Strange Catches (other than fish)

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GatorGrip's picture
Strange Catches (other than fish)
I was wondering what other creatures of the deep have other anglers caught in pursuit of fish. Many of us have probably caught a turtle or two. I have actually hung a couple small Alligators here in Florida. Once as a kid I made a homemade lure out of bicycle reflectors from a cereal box, some wire, a few colored beads, an orange rubber skirt and a treble hook but I didn’t catch a fish on it ever but a Cottonmouth Water Moccasin thought it was breakfast and grabbed it, which I landed and pulled the hook out it's mouth-thank you-lol My wife and I were night fishing for catfish on the Little St. Mary’s River and she pulled up a little freshwater mussel that had managed to clamp onto her little piece of worm. Strangest one though was about two weeks ago one afternoon when I happened to be fishing for Bullhead (catfish) in a small river in my county using earthworms for bait. I felt a good tug on the line and set the hook and began reeling in a good fighting fish only to get it to the bank and discovered what I thought was an eel at first glance but as soon as I seen the stubby arms I knew it was a Greater Siren having caught one in a bucket a bit smaller as a child in a South Florida canal. It was at least 2.5 foot long and a girth the size of a paper towel roll. As I was trying to remove it from the hook it began emitting a high-pitched sound unlike anything I have never heard from an aquatic creature. I released it back into the dark water and it quickly splashed and swam away to live another day. A month or so prior my son and I were searching for crayfish with a minnow net to use for bait on the same riverbank edge and scooped up 3 small 3” creatures that in retrospect appeared to be baby sirens. The small backwater creek apparently is home to a healthy and significant population of these Greater Sirens.Oh it looks like a cross between an eel and a salamander (amphibian of course).
TonyS's picture
Hmmm... I've caught lots of t

Hmmm... I've caught lots of turtles... Snappers mostly, plenty of Softshells too.  A few Painted and one Box Turtle too.  A Leopard Frog and a Bullfrog but I've amazingly dodged the mudpuppies so far.  A 3' bent piece of angle iron, a 2' chunk of 3/4" steel cable, various plastic bags and the occasional article of clothing.  No float tubers yet though.  Various mussels and crayfish.  I've come close but so far avoided catching Seagulls, a Blue Heron, and Golden Retriever.  Been hooked up with a couple speed boats but no luck landing them yet...

Jknuth's picture
Ive gotten a few and know a f

Ive gotten a few and know a few people who have caught some odd things. 

Friend caught a gun in the twin cities. Obviously used in a crime and tossed in the river. (turned in to the cops of course)

Customer of mine sent me a tasteless picture on his cell phone a few years back. All it said was "How much per inch on this bad boy?" The pic was a few guys in lake michigan trolling, but the boat was parked and there was a coast guard boat next to it, in the watre was a body they snagged while trolling. Eeep! 

Freind in Florida was fishing flaoting junk for Mahi and tripletail. One of them decided to look in the 2 55 gallon drums they were fishing before they left and realized they were loaded with cocane. 

As far as me.
When I was 18 I snagged a pair of zebra striped underwear (womens) Then a week later a half mile downstream my friend snagged a zebra striped bra.. 

Caught a water snake on streamer fishign for trout.

A while back while fishing for catfish using shad I had a good tapping hit then a crazy run. I set the hook and was fighting the fish. It was dark and foggy and we coudlnt see it but we heard it. Suddenly it started splashing and moving very fast, then very very fast with no splashing. Next thing I know the line is going up into the air. My "friend" ran to his car and left me there. (Coward) A minute later I hear a splash next to shore and see a ruddy duck with my hook in its mouth. 

That was my wierdest catch. 


GatorGrip's picture
Bass Fishing at Dark Can Drive you Batty!

I wrote this little post with the Greater Siren amphibian in the forefront of my mind but thinking back I remembered another strange catch. I was a young teen when I was fishing a canal right across the street from my home. I was tossing a Rapala floating minnow top water fishing for bass at just about dark. I made one last cast before calling it a day as I couldn’t really see well anymore and suddenly I heard a splashing on the water and I thought wow I got a bass but when I retrieved my catch to the shore I realized it was the wings of a bat I heard hitting the water, apparently the bat had swooped down and hit the plug just before it hit the water and I snagged him in his wing dragging him into the water. I carefully took the hook out of his wing and threw him up into the air where he caught the breeze and flew off like nothing happened.-lol

Jknuth's picture
Oh bats, I forgot about bats

Oh bats,
I forgot about bats. Probably caught 5 or so flyfishing over the years.


Jason E.
Jason E.'s picture
I've seen bats, turtles, sala

I've seen bats, turtles, salamandars, and ducks get caught.  Giant water bugs will hit your fathead minnows, as will crayfish.  Don't touch the giant water bugs, they will tear you up!!  Seagulls will try to snatch up minnows too.  Pulled in plenty of lures, sinkers, line, and even parts of poles over the years too. 

Eli's picture





andy's picture
really Eli?
You pulled in a dead human?
TonyS's picture
You pulled in a dead human?

You pulled in a dead human?

Was it fair hooked?


I'm a bad person, with a terrible sense of humor... 

perkinsdonald's picture
Rocks, a friends watch he lost, pole or two, shoe, f***king pelicans!,lassoed a pigeon. Clam, clam shells, crabs (I was itching!!!!) Jk turtles, cow bone.



The gods do not subtract the alotted span in men's lives the hours spent in fishing.

Gunnar's picture
Hmm... bat, turtles, a chunk

Hmm... bat, turtles, a chunk of what I think was deer innards, a pair of sunglasses, lots of line and some broken rods, lures, scraps of cloth, garbage, crawfish, random bits of metal.

Never caught a corpse, but did find one once while fishing. It was on land right next to the water.


I was working on a ship docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia about 20 years ago. One day I left the ship to walk to a pay phone so I could call home and say good bye to my parents before heading out onto the Atlantic. (There were no cell phones then.) I was watching the huge numbers of jellyfish swimming around enjoying the raw sewage that the city dumped right into the harbor. Also seeing bits of toiled paper and feminine hygiene products floating past. A dad and kid were fishing on the pier and the kid set the hook into something. He fought it like a pro for several minutes, slowly gaining line. His pole was bent to its limit and I was excited to see what he'd caught. He was freaking out, his dad was telling him what to do, and there was a small crowd gathered.

It was a bright yellow condom, hooked at the open end so he'd basically been pulling a parachute through the water. It was stretched to a couple feet long and maybe 8-10 inches across. The dad freaked out, the kid didn't know what it was, and I think they cut the line. Unfortunately, this was also the days before digital cameras so no video exists of the funniest catch I ever saw.


Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers:

2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5

Jknuth's picture
LOL Ahh a Coney Island white

Ahh a Coney Island whitefish! 
Dad got one in the Hudson two years ago fishing for eel

Gunnar's picture
Idaho brown trout

"Coney Island Whitefish" reminded me of something: When I was a kid in eastern Washington, just a few miles from the Idaho border, my grandpa referred to the theoretical floaters near a sewage treatment facility as Idaho brown trout. As in, "Why fish there? All you'll catch are Idaho brown trout!"


Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers:

2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5

krazyk's picture

I actually just caught a crawfish just today... it grabbed my hook and refused to let go.


Chain Pickerel: All the bad assery of a Northern Pike wrapped up in a smaller, prettier package.

GatorGrip's picture
Catch'in Crawdads

I have caught 100s for bait since I was old enough to hit a ditch...I have even hand lined them like crab fishing and you are right in many cases these feisty crustaceans will clamp on for dear life to include your hand-lol

johnny's picture
The weirdest thing I have fou

The weirdest thing I have fought/caught was a sand bag used for making a levee.  I was fishing when the St Croix was in flood stage, and my first thought was I had hooked a submerged log that was 30 or so yards out from the bank.  I could feel the object lift off of the bottom of the river when raising my rod, and settle back down when I paused.  The closer it got to the pier, I scared myself into believing that it was a water-logged corpse.  When it was right along side of the concrete pier, I had to wrap the line around the seat of the reel, raise it up as much as I could, pass it off to my friend who was staning on a decorative concrete piling, who did the same thing, but would real it back down to me, and we started the process over and over and over again.  I was shocked (and worn out) when it finally breached the surface.  It had a lot of really old rusted out lures that had snapped off from over the years as well.  I will see if I can still locate the picture.  At least I know my knots hold!

Just your run of the mill Orvis Boy.  Fly fishing elitist.  I cannot hear you over my false casting.  All guided trips every day.

Fishing for compliments since 88.

Wisfisher's picture
Not really a catch but...

I have caught the usual oddball things, rocks, sticks, fishing rods etc., but the most unusual thing is a weasal. I didnt actually catch it, but I caught it sneaking into my minnow bucket and helping itself to my minnows while I was bank fishing some rip rap for walleye.

Any fish species is worth catching.

Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
I caught a black glove yester

I caught a black glove yesterday covered with zebra mussels.  Maybe it was the missing o.j. simpson glove?

the pyromaniac
the pyromaniac's picture
I've caught 5-inch crawdads o

I've caught 5-inch crawdads on rod & reel when I was a kid...  Other than that, there's the usual assortment of shoes, tin cans, rocks, tree limbs, salamanders, leaves, a shirt or two, and my personal favorite, an electric cake mixer......




Let there be fire!

GatorGrip's picture
Strange Items...

I was initially referring to odd creatures that one would not expect to catch while fishing but as for strange objects I have hung and dragged up or seen in the water I was fishing- I have a list: Pay telephone, clothing items, fishing gear of all sorts, a boat motor case, boat propeller, cast net, old push mower with no engine, several full size boats, drug paraphernalia, anchors, rope and cable, shovel and rusty tools ect… I once fished a small lake or just big pond that I found drained one day on a visit and it was amazing and even sad at the amount of that was at the bottom. I did however think to myself I lost a good lure only a week ago here and began to search and I kid you now I found a 5 gallon bucket and a half of lures of all types, age and condition as the bottom was filled with stumps and plenty of old Christmas Trees people had discarded I assume as possible structure. There were thousands of worm weights and apparently if you leave a plastic worm in the water for years it will end up at least 3 times as large as it was originally because I found some that were over a foot and a half long and thick as a hotdog. The lake was on a military base so there were tons of shell casings also from long ago.

Mathew Williams
Mathew Williams's picture
Strange catch

Was fishing with a tenkara rod on a small creek with a popper, made a back cast and a dragonfly grabbed it.  Flew around with it for about a minute, while I was fumbling with my camera, dropped it just as I was about ready to take the picture.

Kanethemoose12345's picture
Ive never caught really caugh

Ive never caught really caught anything cool. got a bottle rocket once, and a log, and a nightcrawler box buts thats about it. Im boring.

I am a hunter of many species. Not a very good hunter of many species, but a hunter nonetheless.

andy's picture
hey Tony S...osprey story please...
I love this thread. I once caught a penthouse centerfold from the Mississippi right in downtown Minneapolis. But hey, TonyS...osprey? I think you have some explaining to do. This thread deserves it!
TonyS's picture
I forgot all about this gem o

I forgot all about this gem of a thread!  Here goes - from 3 weeks ago so:


So there we were, grilling and pretending to fish the blue-green River...

I saw an Osprey circle past and dive bomb a floating Drum, probably one of the greedy little deep hooked buggers from earlier. It starts to take off and cartwheels back into the water, then my rod bounces and baitfeeder spins.




As I run to the rod the Osprey tries to take off but doesn't get anywhere. No idea what to do in this situation. Stupidly I cut the line at the rod, thinking the slack line will allow the bird to free itself. No such luck. The Osprey is thrashing its way down stream. 


I run after it, fortunately someone else grabs the tag line. I wade out on to a sand bar at the mouth of small creek and start pulling on the line to ease to panicked bird out of the flow. 


Once the Osprey was close enough to see the problem, I realized the heavy braid was looped several times around the first couple primary feathers. This wasn't going to be as easy as I hoped. Fortunately I had a fillet knife, so crotch deep in water I slipped it up the loops - cutting them away. 


Unfortunately, the Osprey was soaking wet - far too heavy from the additional water to fly. And they ain't exactly built to swim... It couldn't take off, but I had grabbed a ~20" stick on my way into the water.


I put the stick in front of it and grabbed it in its talons. I pulled it out of the water and to my shock it stayed there for several feet towards the bank. Quite the experience having those eyes staring at you point-blank. 

Naturally, I tripped and dumped the Osprey back in the water. It didn't want anything to do with me for sure now, so I corralled it towards a quiet corner of a sand bar where it could recuperate. 


A short while later it flew off, hopefully for a full recovery.

RiverRat's picture

That is rather insane man. Not sure how comfortable I'd be with a seriously pissed off raptor on a stick just a few feet from my face. Nicley done getting the bird taken care of. Thanks for sharing that one!