from the pier, and I remember it like it was yesterday. The tuna never showed off the pier again and probably will never show this close to shore ever again. I hope that fish lived a long life and grew to a monsterous size, it deserved it.

Posted by 2d

Six years old. Messing with a crab in a tide pool. Poking at him with my finger. Too bad a moray eel was in the hole too. nuff said.

Posted by OB Pier Rat

Here's a real stupid maneuver I pulled just recently out at the OB pier. I park myself next to the restaurant, bait up, cast out and lower my live bait bucket full of anchovies down into the water on a rope and tie it off. The restaurant is crowded. A minute later, I look down and see my bait bucket is bobbing freely in the water, the knot having pulled out! So I grab my drop net and lower it down there, trying to snag the bucket. I get it halfway up and the net collapses, bucket crashes back in the water. Now I notice a crowd gathering at the restaurant window, watching. I pull the same stunt again, net collapses, and now howls of laughter are bellowing out of the restaurant, faces pressed against the glass! I feel like a total idiot!! Now the bucket is out of reach of the net, so I reel in my pole and start flinging my sinker at the bucket, trying to snag it. Now not only is the crowd in the restaurant watching and howling, but a large group of pier walkers are being entertained at my expense! Now I'm totally embarrassed, totally frustrated that I'd lost all my bait and bucket, and unwilling to provide further entertainment to what seems like 50 people rolling on the ground. So I hack my lines off, throw everything in the cart and beat feet out of there, chuckles and guffaws following me. What a nightmare, talk about feeling stupid!!

Posted by ben

I was oh about 19. My best friend and I decided to go fishing. At this point I really, really liked fishing but had no one to go with so as you can tell I was excited about this trip. I couldn't sleep the whole night before the fishing trip, tying rigs, practicing phantom casts, hooking phantom fish, and so on and so forth. We make it to Dumbarton as planned, my adrenaline rushing, I was wired to the point of stupidity. Well over at Dumbarton you use cat food to catch pile shrimp. Well needless to say I had forgotten the can opener. Well I had one of those long, thick pointed knives. Not a fillet knife but close to it. It just wasn't flexible. So, I start stabbing away with my knife, holding the can with my left hand. I guess I was so tired I missed the can totally and stabbed my hand through the webbing of the thumb and forefinger. I stabbed it so hard it went all the way through and the point of the knife stuck to the can on the other side. I stared at my hand dumbfounded as blood gushed out. My best friend looks at me like WTF. I popped the knife out of the can sliding it out of my hand, and I guess at this point I was in shock because I held it up and looked through the hole at my best friend. All I remember saying was "I can see the muscle move". Well, my friend tells me we need to go to the hospital, but nothing doing. Back then I wasn't able to get out and fish much so I took some paper towel (3 sheets) made a little rectangle place it on the webbing so it covered both puncture wounds then tied fishing line around it tightly. We stayed for another five hours my hand throbbing the whole time. We got home my friend suggested we go to the hospital.. Did i listen? Nope. I squirted a whole bunch of Neosporin on it, put a big band aid on it and it healed. I still have the scar for it. lol. I won't be doing that again anytime soon. That was almost 10 years ago. That's my horror story. ben

Posted by Songslinger

My Catch Of The Day. I took my girlfriend fishing on my 19th birthday. We both knew it was going to be a special day and, after I set out the line and put the pole down, we walked hand in hand into the woods behind the lake. There was a small clearing, ideal for romance, so I spread out the blanket and we descended. Everything was wonderful, dreamlike, until suddenly a rude snuffling noise came from above and, startled, we glanced up to see a horse and a park ranger. Busted, naked as the day we were born. She was under 18, so this officious ranger decided he would confine us in his shed until her parents arrived. We sat there in the shadows, frightened, upset, a mixture of intense emotions, wondering how it could be worse. It became worse when the ranger couldn't contact her parents and instead got hold of the one aunt who had hated my guts since Day One. The aunt took it upon herself to begin the harangue even before she was inside the shed and then slammed the door behind her in a fury, dislodging a garden rake which smacked her upside the head and damn near knocked her flat. The rest of the day deepened into a surrealistic puppet show where, at one point, I was forced to give the girl's parents a grueling play-by-play of what I did and did not do their daughter.

I did not pick up a fishing pole for the next eight years...

Posted by big bait big ffish

Just picture San Clemente pier in December at about 4am. Wet, misty, and cold. we had gotten there the afternoon before and were pretty tired and hadn’t caught much. My friend and I are just standing around talking and not really paying attention when all of a sudden my 4/0 in the south corner starts running. So I start running. That was all fine and dandy until I got to my rod and had to stop. My legs went out from under me and went underneath the bottom board on the rail. The skin from my ankles up to my knees was pretty much gone. As I’m there trying to recover my friend grabs the rod and sets the hook. About an hour and a half later I’m gaffing what turned out to be about a 150-lb bat ray. At this point I’m in pain and just wanting to go home. As he is cleaning and cutting up the ray I decide to hook on an anchovy and see if I can keep my mind off of my legs. I cast out the anchovy into the reef and boom I get hit. I set the hook and it’s there. Pull it up and I see about a 10" bass so I reach out and grab it and as soon as I do I realize that the bass that I saw had turned into a sculpin and I had just about every spine that it has digging into my hand. I was done. I spent the rest of the day picking wood out of my legs and spines out of my hand. What a night!!