But I Digress

Blog calendar: June 21 | June 18 | June 16 | June 14 | June 4

posted June 21

Lack of $15 license costs fishing team $912K

The first mate of the Citation must be feeling like Private Pyle, you know, the guy from Full Metal Jacket who got the rest of his platoon punished for his actions.

This mate's lack of the $15 fishing license cost the anglers aboard $912,825. That was the prize money they would have won in the 52nd annual Big Rock Marlin Fishing Tournament out of Morehead City, N.C.

Oh, he had told Andy Thomassan, who landed a tournament record 883-pound marlin, and the rest of the crew he had a license, but a lie detector test threw up a red light and after an investigation, the Citation was cited. The disqualification means a lousy 15 bucks cost the crew 60,000 times more cash.

The captain also shares some blame. He trusted the mate when he said he had a license. Tournament rules require anyone fishing to have a N.C. fishing license. To add insult, since the mate didn't have a license, he will more than likely receive a fine.

Carnivore, with a 528.3-pound blue marlin, is now the winner, having chewed up and spit out Citation. And the Big Rock record is still an 831-pounder caught in 2000.

Citation captain Eric Holmes wouldn't answer messages left on his cell phone, according to this report in jdnews.com.

He's more than likely drowning his sorrows ... or that mate.

posted June 18

Two hobbies for price of one

Toy boat. Say it three times fast.

Ha. Fooled you, it's not a toy boat at all, at least that's what Bill H. King says.

And that's not what he does with his four-foot long, twin-screw electric powered remote controlled boat.

He has rigged it to catch fish.

Bunches of them. No lie.

The inset photo he sent in shows him landing a 5-pounder in Hobe Sound, Fla., on a live shiner using red Pro Line 12-pound test. He usually just rigs a shiner on a No. 3 circle hook and trolls away.

Foolhardy. No.

He's King of remote control fishing, catching more than 500 largemouth bass with his unique technique.

The boat is capable of landing a 15-pounder, but his largest is 9 and a half pounds.

He releases them all.

"The rod and reel mounted on deck can not only reel in the fish but can tighten or loosen the reel drag all by remote control," King writes.

He added that the range of his transmitter is half a mile and battery life gives him three hours to fish.

It would be interesting to see the tug of war when he hooks a huge largemouth, a miniature version of the shark pulling the boat in "Jaws."

posted June 16

Bigfoot shooed away by rough words

Yes, in Harry and the Hendersons, Bigfoot is a sensitive soul whose feelings can be hurt by words.

Apparently, Tim Peeler of Casar, N.C. — pop. 311, sal-ute! — had an encounter with a similarly sensitive beast, one 10-feet tall with a long beard and blondish hair. It came onto his rural property, possibly menacing his dogs.

Only stern words, some serious messin' with Sasquatch — I love those commercials, make me stop and watch every time — made the trespassing varmint vamoose.

Oh my gosh, did Peeler make fun of his hair, give him grief for being too tall, ridicule his six fingers on each hand, say he stunk, what?

"I rough-talked him and said, 'You get away from here,' " he told NewsChannel 36, the Charlotte Observer's news partner for this report. (The video's kind of funny, too.)

Oh, no. Bigfoot came back moments later. Did Peeler's messin' draw Sasquatch's wrath?

"And I said, 'Get! Get!' And he went back down the path again," Peeler said.

Whew! He's lucky he didn't get a log upside the head.

posted June 14

Watch out for falling water buffalo

Jim Harris seemed to take his misfortune with humor.

The ex-Marine who came away from four years in Vietnam unscathed found himself pinned down by a huge African water buffalo. Of course, he was at home, the thing was dead, and it was only its stuffed head.

But the 56-year-old Tavernier man said showed his humility, and humor.

"This is so embarrassing to get my ass kicked by a dead water buffalo," Harris told The Palm Beach Post News
for this story.

Watching the news to a glass of moo juice, he reached for the lamp and ... bam. The 200-pound head mount fell down and knocked him out for two hours. When he came to, he was still pinned and felt paralyzed. He reached for his phone and dialed 911.

"I guess it's payback for the buffalo, but I'm not even the guy who shot him," Harris said.

Of course others had a bit of fun at his expense, despite him suffering a concussion, pinched nerves and bruises.

"I was stuck with needles and had all these IV's in me, and the nurses were all laughing their heads off," Harris said.

Of course, Bubba — that's what his landlord named the mount — will need to find a new home. Harris doesn't want it in the house no mo', nor the jackelope mount.

"It has horns, too," Harris deadpanned.

posted June 4

Case of the 'mysterious creature' biting swimmers

Little kids and lakes don't always mix.

There are definite fears from some when asked to swim.

"Will a shark get me?"

When they get a little older, the questions change to snakes, and for the initiated, snapping turtles.

Usually, most kids overcome their fears and take to the water, especially when there's a roped off area.

But now, in Scottsburg, Ind. — pop. 6,040, sal-ute! — comes news of a "mysterious lake creature."

News first hit Memorial Day when a 5-year-old girl was bitten by something in Hardy Lake in southern Indiana. She said it felt like something was pinching her, and the attack left mouth-shaped markings. They learned there had been other attacks in the lake, leaving bruises and abrasions of similar sizes.

It left many wondering what kind of beast was latching on to swimmers. No sharks there, some fishermen speculated it could a big carp, a bowfin or even a bass.

It was such a mystery that WHAS-TV ran a 2 minute, 32-second segment on its newcast. Must have been a slow news day.

People complained; they wanted a warning sign put up. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources finally relented and plans to put up a sign to go along with its "Swim at your own risk" signs in place.

The IDNR suspect that it's just a catfish trying to protect its nest, and bites anything that gets too close. They believe once the eggs hatch that the fish will be gone soon.

River Monsters

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It's the same assessment that Jeremy Wade, host of Animal Planet's River Monsters, had when a giant Wels catfish was attacking swimmers in Germany. Of course, that beast was significantly larger.

Wels can grow to 10 feet long and weigh 300 pounds, large enough to swallow a human. See some of Wade's true River Monsters in the inset gallery.

While the Hardy Lake monster is no river monster, or lake monster, it does play to a young one's fright of the water. And maybe some scaredy cat adults.

Of course, not 3 hours ago, I was swimming in a lake and something latched on and tugged a rivet or material loop on my swim shorts. It did startle me a tad. Now if something would have latched onto my leg enough to bruise me, I'm sure I would have squealed like a little girl.

About the author: Mike Suchan has been editor at ESPNOutdoors.com the past three years. He's worked in journalism for 25 years, winning state and regional awards. Email him here.