View Full Version : Oddest Catch

Chip Maner
02-02-2006, 09:29 PM
Rock Hopper's topic "Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park" in Smoky Mountain Fishing got me thinking about this... my biggest local trout was downstream from the park... WAY downstream... and I can't wait to see you guys best this story with your own odd catches. If you can somehow tie the story in with flyfishing, or trout, or at least a stream that might have had a trout in it at some point, so much the better (but a good story is a good story).

I was crappie fishing below the dam in Rockford when I got an odd strike. Something slurped up my minnow and slowly dropped back to deeper water despite my little spinning reel's futile attempt to turn it. (Ok, yeah, it was a live minnow on an Eagle Claw hook, with a bobber, on 2 1/2 lb monofilament and an ultralight spinning outfit, BUT I WAS CRAPPIE FISHING, OK?) The fish realized it was hooked and took off downstream, stripping line like I'd snagged a bass boat. Somehow Erik Ogle, my hero, switched from the stern seat to the bow as I ran down the center of the little boat on cooler tops, and he gunned the trolling motor in pursuit. Shouts of, "Largemouth?" "Drum?" "Carp?" "Record Book Smallmouth?" filled the air above the water. A few minutes later, he reached over the side to net my catch, then sat up in disbelief (and empty-handed, I might add). "You'll never believe this," he said.

Then he reached back into the Little River, in the muddy water below the dam at Roddy Branch, and pulled out a 23 1/2" 4 lb 15 oz rainbow trout, with a stripe pale as pink moonlight.

David Knapp
02-02-2006, 10:28 PM
This should bring out some great stories. *My strangest catch while fishing was when I was a kid spin fishing in a creek in Oklahoma. *I was fishing a spinnerbait slowly, lifting it off the bottom and allowing it to fall back. *Suddenly, it just stopped. *Now, as a kid I was upset because that spinnerbait cost me good money and I didn't want to lose it to some underwater log. *I started putting pressure hoping it would pop free when I started to gain line. *I would slowly pull with my rod and quickly get that little bit of line on the reel. *That continued until I had "it" within ten feet of the bank and I saw a LARGE snapping turtle :o. *That was one time I was more than glad to cut the line.... ::).

Another good story was when I was taking up the flyrod, I was fishing below a small dam and wasn't watching my backcasts. *My little sister decided to walk out behind me and suddenly I felt a snag. *I thought it was the dam :-? so gave it several good jerks without looking ;D. *I finally turned around and my sister was just standing there twitching every time I jerked :P. *

I've also caught (and released) many species of trees as well ::)...


Backcountry FF
02-03-2006, 04:58 PM
Okay, this was before I knew the virtues of flyfishing...

I was on Citico Creek dunking corn for trout when I was a kid. I felt a strong tug on my line and just knew I had the grand daddy stocker rainbow on the line. I fought for about ten minutes before my dad came by to see what was going on. He was convinced I was just hung up on a rock ledge or submerged log. He took the rod from me and was surprised to feel a "headshake".

Dad handed me the rod and encouraged me to play this monster, as he was also sure of a huge trout on the end of the line. When we finally landed the trophy, it turned out to be a hellbender that measured almost 22". For those that don't know, a hellbender (and I hope I'm spelling it correctly) is a big ugly salamander. This thing weighed around 5 pounds! It had fairly sharp teeth ridges and I'm surprised the mono held out for the duration of the fight.

I let him go back to do whatever he does besides get young trout fishermen's hopes up. He still may be up there somewhere around Jake Best Campground, wet waders beware!

02-04-2006, 09:25 AM
These stories are crackin me up...
I was fishing the pocket water at the Chimneys picnic area and having a good day. I saw a spashy riser just beside some falling water on the edge of a plunge pool in front of a large rock. I tossed my EHC and green weenie dropper to the slack spot. A tiny drift and I didn't notice the take untill I saw my line start traveling across the rock and kept going up another rock on the dry land...I "set" the hook only to pulled up one of those fat little reddish brown salamanders that are every where in the Park and he wasn't going to let go of that green weenie!
No hellbender to be sure, but he had the heart... though I've seen a couple of those monster salamaders in the Park and it can be quite unnerving if you are standing in the water when one of those things comes around you.


02-08-2006, 05:19 PM
I was fishing just inside the park near the Sugarlands visitors center and a bird swooped across the stream in mid cast and flew off with my fly. It must have looked like a real fly to the bird but I wasn't fooling the fish. It startled me and took a couple of seconds before the bird realized it was attached and let go. Of course it got hung up on some tree limbs, but I was used to that.

02-09-2006, 06:41 PM
While fishing for smallmouth with a flyrod in Central Kentucky, I thought I had caught my line on a phone/power line across the river on my backcast, but when I turned around to try to unsrcew the mess, I had actually ensnared a bluejay in the leader and the fly. Got her loose, but she was not a happy bird and stuck around for a while letting me know it. Watson

02-10-2006, 12:15 PM
About five years ago, right after purchasing my new fly rod, I took it up to our bass pond which has plenty of casting room on land if you do it right. Anyway, down here (Bama) we don't go in the water if we can help it in these bass ponds. While stripping my line back, I got a real hard tug and was so excited - my first bass on a fly rod! It felt like it was a monster! What a fighter.

When it got closer and up toward the surface, I guess I couldn't stand playing any longer and pretended my flyrod was a heavy weight Shakespear baitcasting rod. While flipping my catch up onto the bank, low and behold, in mid air, an awful discovery was made- it was not a bass at all, but a big old water moccasin.(Geez, and I hate snakes). Not like the ones in cold water that look like a moccasin, it WAS a mocassin. Luckily, my clippers were right around my neck and I was able just to clip my backing and let it go- leader, and fly. *For a split second there, sacrificing my flyrod too had crossed my mind. *:'(After I clipped it, I got the heck outta there not knowing where the snake would go. *That was the LAST time I ever went flyfishing in a bass pond.

Chip Maner
02-10-2006, 06:37 PM
Hellbenders and salamanders? Birds and snakes? Makes catching a fish seem almost mundane! Great stories...