Our 20 Coolest and Strangest Fish Stories

Kayak Fishing Guide Catches 10-Pound Largemouth Bass On Live Rattler in Texas' Brazos River In 20 years of fishing the Upper Brazos River in Texas, Shane Davies of River Run Guide Service (214-418-9786) has earned a reputation for using unusual baits to catch big bass. But he topped himself on a recent outing, landing a 10-lb. largemouth with, of all things, a rattlesnake. Here's the story--with the pictures to prove it--of how Davies pulled off his unusual catch. Click here for the full story and photos.
Extreme Aerial Bowfishing: Jumping Carp Breaks Woman's Jaw in Illinois There's a problem in the reservoirs of the Illinois River. The population of Asian carp, an invasive species, has exploded, and due in part to their habit of jumping from the water when boats approach, these fish have become a real nuisance. Enter Chris Brackett of Brackett Outdoors, based in Mapleton, Illinois. Brackett has perfected a method of shooting leaping fish with a bow from a boat moving at high speed. Brackett and his team coined the term "extreme aerial bowfishing," and the sport is catching on. But it's not always all fun and games. While filming for a DVD, photographer Bill Konway happened to capture the following stills of Brackett's fiance, Jodi Barnes, getting hit in the face with a flying carp. Here's the story of what happened. Click here for the full story and photos.
The Cult of the Wels: Catching Giant, 200-Plus Pound Catfish in European Rivers You may think trophy catfishing is a distinctly American activity, but across the Atlantic there's a group of anglers who share a similar passion for their own species of whiskered freshwater monster. I'm talking about cats so big, hundred-pounders are routine. Cats so powerful anglers come from all over the globe for a chance to catch one. This is the story of the Wels catfish. Click here for the full story and photos.
Texas Drought Stranding Huge Alligator Gar in Mud of Shrinking Lake With the worst single-year drought in Texas history continuing into the fall, everyone and everything living there is being effected. In this case, it's the alligator gar near the Trinity River. These photos were posted by Garzilla Guide Service. The caption reads: "I was out yesterday checking some of my private fishing holes and this is what I found. A dried up lake with one mud hole in the middle and the only thing alive was the alligator gar... Click here for the full story and photos.
Photos: Great White Sharks Breaching for Photog's Synthetic Seal Lure Like most apex predators that prowl the ocean depths, the great white shark usually employs its hunting prowess below the waves, well concealed from human eyes. A dramatic exception is the phenomenon known as breaching: great whites 20-feet-long rocket up from deep-water hides at speeds of 35 miles an hour to ambush Cape fur seals, their momentum carrying them beyond the water's surface and high into the air. To anyone lucky enough to witness the feat, the shark's power and athleticism are awe-inspiring. Click here for the full story and photos.
Exclusive Underwater Shots: Aussie Photog Captures Giant Mako Biting Tail Off Marlin in Mid-Release

When photographer Al McGlashan jumped into the Pacific Ocean off Port Stephens, Australia, earlier this month, his assignment was to film a textbook release of a striped marlin caught and tagged by New South Wales fisheries officials. But a 10-foot mako shark that had been stalking the shoot flipped the script. Streaking past the stunned photographer, the big predator ripped into the marlin as McGlashan captured the ferocious attack from a few feet away. Field & Stream got a U.S. exclusive on his photos, video and the story behind them. Click here for the full story and photos.
Photos: Family Rescues Bass Choking on Fish Nowadays, catching and releasing trophy-size largemouth bass is the norm. Motoring up on one in trouble and then saving its life, however, makes a day of fishing a bit more unusual. That's just what happened to Renia and Stephen Fairbanks while taking their daughter, Amy, out for a fishing trip on Arkansas' Cove Lake on Friday, August 14. Cove--a 160-acre lake located east of Fort Smith, at the base of Mount Magazine--holds a plethora of fish species, including largemouth and smallmouth bass and panfish.

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Leaping Barracuda Gashes Teenage Girl's Arm Koral Wira, 14, was fishing with her parents and a friend near Venice, Fla., when a barracuda went for her dad's bait and ended up biting her instead. Her dad, Rob Parker, submitted these photos and Wira told the story. Click here for the full story and photos.
The Fish Babes of Mid-Winter Yeah, we know it's the middle of winter, but we thought posting a few Fish Babes shots sent in by our readers during "fishier" months would help us all keep dreaming of the spring season and keep the cabin fever at bay...at least for a little while. If you're a lady angler that kicks butt on the water, we want to see your victory photos. Click here to upload them directly to our new Trophy Room. To get things started, here's Brittney Smith with a nice walleye. Click here for the full story and photos.
Classic F&S Vintage Fishing Ads The world of advertising sure has changed in 50 years. Joe Cermele takes a look at some fishing ads from F&S that are both very entertaining and very far from PC these days. Click here for the full story and photos.
X-Ray Fish Photos: 41 Incredible Shots from the Smithsonian Institute Thanks to the Smithsonian Institute, you can see exactly what's going on inside a fish. The institute has compiled an archive of x-rays on striped bass, winghead sharks, sawfish, triggerfish and much much more. See the 41 best photos in this gallery. Pictured: Winghead shark or Eusphyra blochii - credit Sandra J. Raredon, Division of Fishes, NMNH Click here for the full story and photos.
Bowfishing For Monster Mako and Blue Sharks off the California Coast This 418-lb. Mako caught off the coast of California last month by Chris Brackett is believed to be the largest shark ever taken with a bow. Brackett boated the shark under the guidance of Corey Knowlton, a Texas outfitter who is pushing bowfishing to a whole new level. Click here for the full story and photos.
SHARK!: A Preview of an Artistic Tribute To The Ancient Apex Predators of the Deep Millennia before humans first appeared on this planet, sharks were cutting their way through Earth's seas. They come in all shapes and sizes and are found in every ocean in the world as well as in many rivers and lakes. A major multimedia art exhibition, SHARK!, organized by the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art and curated by acclaimed wildlife artist, author and environmentalist Richard Ellis, brings together art and science in documenting the fascination people have with these apex predators of the sea. In addition to drawings and paintings, the exhibition contains photos, sculptures, and video as well as a section devoted to the sensational impact of the 1975 film Jaws. Ellis was good enough to give us these photos of pieces from the exhibition, which opens in May, as a sneak peak. Click here for the full story and photos.
A Largemouth Bass Worth $500 Per Pound: Sam Callaway Catches 500th Sharelunker In Texas's O.H. Ivie Lake When Sam Callaway of Corpus Christi boated this 13.34-lb. largemouth April 9 during a charity bass tournament at O.H. Ivie Lake in Texas, he felt certain he'd clinched the tourney's big-bass check. What Calloway didn't know was that he'd won a much bigger prize by catching the 500th fish in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Sharelunker program, an innovative project that promotes catch-and-release fishing and attempts to boost the size of the state's trophy bass by entering the largest angler-caught fish into a selective breeding program. Click here for the full story and photos.
Aerial Bowfishing for Bighead Carp in Missouri's Lamine River Rick Adair, a photographer whose work appears regularly in Field & Stream, tells the story of how he captured one of the magazine's "First Shot" photos. My friends Bill and John Marshall told me a while ago about bow fishing for jumping carp. Bighead carp. It's an invasive species, and a huge threat to the ecoysystems of U.S. waters. The fish is also a threat to boaters, because they leap high out of the water when a prop goes by (check out this story about one that broke a woman's jaw in Illinois). The government spends millions of dollars every year to prevent these things from spreading, but sportsmen have found a more interesting way to help control their population -- by driving around in boats and shooting them out of the air using bows and arrows. I knew that John was a great shot with his bow, and so I figured I'd get the chance to capture some great action on film (and maybe land one of my photos in a "First Shot"). Here are some of the images I came back with. The shooters are Tyler and Doug Burke and Bryant McCartney. The location is the Lamine River in central Missouri. The guys shot 80 carp while I watched. The largest weighed 15 lbs.

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Spearfishing Decoys: High Art for Killing Big Fish Carved wooden fish decoys have long been used by ice fishermen, packing spears rather than rods, to lure in lunkers on the hardwater. Dave Kober is a fifth generation decoy carver from Cadillac Michigan and makes each deke with painstaking detail. Here's a look at some of Kober's greatest work and a little bit about a man who averages 10 hours on just one decoy. Click here for the full story and photos.
The Glory Days of the Giant Scarborough "Tunny" These days, bluefin tuna fishing in the U.S. is heavily regulated, and rightfully so. Commercial fishing across the globe is hurting stocks, and any sportfishing boat that lands a bluefin over 500 pounds is likely to make local news at least. Though true giants do still exist, there are relatively few that target them, and fewer that target them without commercial sale permits, as the price for bluefin is astronomical. A time when giants were as plentiful, seemingly easy to catch, and essentially worth very little on the market as they were in 1930s Scarborough is hard to imagine. Click here for the full story and photos.
Can Your Dog Retrieve Fish? On the opening page of the "Campfire" section in the May 2009 issue of Field & Stream, you may have noticed a photo of Hunter, the trout-retrieving springer spaniel. Hunter's mom, Jennie Trull, captured the image last summer while fishing with her husband, David. As the Trulls don't eat lake trout, David tried to revive this fish that had been gut-hooked. Unfortunately, a few minutes after release, the trout floated back to the surface. Here's where the real story begins... Click here for the full story and photos.
Life as Korea's Only Fly Fishing Guide The Baekdudaegan Mountain Range is considered the "backbone" of Korea, and is home to its trout streams. The Baekdudaegan (White-head Great Ridge) is a 416-mile long mountain range that runs the length of the Korean peninsula. It is known as "Korea's backbone." It starts at Baekdu Mountain on the North Korean/Chinese border and ends near Korea's far southern coast. That distance is roughly cut in half as the militarized and heavily landmined DMZ bisects the peninsula. Koreans view the mountain range as the spiritual "spine" of the country. It's the source of the country's watersheds and major river systems and it holds the highest peaks in the nation. And most importantly, it is the keeper of all the trout streams. Click here for the full story and photos.
Stocking Native Rocky Mountain Cutthroat Trout With Planes in Colorado's High Mountain Lakes Hardly anyone believes me when I tell them... The Colorado Division of Wildlife stocks native cutthroat trout in high altitude lakes with airplanes. No Joke. Flying modified Cessna 185 airplanes, four specialized pilots stock the native trout in around 300 lakes ranging in altitude from 10,000 - 12,000 feet. They drop hundreds to thousands of fish on each bombing run before they cycle back, fill up with more fingerlings and head out for another white-knuckle pass over the Rocky Mountains. DOW Pilot Steve Waters agreed to let me tag along and shoot the operation from start to finish, from installing the specially designed "fish tank" to watching an actual fish drop in the shadow of Mt. Sneffels, high in the San Juan mountain range. Photo by Tim Romano Click here for the full story and photos.