I’ve seen a lot of unusual things caught on fishing trips…toilet seats, rocks, socks, a gazillion zebra muscles, woman’s bathing suit bottom….but I’ve never seen someone pull a human’s hand from the depths. Thankfully.
OK, so it was technically a prosthetic hand and arm, but it’s still a pretty rare catch.
It happened at Florida tarpon tournament, and the prosthetic was lost by a member of the Wounded Warrior organization. They are usually soldiers that have been wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan during recent wars. A heck of a group. Apparently a big tarpon was a bit too much for modern medical technology and yanked the prosthetic right from the soldier’s body. He was fine, otherwise, by the way.
A little later in the day another angler in the tournament hooked and landed the same tarpon, which was towing the overboard rod, reel and prosthetic.
It’s totally believable, really. While drifting the flats, I once snagged a line at Glen Elder that had a decent spinning outfit on one end and decent walleye on the other. Another time, while vertically fishing spoons for white bass, a friend hooked a five-pound channel catfish that was towing a very nice rod and reel. He immediately recognized the rod and reel as one belonging to a mutual friend. We’ve caught fish that had just broken a buddy’s line a few minutes earlier and had one fish grab another bait though already hooked.
A few years ago Jerrod, our son, was vertically fishing for catfish at Marion Reservoir when he felt a heavy weight on the line. He eventually reeled up a spinning reel and rod, with the tiny hook from Jerrod’s bait through the very tiny hole in the tip at the end of the rod.
And, we immediately learned the outfit had been knocked overboard by one of Marc Murrell’s sons while fishing from the same boat the previous week.
(Had I known Marc and already paid our host for the lost rod and reel, I may have kept it around for a while. Instead, I called him quickly to help his kid get out of Dad’s doghouse.)
We’ve often talked about what the odds were for putting that tiny hook, in that tiny rod tip and then have the rod and reel belong to a family friend.
Well, they probably aren’t as long as going fishing and eventually giving a guy his hand back.