Like many of you, I’ve been fishing since I was old enough to walk. But when you were little and couldn’t go fishing, did any of you play fishing? I did. I would surround our back deck (a.k.a the boat) with rubber sharks and try to hook them with a paperclip hanging from a broom handle. Of course, I referred to the sharks as tarpon because I saw a photo of a leaping tarpon at age five and got fixated.


When my G.I. Joes weren’t fighting aliens in the living room, they fished. After a rain storm, the trickle of water running down the street gutter became their river. If there was a mud puddle somewhere, the G.I. Joe Amphibious Warfare Boat became the G.I. Joe Amphibious Warfare Fishing Boat.

But back then, all my Joes could fish for were the tiniest Mr. Twister Sassy Shads I could find. They were the right scale, but not incredibly detailed. I mention all this because the other day I received a package from the appropriately-named Replica Toy Fish Company featuring some of the species resting on my bath tub’s soap holder above. Why, oh why, couldn’t these toys have existed when I was little?

The company produces a bunch of freshwater species sold as singles or as kits based on various U.S. regions. If you ask me, this is not a bad way spark the fishing fury in kids. They could play with their Power Rangers (or whatever kids like these days) in the tub, or with bass, trout, and pike that might get them excited to catch the real thing one day. I’m going to hang on to this set until I have kids. And until then, if I find a G.I. Joe that wants to fish, he’s all set.