Whenever you hear a fish story, it isn’t true. Fishermen lie. They can’t help themselves. It is genetic, I think.
Look at this picture.
That’s me in the photo (I’m the one in the shirt), and that is the biggest fish I have ever caught in my life. If you recall, I consider myself one of the world’s worst fishermen. So when I caught this monster, I didn’t know what it was. It looked like a trout. If it was, my half-century-long dry spell was over.
So, living in a mountain state, I asked a local buddy to help me identify my catch. Here is his email message: “Holly cow!!! I think that’s one of the endangered Bull Trout!!! I will send [the]picture to my Fish and Game friends to see if they can ID it.”
Bull Trout are an endangered species. You have to release them immediately or the Fish and Game guys will hunt you down and string you up.
Bull Trout (www.fishalberta.com)
Luckily I had let it go. (Whew!)
His next email: “The fact you had it out of the water will be a problem… I will see what I can do.” Apparently they are so endangered that the mere act of removing them from their environment just long enough to get a picture is forbidden.
And he had sent the picture to the authorities.
At this point, I should point out that my buddy is a fisherman. (Refer to the first sentence of this article.)
For the next several hours I poured over the internet, convinced I was about to do hard time. And then I found this:
It’s a Northern Pike-minnow. It is a gigantic version of a minnow. It’s a junk fish. It is not a trout.
I sent a note to my buddy to let him know. I didn’t want him to worry about me.
He answered, “I know… just wanted you to think you could be busted for taking an endangered fish out of the water… lol.”
There was no Bull Trout. Fish and Game wasn’t coming to take me away. In the end there were only two fish hooked that day. A Northern Pike-minnow…
And a sucker.